Hereby StampNews.com presents the newest publication of the Top 10 Most Extraordinary stamps 2012 ranking.
The year 2012 was festive and really royal – the world was grandly celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of the British Queen Elizabeth II coronation. Many stamps dedicated to this event were issued worldwide.
Among them a lot of interesting issues are found. Two such stamps – by Jersey origin – appear at the top of our Most Extraordinary stamps ranking. The other extraordinary stamps distinguished in our rating are unusual by their shape, have a 3D effect, are scented or can be scanned with smartphones or tablets.
World's First stamp to incorporate a genuine diamond from Jersey Post
On 6 February 2012, Jersey Post launched a world first – the first ever stamp to incorporate a genuine diamond which was to celebrate 60 years of The Queen’s Accession.
Each hand-cut diamond is struck to the aptly named Diamond Diadem worn by The Queen on one of two stamps contained within the Limited Edition Souvenir Miniature Sheet. The other stamp features her late father, King George VI. Jersey Post issued just 600 Limited Editions which costs £125.00 each.
First Holographic Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II featured on a Jersey stamp
"Equanimity", meaning "the quality of being calm and even-tempered", is the first official holographic portrait of Her Majesty The Queen. The portrait was commissioned by Jersey Heritage as part of the island's celebrations which took place in 2004, marking 800 years of Jersey's heritage of continuous loyalty to the Crown. The project was conducted as a creative collaboration between artist Chris Levine and holographer Rob Munday.
The £10 postage stamp issued by Jersey Post in June 2012 to celebrate The Queen's Diamond Jubilee features a unique black and white digital hologram miniature. The portrait has been re-created using an achromatic digital embossed holographic stereogram created for Jersey Post by Rob Munday at his studios in London.
The world's first pop-up stamps from the Netherlands
On 8 October 2012, PostNL issued the world's first pop-up stamps. The stamp sheet with the three-dimensional stamps on the occasion of the Children's Book Week is a world first. The special paper architecture changes the 2D character of these two stamps into 3D after pulling out the cardboard slider.
The stamps themselves as well as the front and back of the sheetlet show illustrations of plants, animals and elements that feature in the Children's Book Week Picture Book Hallo! These illustrations were made by Fleur van der Weel. On the part of the stamp that folds out, a bird and a butterfly are pictured taking flight, as it were. The trunk of an elephant and the neck of a giraffe are displayed in the horizontal area underneath.
This stamp is even more special because it can be placed upright. It is a pop-up stamp with a front and a back plus a secret inside.
#4. Bat shaped stamp from Switzerland
In September 2012 the Swiss Post issued a bat shaped stamp to honour the brown long-eared bat – the animal of the year of 2012 in Switzerland. The double print of stamp creates a three-dimensional effect and makes the bat stamp appear lifelike to the human eye.
#5. Stamps for Sami culture from Finland
Sami culture is celebrated with a four-stamp miniature sheet, shaped after the floor plan of the Sami Cultural Centre SAJOS opened in Inari in January 2012. Located by Juutuanjoki River, SAJOS is a center for the Finnish Sami administration and culture where events, congresses and meetings can be organized.
The Sami Culture sheet was illustrates by Sami artist Merja Aletta Ranttila. The layout has been produced by Markku Virtanen from Lapland. The self-adhesive stamps are mountain-shaped. The troll-drum-patterned sheet illustrates the three daughters of the Sami Mother Doddess, a reindeer village and lean-tos.
#6. Visit Iceland stamp with the QR-code
Following the theme set by PostEurop for 2012, the Europa stamps highlighted reasons for visiting the issuing country, in this case Iceland. Deliberations on the best way to communicate visual messages in the terse form of the postage stamp while at the same time introducing Iceland as a tourist attraction resulted in the combination of images and QR-codes. The Icelandic Europa stamps are the first where the motifs, a geyser and the northern lights, are built into the codes. Using QR-codes as barcodes in various media has increased greatly of late.
QR-codes are so-called two-dimensional codes. Thus, they differ from other traditional barcodes which are onedimensional. This means that the QR-codes can store more information than traditional barcodes, for instance URL’s, address cards and even text files.
#7. Embroidered and Paprika Fragranced stamps by Hungary Post
On 6 July 2012, Magyar Posta greeted the 85th Stamp Day – greatest festival for stamp collectors – by issuing unusual stamps. The 80 Ft stamp of the series shows Kalocsa embroidery, while the 130 Ft stamp features a paprika string and part of the exterior of Kaposi's Paprika Museum.
A special feature of the 80 Ft denomination is that its Kalocsa rose motif is real embroidery, while the 130 Ft stamp image with a paprika motif has a layer of paprika fragrance coating which contains the special aroma of paprika sealed in microcapsules.
Besides that, the stamps of the two denominations are arranged tete-beche, i.e. head to tail. Some unique mementos of religious art from the Kalocsa Archiepiscopal Treasury can be seen on the stamp image and the frame drawing of the numbered sheet. A special feature of the sheet is that a so-called Anti-Stokes layer supplemented the offset printing process used on it, thanks to which the stamp emits green light and sound when placed under infra-red light.
#8. Seasons stamps from the Netherlands
With this issue, PostNL gives attention to the 20th anniversary of the popular Seasons magazine. The magazine focuses on readers who like the outdoors.
The stamps portray images of flowers, leaves and fruit, photographed in different seasons. Every stamp has a special code that can be scanned with the corresponding app on a smartphone, after which all information pertaining to activities involving the Seasons anniversary are displayed. The app can be downloaded free of charge at PostNL's website.
#9. Aromatic Flowers – Jasmine stamp from Cyprus
Cyprus post issued a souvenir sheet with one stamp featuring and scenting Jasmine flower thanks to the aromatic varnish used while printing the stamp.
#10. Grapefruit scented postage stamp from French Polynesia
In August 2012 French Polynesia issued a scented stamp featuring grapefruit. The green grapefruit was introduced in Polynesia in 1921 by Harrison W. Smith, the founder of the botanical garden of Papeari.
The grapefruit is particularly rich in vitamin C and also contains vitamin A. Its strong content of vitamin C is an aid to allergy and asthma treatment. Generally it is consumed fresh or squeezed in juice. It is also used in the preparation of raw vegetable salads.
According to the Chinese tradition, as it is practiced in Tahiti, an infusion bath of grapefruit leaves or skin must be taken on the day of the New Chinese Year or on the eve of one’s wedding in order to get protection and revitalize one's body.
This year StampNews.com rewards with a Special Nomination Awards two extraordinary stamps from Croatian Post Mostar - Savings Day - Coins from Daorson and Medjugorje 2012.
Savings Day - Coins from Daorson
In the area of eastern Herzegovina, between Mostar and Stolac to the coast of Trebisnjica River, the Illyrian tribe Daors were inhabited, that had religious, administrative and political center in Osanici near Stolac. Due to its favorable geographical position, between the Adriatic coast and the mountains hinterland, they were engaged in trade. Following the examples of the Adriatic and Ionian coastal cities, they began in the 2nd century to mint their own money. Only 10 copies of Daorson coins have been saved. On the obverse side, a male portrait (god Herm) is shown with the oblong hat, petasos, whose surface is filled with tiny protuberances, with short and combed hair. On the reverse side, a recognizable ship is shown and along the edge the name DAORSON is written in Greek letters. It is probably the representation of the warships of that time. Coins of Daors were cast in bronze, weighing about 5 grams and a diameter of 17 mm.
Paper is adhesive, with blindruck technique, so under the finger you can feel coins from Daorson.
The issue of postage stamp "Medjugorje 2012" is dedicated to one of European's largest Marian shrines, which is visited every year by millions of pilgrims. Croatian post Ltd. Mostar has issued commemorative postage stamp in sheet of 8 stamps, maximum card, postmark and the first day cover.
The stamp is protected with the INFRAREDESIGN security, gilts unique protection, which can be seen only with the IR camera. This unique protection is first time used for postage stamp, and this is only stamp in world with this kind of protection.
StampNews.com was glad to offer its vision of the most extraordinary stamps 2012. Did you compose your own rating of the unusual stamps issued in 2012 or do you have proposals/comments on the stamp rating above or other ratings issued by StampNews.com?
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