Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Odd stamps : 09f hologram stamps

Another - small - contribution to the hologram stamps, goes back to 1999.
The Netherlands issued 2 stamps to honour or promote stamps and stamp collecting.

Set of two stamps of the Netherlands
2 stamps were issued on the topic 'I love stamps' and 'Stamps love me'.
Twice is the word 'LOVE' replaced by a hologram that alternates the words 'LOVE' with heart symbols.
LOVE alternated with ♥♥♥♥
The colours are red, white and blue. And although the stamps look very 'American' to me, they are also the colours of the Dutch flag.

more to follow...

Friday, June 10, 2016

Microstates : 18d MMM (fake)

Somehow it's a pity to waste much time and effort to a fake set of notes, such as the (in)famous Mavrodi biletovs.
However I noticed something so remarkable not so long ago, that I didn't want to hold it back.

In fact, this small article has nothing to do with the previous articles I wrote on Mavrodi's MMM bank shares. And yet, it's a nice way to complete this set of articles.

First of all I have to say tell you that in Belgium (where I live), since a couple of years, the licence plates were renewed.
Since we were running out of combinations with 3 letters and 3 numbers. A new digit was added to the official licence plates. New plates look like "1-ABC-123"
belgian licence plate new style
Together with this is was possible to request a private plate, which started with a 9-.........
However, the system was very successful, and although a private licence plate costed € 1000 each, the demand increased. 
Ok, now comes the funny part.... excluded combinations were 'numbers alone' as they are used for the royal family....
A lot of cars were fined in France for speeding, but the French authorities didn't have the means yet to identify the new belgian licence plates, and could only read 1 - ...... which happens to be the licence plate of our King.....
At the beginning a lot of speeding tickets were sent to the belgian royals...

belgian licence plate of the royal family
One problem solved now.
After a while, the possibility to have any possible combination, replaced the 'old' 9-...... plates, and any combination of 8 digits was possible. (Those plates cost € 2000 ! each).
Again, no offensive names, or numbers alone, or politically inspired names were alowed.
For the rest ...
private plate with one digit
private plate with 6 digits
private plate with 7 digits
And finally.... to come where I started the article ...
This car stopped in front of me at the trafic lights :
MMM - licence plate (Belgium)
I wonder if the car owner is aware of the MMM-banknotes, but if not, he's popluar now.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Odd stamps : 01g Perfumed stamps

According a song, there is an awful lot of coffee in Brazil.
Aparently that much, that there is enough to add fragrance to a stamp issued in 2001.

The stamp shows coffee in 3 varieties.

Brazil coffee stamp 2001

We see on top the coffee as a bean. Cofee beans are red (or green) and become dark after being roasted, s hown on the right hand side of the stamp.
Finally a cup of fresh coffee is added to the design.
coffee beans
roasted coffee beans
I found some useful information on the word 'Coffee' on the internet.

The word "coffee" entered the English language in 1582 via the Dutch koffie, borrowed from the Turkish kahve, in turn borrowed from the Arabic qahwah ( قهوة).
The word qahwah originally referred to a type of wine, whose etymology is given by Arab lexicographers as deriving from the verb qahā (قها, "to lack hunger") in reference to the drink's reputation as an appetite suppressant. The word qahwah is sometimes alternatively traced to the Arabic quwwa ("power, energy"), or to Kaffa, a medieval kingdom in Ethiopia whence the plant was exported to Arabia. These etymologies for qahwah have all been disputed, however. The name qahwah is not used for the berry or plant (the products of the region), which are known in Arabic as bunn and in Oromo as būn. Semitic had a root qhh "dark color", which became a natural designation for the beverage. According to this analysis, the feminine form qahwah (also meaning "dark in color, dull(ing), dry, sour") was likely chosen to parallel the feminine khamr (خمر, "wine"), and originally meant "the dark one" ... thanks Mr. Wikipedia.

The stamp of Brazil has a certain fragrance, but honestly ... it smells more like roasted paper then coffee. Of course, the stamp was issued quite a long time ago, and the fragrance might have vaporised already. I'm a huge coffee drinker, but this smell is so to say ... not my cup of tea.

Coffee art

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Odd stamps : 01f Perfumed stamps

Two things are forever ... Diamonds and... Strawberry Fields!
So far I have no stamps with diamonds so you'll have to do it with strawberry fields.
Well almost ...

In 2011, la Poste (the French postal services) emitted a sheetlet, to honour 'stamps'.
"Fête du Timbre" can be translated as "Stamp Feast".

France 2011 - fête du timbre

The stamp shows a beautiful complete strawberry, while on the side of the sheet, a devided strawberry is depiced, as well as the outlines of a strawberry plant.

A special extra can be found on the back side of the stamp, as the printing is partly repeated on the back side.
France 2011 - fête du timbre - back
Next to a barcode, we see a mirrored image of the full (and half) strawberry on front.
As if two sliced strawberries are depicted, one with the full side towards the front, one towards the backside.

The most remarkable however is the smell of strawberries!

When we take a closer look at the back side of the sheetlet, we see two zones with different printing.
the light blue line (top) shows where the gum is added.
The dark blue line (lower) indicates a zone with fragrance.

Stamps like this are a pleasure to have in your collection, unfortunately the fragrance will dissapear after a while, unless you keep the sheetlet in a sealed environnement.

After all ... only two things are forever... diamonds and strawberry fields ;-)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Odd stamps : 09e hologram stamps

Stamps with holograms aren't issued that often, but Finland issued twice such a set within a couple of years.
The first set I present, was issued in 1992 and represents 3 stamps on technology ande research, european cooperation and Finnish patents.

The background of the stamp's design is rather dull, wires, lines and a machine.
The hologram on the stamp (identical on the three stamps) shows a group of trees, a river and some buildings on the background. Also the letters K.K. apear in the hologram.

A second set of hologram stamps were also issued in Finland, but in 1995.
A booklet of 8 stamps to promote letter writing.

cover of the booklet
The stamps show scenes of letter writing, or postal delivery, through funny animals.
Each of the 8 stamps has a different hologram, showing an animal in a heart shaped background.

booklet of 8 stamps with holograms

stamp 1 - 4
stamp 5 - 8

one of the 8 holograms

Again a nice addition to my collection, and a reason more to start (or continuing) collecting.