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New Postage Stamps Philatelist

By Edited Jun 17, 2016 3 6

New Postage Stamps

Postage stamps have been around for a very long time but new postage ideas are springing up all the time, much to the delight of philatelists. New postage rates increases occur on a regular basis but the innovative USPS have brought out the new forever stamp so we will not see the 42 cent, 44 cent, 47 cent markings on first class stamps anymore.

Instead the word forever will be printed on first class stamps issued by the US Postal Service. But others too have been innovative in the postage stamp business, much to the delight of stamp collectors worldwide.

US Heirloom Stamp Album

Unusual shapes in postage stamps


Coldplay album cover as featured by Royal Mail on a postage stamp
The stamp opposite is an image of a Coldplay album called ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’. Coldplay are a successful alternative rock band from the latter part of the 1990s. A Rush of Blood to the Head was released as an album in 2002 and the album cover is depicted on the postage stamp. The band is from the UK and the Royal Mail honored their country men by issuing the postage stamp. Nothing too unusual so far, you might think, but look again at the stamp. You will see that the LP itself is partially removed from the album sleeve, but the unique thing is that the outline, or profile, of the stamp follows the curve of the black vinyl LP.

So, instead of a regular postage stamp in the shape of a rectangle or square the Royal Mail issued this very unusual shaped stamp. It has three normal edges but the last side is what gives the Coldplay postage stamp such a distinctive look. This postage stamp is an example of thinking outside the box, so to speak, and credit for the innovative stamp must go to the stamp issuers of Great Britain, who is the Royal Mail.

Special Occasion Stamps

Stamps from Europe

UK Postage (stamps of the Royal Mail, Great Britain)

Brussel sprout postage with unusual outline, the stamp was issued by Royal Mail
Stamps issued by the Royal Mail (like the Coldplay stamp above) have a distinguishing mark in the corner to indicate the country of issue. This marking is the profile image of the head of state, who is the reigning monarch. These stamps show the Royal head of Queen Elizabeth. Following on from this theme of unusual shape of the previous stamp the Royal Mail issued this one of a vegetable.

The image is boring enough and represents a Brussels Sprout but again the rectangular shape is distorted. This time it is the bottom edge of the stamp which makes room for the stalk of the sprout to protrude past the frame of the stamp. These strange outlines make the stamps worthy of the philatelist’s attention, in much the same way as postage stamps with mistakes are highly sought after. 

Jigsaw Postage Stamps 

Geology Jigsaw stamp celebrating Darwin issued by Royal Mail UK
Stamps have been produced in the non regular square shape before but they were limited to circular, oval, triangular or diamond shapes. The Royal Mail has managed to go that step further with these peculiar outlines above. This stamp featured opposite is yet another adoption on the theme and this time it looks like a bite has been taken from the stamp’s left hand side. This again breaks the traditional rectangular shape but this time the edge is not pushed out but cut into (like a bite mark) instead.

The postage stamp is in the form of a jigsaw piece and the right hand side protrudes out in a bulb shape. The jigsaw postage stamp is one of a set of 6 Darwin’s ‘Origin of the Species’ postage stamps which were issued in 2009. Royal Mail again issued this jigsaw ‘Geology’ stamp celebrating Darwin. An image of 2 jigsaw stamps from Royal Mail collection featuring Darwin’s Geology and Ornithology stamps is shown below.

Start collecting stamps

Beautiful starter kit

Unusual Stamps

Postage stamps of Darwin’s theories

Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection was issued in a set of 6 postage stamps by the Royal Mail (United Kingdom) in 2009. The UK’s stamp issuer made the six jigsaw stamps featuring Darwin himself on one stamp and the five others featuring anthropology, ornithology, geology, zoology and botany. Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection is represented on each jigsaw stamp. 

USPS Forever Postage 2013

The upshot is that stamp collectors are hoping that the big stamp issuers around the world will start following the example of the Royal Mail. It would be nice to see the USPS Forever stamps in non regular shapes, although the forever stamp is a very new concept too. Canada Post have some nice postage stamp sets issued on a variety of topics but a bit of stamp shape-changing would do wonders for sales and for stamp collectors too. 

Current stamps

USPS Forever Stamps Liberty Bell Booklet of 20
Amazon Price: $16.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 17, 2016)

Collecting and making postage stamps

Make stamps your own 

Many people do not realize that you can make your own customized postage stamps. The art of making the personalized postage stamps is completely automated by a company called Zazzle. The most important thing to know about this company is that it is USPS approved and that stamps printed by them are genuine and will be honored in the same was as if you bought your postage stamps from your local Post Office.

Postage Stamps available are in denominations of $0.30 for postcards, $0.46 for first class all the way up to $4.95 for priority mail weighing up to one pound (16oz). You will not be able to purchase these forever stamps or the brand new International forever stamps, which are only available from USPS.

How to make real postage stamps

Use the online retailer Zazzle to upload the image (a family photograph, Bart Simpson or a Disney character perhaps) or images that you want to appear on your postage stamps. They supply hundreds of famous images if you don’t have one of your own to create your stamps. Select the stamp size you require, the orientation of your image and the stamp denomination and that’s all there is to it. 

The stamps are purchased in sheets of 20 and you have a choice of 3 stamp sizes (small, medium and large). A sheet of 20, small, $0.44 first class stamps will cost $17.95 and only you pay $1 extra for medium size and $2 is you prefer the largest stamps. Your imagination can run wild creating your own customized Birthday or Christmas stamps with this method. Your newly minted stamps will be delivered to your door within 2 days. 

Gift card for philatelists



Aug 12, 2011 8:43am
Good information on postage stamps. I had never heard of jigsaw stamps.
Aug 12, 2011 9:25am
Hi Lyn. Thank you for your comments on these unusual stamps which I am quite fond of because of their quirky nature. Speaking of nature the US is not to be left behind where stamp innovation is concerned, because the USPS have produced a beautiful set of Earthscapes stamps scheduled for release in 2012. The first set of 5 US forever Earthscapes stamps show images of a volcanic crater, a geothermal spring, glaciers, icebergs and a butte in the early morning fog as well as an inland marsh. The Eearthscape stamps are stunning and will be making these way to my stamp album as soon as they are available.
Aug 31, 2011 9:13am
Yeah, this was a fun article to read. I just looked up some images of the Earthscapes stamps and they look awesome. Thanks.
Aug 31, 2011 12:01pm
Thank you for your comments. I am glad you found the article interesting as I think these ideas and concepts for postage stamps are very unusual. I do like the Earthscape postage stamps and I am looking forward to them being issued. They will be added to my collection.
Sep 15, 2012 12:41pm
Hi--Haven't thought of stamps since I was a kid so you not only stirred some new interest but gave me a few memories two. 2 Thumbs up
Sep 15, 2012 1:58pm
Thank you for your comments and vote Marlando. Great how we associate things from our childhood with our hobbies. We had little money when I was a kid and stamp collecting was a cheap hobby. Greatly enjoyable though.
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