According to the already established tradition StampNews.com is resuming the philatelic outcome of the year. As usual, first of all the site has prepared a new ranking of extraordinary stamps according to the results of 2010.
As notice the experts of StampNews.com, post offices have been increasingly producing original stamps, not only having an unusual design or smell but even special effects. The ingenuity of stamp designers sometimes really amazes. New technologies neither have passed over the philately. More frequently the philately acts jointly with the multimedia, which has been also reflected in this rating. In general, there were so many extraordinary stamps in the year 2010, that StampNews.com decided to extend its ranking a little bit. Its' almost every row contains several stamps from different countries.
However the website didn't involve all the stamps but only the most interesting by the opinion of StampNews.com. Also we should make the reservation that this rating doesn't include all the stamps that can be classified as extraordinary. Some of them have got in other subject ratings of the site. But this is later. And now let us bring to your attention the Top 10 extraordinary stamps of 2010.
Moving Stamp with the World's Smallest and Shortest Film by Netherlands
In 2010, the world's "smallest and shortest film" - lasting one second - appeared on a lenticular stamp created for the Dutch postal service.
This extraordinary stamp features Dutch actress Carice van Houten pictured in front of a typical Dutch windmill on a polder landscape, the scene of which is a nod to a Dutch children's stamp from 1951. Depending on the angle from which the stamp is viewed, an animation appears where Van Houten bites down on a man's middle finger.
Special Volcano Stamps from Iceland + Sahara Postage Stamps by Morocco
In 2010, Iceland Post issued three stamps to commemorate the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull volcano.
All the stamps are silkscreen printed with very fine-grained trachyandesite ash which fell at Eyjafjallajokull in April. The trachyandesite magma has ca. 60% silica content and comes from a depth of 7 km with a temperature of more than 1100°C when it reaches the glacial ice.
This block of two Morocco postage stamps contains sand collected in real sand dunes of the Moroccan Sahara. The stamps were issued in November 2010, to celebrate 35th Anniversary of the Green March - an important day in the history of the country.
Calligraphy Stamps + World's First Ceramic Stamps from China
In May 2010, China released a set of stamps featuring calligraphy masterpieces from four of China's most famous masters, such as Lan Tingxu (303-361AD). For the first time, the stamps are printed on Xuan Zhi, Xuan paper, a traditional Chinese material that has been used for calligraphy for over 1,000 years.
In 2010, China also issued the world's first set of ceramic stamps. Each stamp is about 0.3 millimeter in thickness.
All the stamps are hand-made. The patterns are based on 11 World Expo-themed stamps released by China since 2007.
#4. Stamps with Diamonds + World's First Postage Stamps Made from Thai silk
In 2010, Thailand Post kicked off "Bangkok 2010", one of the biggest stamp exhibitions in Asia-Pacific, featuring the world's first and only stamps decorated with 12 genuine diamonds weighing a total of 1.2 carats. The heart-shaped stamps had been specially made to commemorate the 60th Royal Wedding Anniversary.
Another highlight of "Bangkok 2010" was the world's first postage stamps made from Thai silk.
About 20,000 stamps had been produced, consuming nearly 5,500 meters of silk.
The peacock emblem was granted by Her Majesty the Queen Sirikit to serve as a guarantee of the quality of Thai silk being used as stamp material.
#5. Book Stamp from Netherlands + Crime Novel Stamps by Sweden + Special Journal Devoted to Traditional French Flavors
A very unusual postage stamp was issued by TNT Post in March 2010. This book stamp (3 by 4 cm) contains a short story by J. Zwagerman entitled "Wat is erger" ("What is worse").
In this story, Zwagerman leads us on an exciting and humorous journey through the thoughts of the main character, Jelmer Verhooff, the manager of a museum who has just seriously damaged one of the most precious paintings in the museum's collection. In this way Zwagerman literally makes the stamp a literary jewel.
This booklet of five stamps celebrates some of Sweden's most successful authors, both in Sweden and internationally, in the modern detective and crime genre.
There are microtexts imbedded in the stamps about the authors and their works. Try to find them!
In 2010, the French Post issued the second series of the journal "France as I love it". This time the journal is dedicated to the cuisine of French regions and its gastronomy.
The "Flavors" journal consists of two volumes each containing 12 self-adhesive stamps divided in three parts: "Soil", "Vegetarianism" and "Holidays". The readers have an opportunity not only to own the beautiful stamps about a rich French cuisine but also to read the recipes included in the journals.
#6. Animation Stamps from Israel and Hungary
In 2010, the Israel Philatelic Service issued a stamp sheet celebrating 50 years of ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d'Animation).
The sheet is comprised of 15 stamps which vary slightly from one to the next and feature (from left to right and top to bottom) an animated cycle of motion: a farmer picks a sabra fruit, peels it and hands it to a girl who then eats it, and so forth.
In order to illustrate the movement of animation the Israel Philatelic Service has produced a stamp booklet in the form of a "flip book". The pages are flipped and the images give the impression of movement. The booklet consists of 15 pages each with a self-adhesive Israeli Animation stamp.
In 2010, Magyar Posta issued a sheet of postage stamps and a book of special stamps to mark the Shanghai World Expo.
The stamps feature the Gomboc - the first known homogeneous, convex object to have just one stable and one unstable point of equilibrium and the "main character" in the Hungarian pavilion.
The designs of the stamps illustrate the most characteristic phases of the movement of the Gomboc. And by flicking the pages of the special book, the designs showing the movement phases of the Gomboc are brought to life and its movement appears like a film.
#7. Aromatic Scratch-and-Sniff Postage Stamps Debut in Germany + Scented Stamps from French Polynesia
Quite a lot of aromatic stamps have been issued in 2010. However Stampnews.com would like to single out “aromastamps” from French Polynesia and Germany.
At the beginning of the year 2010, Germany in an annual tradition, issued new postage stamps designed to support charities. In a new twist, however, these stamps were scratch and sniff, with customers able to choose between apple, strawberry, huckleberry and lemon scents.
The scent - which is only released upon scratching the stamp's surface - is made possible with scented oils wrapped in microscopic capsules.
In August 2010, French Polynesia issued a stamp with the scent of the mango - the most popular fruit grown on its territory.
This is the 7th scented postage stamp issued by the post office.
#8. Canada's Biggest Stamp
This Canada's postage stamp is really big in every sense of the word. At $10, it carries the highest face value of any Canadian postage stamp. At 128 by 49 millimetres it is the largest stamp ever issued by Canada Post. The stamp features a blue whale. Reaching more than 30 meters in length and weighing up to 180 metric tonnes, it is the largest animal known to have existed, outclassing even the dinosaurs.
The stamp was produced using a combination of printing techniques. They include intaglio and silkscreen for the whale and offset lithography for the colours in the background.
Due to its high value, several security features are used in the new $10 stamp. The whale's scientific name (Balaenoptera musculus) is written in intaglio micro printing. As well, a large cluster of krill (the whale's food of choice) and a diver are printed in tagging that can only be seen using ultraviolet light.
This is the 7th scented postage stamp issued by the post office.
#9. Brazilian Bat Postage Stamps
These amazing bat-shaped postage stamps show four species of bats that occur in Brazil. They are depicted with the features associated with them in their natural environments.
#10. Embroidered Stamps from Austria and Brazil
Petit point is part of the Viennese cultural heritage, and bears the cachet of both imperial society and the upper middle classes. It is also an internationally famous and appreciated sign of a quality souvenir from Vienna. The use of petit point on a stamp, however, is something new, resulting in a work of art for the philatelists' collections courtesy of the Vorarlberg embroidery company Hammerle & Vogel. Following the successful "Edelweiss" premier and its successor, the "Gentian", the series of stamp-sized embroidered works of art continues with the "Rose".
This stamp, printed on synthetic fabric, was issued in September 2010, to celebrate the Centenary of Sport Club Corinthians Paulista.
The Brazil Post used plain fabric, embroidered with application of fluorescent luminescent invisible ink, luminescent under UV light.
Our Special Nomination Award this time goes to Royal Mail and their first 'intelligent' stamp
In 2010, the Royal Mail issued what it called the world's first "intelligent stamps", designed to interact with smartphones using image-recognition technology.
The special-issue stamps, devoted to historic British railways, are designed to launch specially developed online content when a user snaps them using an image-recognition application available on iPhone or Android handsets.
"Intelligent stamps mark the next step in the evolution of our stamps, bringing them firmly into the 21st century," a Royal Mail spokesman said.