Monthly e-Stamp Bulletin edited and published by Jeevan Jyoti from Dehradun.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

RSN August 2011 - Issue No 44


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Date of Issue: 27 July 2011

One-year countdown to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Shimla   August 2011 Issue # 44   Vol. IV

Monthly e-Stamp Bulletin Edited by Jeevan Jyoti for free circulation among philatelists

Readers are requested to send reports of philatelic activities in their area for publication. Short write ups by the readers about their journals, societies, publications and philatelic requirements can be sent for inclusion in this bulletin to or and by post to –

Ms. Jeevan Jyoti, c / o Mr. Ajay Srivastav, Director, Great Himalayan National Park, Shamshi, Distt. Kullu. PIN 175126. (H.P.) India

Note- This bulletin is only for circulation among a limited group of philatelists without any commercial purpose. The bulletin will be sent to the readers only on request. Those who wish to receive it regularly please reply giving the name of your city / country with the subject SUBSCRIBE RAINBOW

Dear Reader,

I am pleased to present here August issue of Rainbow Stamp News . This issue contains a variety of articles and news on different subjects with regular columns. It’s my pleasure to publish the interview of two philatelists from Dehradun, Mr Abhai Mishra and Mr Bhagwati Prasad who have introduced a new theme and section “Antarctic Expedition Covers and post cards” in philately. Though it is not easy to get these covers but if you get it, you will be proud to possess it in your collection. The thrilling story behind the Antarctic covers is narrated by these two  collectors who were also the members of Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica. Another interesting article on an offbeat subject “ When Stamps served as Coins ” by Dr Satyendra Agarwal. I always try to associate philately with everyday life. Dr Avinash Jagtap has made a bridge between philatelists and non philatelists with his series of articles based on his observation and study on old letters and postcards . I am thankful to all the distinguished contributors of this newsletter  who made it a Rainbow of philatelic subjects. A number of small and big exhibitions  are ahead. Best wishes to all participants ………Just enjoy this issue and send your feedback.

Till Next Month ………Happy collecting !

                                                                                                                                       …. Jeevan Jyoti


clip_image001 Recent Indian Issues

clip_image001[1] In The News

clip_image001[2] Interview

clip_image001[3] Beginners’ Section

clip_image001[4] Specialized Section

clip_image001[5] Something of interest, also for non-philatelists

clip_image001[6] New Issues from Other Countries

clip_image001[7] Reader’s Right

clip_image001[8] Philatelic Library

clip_image001[9] Philatelic Clubs and Societies

clip_image001[10] Blogs & Websites on Philately

clip_image001[11] The Lighter Side

clip_image001[12] Promotional Section

clip_image001[13] Current Philatelic Magazines – Newsletters

clip_image001[14] Editor’s Mail Box

Recent Indian Issues

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clip_image001[15] 7 May : Rabindranath Tagore - 2 Stamps

clip_image001[16] 25 May : 2nd Africa – India Forum Summit 2011 –Rs 5 & Rs 25 + MS

clip_image001[17] 6 July : Dr D S Kothari – Rs 5

clip_image001[18] 8 July : United Theological college , Bangalore – Rs 5

clip_image001[19] 21 July : Vitthal Sakharam Page – Rs 5

clip_image001[20] 28 July : Kasu Brahmananda Reddy – Rs 5

2011 revised Stamp Issue programme of India Post is available at following link.


Special Cover – Postmark

7 April 2011 Wind Power India, Chennai

1 May 2011 : 25 Years of Papal Visit to Thrissur

9 May 2011 : 150th Birth Anniversary of Tagore – Patna

May 2011 Indo Sri Lanka joint special cover on Tagore

4 June 2011Loyalla School, Trivandrum

18 June 2011 Centenary Celebrations of M. George Muthoot , Ernakulam

20 June 2011 : 10th foundation day of Cancer Aid & Research Foundation- Maharashtra & Goa circle

6 June 2011 : Gaiety Theatre, Shimla

25 June 2011 : 200 Years Celebration of Hazratganj , Lucknow


11 July 2011 : Golden Jubilee of Sainik School, Kapurthala


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Pictorial Cancellations

A pictorial Cancellation will be provided on Dinosaur park at Munchehagen, Germany featuring Dinosaur on 30 July 2011. On August 11th   a pictorial cancellation will be provided   featuring the prehistoric  bird ARCHAEOPTERYX   at the post office  Eichstätt , Germany. These pictorial  postmarks are available from Mr. Wolfgang Beyer, Member of Staff   from the  Philatelic group ArGe ZOOLOGIE . Email :

Read More …

In The News


Tagore exhibition in Cairo

To commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC), Embassy of India, Cairo, in cooperation with the Foreign Cultural Relations Sector and the Fine Arts Sector of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture has organized  exhibition related to Tagore which was inaugurated on 5 July, 2011 by H.E Dr Emad Abou Ghazi, the Egyptian Minister of Culture and H.E Mr R.Swaminathan, Ambassador of India at El Bab Gallery at the Opera House Complex. ‘A Philatelic Exhibition on Tagore’ consists of 20 panels of commemorative stamps and other rare philatelic objects issued by the postal departments of around 20 foreign countries on Rabindranath Tagore. Some of these items are more than a century old and belong to private collectors in India. Mr Sekhar Chakrabarti, whose collection has been displayed  in this exhibition, is the curator of the show at Cairo. The other collection on Tagore, displayed in the exhibition is of Mr Moloy Sarkar of Kolkata.


Indian Errors major interest at SG Auction

Stanley Gibbons June auction demonstrates the strength of Indian and Chinese stamps with a bidding frenzy for rare Indian errors and 60% of China lots selling for double estimate or more.

15th June saw collectors and investors from across the globe focusing their attention on the Stanley Gibbons bi-annual public auction, held at 399 Strand, London as more than 1000 world lots went under the hammer.

Starting with foreign countries, the auction got off to a strong start with all Chinese lots finding buyers. More than 60% of Chinese lots went for double or more their pre-auction estimate including lot 19; the ever popular 1964 Chinese Peonies 2y miniature sheet (SG MS2199a) fine u/m, which sold for £2,760.

The highlight of the foreign section however, was lot 57; A 1862 (April 9) Neapolitan Provinces cover to Glasgow franked with the 1861 1g, 2g, 5g and 20g which were cancelled by two Napoli al Porto cds’s. This superb quadruple franking cover with two other covers sold for £16,100 after a long battle between room and telephone bidders.

The highlight from the British Commonwealth offering was a very strong section of India, where errors were strongly fought over. Lot 271, a 1976 Wildlife 25p with black omitted (SG 825a) fine u/m with a catalogue value of £500, reached £1,610, but this was quickly outshone by the very next lot; a 1992 Birds of Prey error of value (SG 1525a) fresh and fine u/m which realised £11,500 against a catalogue value of just £1,000.

The Great Britain session held in the afternoon saw lot 1092, a collection of approximately 350 RAF Covers in seven volumes, most being signed by such as William Reid VC, Douglas Bader and Sir Barnes Wallis, realising more than double its pre-auction estimate, at £2,530.

Interestingly for a philatelic auction, one of the final items to go under the hammer, lot 1183, a mixed accumulation of coins, achieved more than five times its pre auction estimate, selling for £506.

Source: Stanley Gibbons


Postage stamp design competition 2012 by Lithuania Post

All residents of Lithuania and other countries, irrespective of their age or education, may participate in the postage stamps design competition 2012 and submit their works responding to the themes announced.

The designs of the postage stamps to be issued in the first half of 2012 must be submitted to the jury before 19 September 2011. The designs of the postage stamps, which will be issued in the second half of the year, are expected to reach the organizers of the competition before 21 November 2011.

The themes of all postage stamps and souvenir sheets 2012, the details of the competition, information on the awards of winning designs and etc. can be found here.

For More details.. Click

The newest stamp issuing  country – South Sudan

On July 9 2011,South Sudan becomes the youngest state in the world. The UN Security Council recommended to General Assembly on July 13, 2011 that the Republic of South Sudan join the UN, bringing the new nation one step closer to becoming the body’s 193rd member state.

New stamps for South Sudan

JUBA, 13 July 2011 – New postage stamps have been launched for the new Republic of South Sudan.

According to Brigadier General (Rtd) Elijah Biar Kuol, the Director General for Administration and Finance in the Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services, 100,000 copies of the stamps have already been distributed to all the states of South Sudan.He said the focus will be in the rural areas where more than 80 percent of the citizens of the Republic of South Sudan live.


Samples of the stamps

Blue ‘Post Office ; Mauritius sells for $1.69 million in London


Campaign To Honor Bruce Lee on a US Postage Stamp in 2012


The Bruce Lee website, run by his daughter Shannon Lee, has launched a campaign to honor Bruce Lee on a US postage stamp in 2012, the Year of the Dragon.

As per the website:

“Bruce Lee’s contributions to history as a prominent Chinese American person are both unique and unforgettable, a lasting and positive legacy worthy of national commemoration. Even before he became an American icon in the 1970s, his ideals were the same principles on which our great country is based. Determination. Innovation. Equality. We believe a Bruce Lee United States postage stamp would be an excellent way to support these ideals and to honor his lasting legacy and contributions.

The process, however, is a difficult one that cannot be accomplished without your help. In order to get Bruce Lee’s candidacy on the Selection Committee’s radar, we need as much public support as is possible. Also, our goal is to have Bruce Lee selected to be honored with a United States postage stamp for 2012 (the Year of the Dragon), so we need to assemble as much support as we can as quickly as we can.”

You can support the Bruce Lee stamp by sending a letter or by submitting your support online.

Forthcoming International Stamp Exhibitions..



IPHLA 2012

Specialized International Exhibition for Philatelic Literature

IPHLA 2012 : A specialised exhibition for Philatelic Literature is going to be held  from 2 to 4 Nov.2012 in the town hall of Mainz (Germany). This exhibition will  be held under the patronage of FEPA & AIJP but some non European countries are also invited by them and India is also one of them.

Any author, journalist or publisher can apply for participation at IPHLA 2012 Mainz with one or more exhibits (print, static-digital like CD/DVD or a website) on condition he/she is a member of the BDPh or an association affiliated with FIP or FEPA. The application must arrive on time on the entry form provided fort his purpose ( Exhibit Entry Forms ).

Applications for ‘IPHLA 2012’ can be submitted until February 1,2012.

The basis of the binding application is the different regulations currently provided by the BDPh. Any applicant is urgently advised to take note of these regulations, especially of the special regulations for IPHLA 2012 Mainz , which he agrees to by signing his application.


Please go through website  For any information please contact to Mr. Wolfgang Massen, Email :


INDONESIA 2012: International Philatelic exhibition will  be held under the patronage of FIP from 18 to 24 June 2012 at Jakarta Convention Center.

PCI has nominated Mr. S. Sahoo, as Commissioner for India. His address is:- D-3, BJB Nagar, Bhubanshwar 751 014 Email: Mob:9337103542


THAILAND 2013, International Philatelic exhibition will be held in Thailand from 2 to 14 August 2013 in Bangkok, under the patronage of FIP.

PCI has nominated Mr. R D Binani as Commissioner for India, his address :33-B Rowland Road, Kolkata 700 020  E mail : Mob:9830073058


China 2011 - 27th Asian International Philatelic Exhibition

The 27th Asian International Stamp Exhibition China 2011, co-sponsored by State Post Bureau, Jiangsu Government, China Post and All-China Philatelic Federation, will be held in Wuxi Taihu International Exposition Center from November 11 to November 15, 2011. This exhibition will be a large international stamp culture exchange activity. held in China after the 2009 World Stamp Exhibition.

Jointly organized by the State Post Bureau, China Post Group Corporation, All-China Philatelic Federation and the Jiangsu provincial government, the event will display 1,300 precious stamps from 26 Inter-Asia Philatelic Federation members.

The five-day event will also feature exhibitions of stamp designs, forums on stamp collecting and auctions of precious stamps, the Wuxi city government said in a statement. Additionally, the exhibition will offer activities showing visitors how stamps are created.

The exhibition's executive committee has kicked off a national youth competition on stamp designs and some of the best designs will be on display during the event.

Exhibition Date: November 11 – 15, 2011, will run for five days.

National Commissioner : Dr RS Gandhi, Patna

Email :  Venue : Taihu International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Organizers: the State Post Bureau, Jiangsu Provincial People's Government, the China Post Group Corporation, China National Philatelic Federation. Website : China 2011


PHILANIPPON 2011: World Stamp Exhibition

Date : July 28 – August 2, 2011

National Commissioner : Anil Suri

Email :

Venue : Pacifico Yokohama, Exhibition Hall.1-1-1.1 Minatomirai Nishi-ku, Yokohama 220-0012, Japan

Patronage : Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP)

Auspices : Federation of Inter-Asian Philately (FIAP)

World Philatelic Exhibition at Jakarta

Philatelists Association of Indonesia (PFI) will hold the World Philatelic Exhibition (World Stamp Exhibition) themed Indonesia 2012 from 18 to 24 June 2012 at the Jakarta Convention Centre Jakarta.

The exhibition titled "Bridge to the World of Peace Through Stamps" (Bridging To The World of Peace Through Stamp) is aimed to enhance friendship among philatelists the world as one share of world peace. Included in order to promote philately in all its aspects.

"Indonesia 2012" is expected to become the largest philatelic exhibition ever held in Indonesia. Earlier, Indonesia has successfully conducted philatelic exhibitions in Asia-Pacific three times, namely "Indopex '93" in Surabaya (1993), "Jakarta '95" in Jakarta (1995), and "Jakarta 2008" in Jakarta (2008). Indonesia has also been a world philatelic exhibition organizers specifically for teens class "Indonesia '96" in Bandung (1996). 

India Post inaugurates National Philatelic Museum

New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) The Department of Posts (DoP) Monday inaugurated the National Philatelic Museum which will exhibit rare postage stamps from across the world and also provide a platform to philatelists to exhibit their collections.


‘The museum will provide enhanced and interactive platform for promoting philately and will stimulate interest for stamp collection among children,’ Radhika Doraiswamy, secretary Department of Posts, told reporters here.

The museum will be open Mondays to Fridays — it will also be open on Saturdays for school groups on request. It will have an entry fee but the amount has yet not been decided. ‘There will be a nominal entry fee,’ said Doraiswamy.

The museum has bays dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi and the prime ministers of India, along with freedom fighters. It also has stamps on several themes such as science and technology, transport and wildlife.

There are stamps from abroad, and displays from the Army Postal Service and India Security Press, Nashik.

The museum also has an amphitheatre for talk shows and presentations along with a reference library. In the artists corner, the department has showcased the actual designing of a stamp and also plans to invite artists from time to time to give live demonstrations.

Forthcoming Exhibitions in India

Aug 5-7: Coimbatore, Coin Stampex

Venue: Kamalam Duraisamy Hall, Ram Nagar, Near Gandhipuram Central Bus Stand

Timings: 9.30 am to 9.30 pm

Organizers: Coimbatore District Numismatic & Philatelic Association

Contact: C Palaneswamy 09486923558

Oct 7-9: Chennai, SIPEX'11 Philatelic Exhibition

Venue: LITE Air conditioned Hall, 17 Balfour Road, Kilpauk, Chennai 600010

Adjacent to Nagappa Motors, Diagonally Opposite to ICICI Bank

Organizers: South India Philatelists' Association, Chennai

Contact: Amarchand 09840156410

For Prospectus and entry forms visit :

Last date for submitting entry forms : 20 Serptember 2011

Stamps of India National Exhibition Nov 3-6: New Delhi

Venue: NSIC Exhibition Complex, Okhla Industrial Estate, Govindpuri Metro Station

Timings: 11am to 7 pm Organizers: Stamps of India Contact:


THRISSURPEX 2011 Philatelic & Numismatic Exhibition

Nov 18-20: Thrissur, Organizers: Philatelic Club Thrissur

Venue: Pandy Samooha Madom Hall

Contact: C J Vincent, 0 98470 21886

News from Philatelic Societies

Seminar on ‘Modern Trends of Philately’

Seminar on ‘Modern Trends of Philately’  was organized by Philatelic Society of Rajasthan on  31 July 2011 at  St Xavier’s School , Jaipur. It was inaugurated by Shri Rajeev Singh,Chief Postmaster General , Rajasthan Circle. Digital Presentaions were given on Virtual Philately by Mr Yogesh Bhatnagar and and  Philately E-Trade by Dr Rakesh Thapar .

Founder member of Karnataka Philatelic Society passed away…

Mr C N Narasimha Murthy a founder member of the Karnataka Philatelic Society and Senior Philatelist from Bangalore passed away  on 27th June 2011. He was a renowned philatelist and  had worked on various posts of the Karnataka Philatelic Society . May his Soul rest in peace.  Our deepest Condolences to his family members.

Poster Stamp Festival

Stamp Festival by West Delhi Philatelic Society

West Delhi Philatelic Society is going to organize a stamp Festival in Delhi from 24 – 25 September 2011 at Ambedkar Bhawan, Rani Jhansi Road ( Opp. Babu Samaj Seva Kendra) New Delhi. For more details Mr Vinod Sabharwal may be contacted at email : or  Ph : 9818148338, 9810241363

Special Cover on Anandilal Podar to be released on 30 July

A special cover will be released in Kolkata on 30th July  on ANNANDI LALL PODDAR, mayor of Calcutta in early 40's and a leading businessman of his time.Shri Anandilal Podar was an associate of Mahatma Gandhi. Shri Podar not only contributed liberally to sustain the Freedom movement but also endeavored upliftment of poor having put himself on the mission of education of the mass. Shri. Podar in 1921 establishment Anandilal Education Society now called Anandilal Podar Trust. He was the founder member of Podar Enterprise.

Interesting news about the cover is the number to be printed, 10,000. It is perhaps the largest number of special cover to be released in India on a single issue. The cover has been designed by Mr Souvik Roy of Kolkata. Mr Souvik Roy may be contacted for this special Cover. email :

Souvik Roy is a noted philatelist of Kolkata and has prepared a specialized collection on  Tagore Theme. Recently  a  Philatelic Exhibition on Tagore was held at  Rabindranath Tagore Centre in Kolkata organised by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, Ministry of External Affairs, Govt of India. The exhibits of  Sekhar Chakrabarti, Moloy Sarkar  and Souvik Roy were displayed  in this exhibition.

Zeppelin collectors meet at Stamp Show in Columbus, OH on Friday, 12 August 2011. The meeting starts at 2 p.m. For further details, see here:


Interview with Abhai Mishra and Bhagwati Prasad

In this issue meet with two philatelists of Dehradun who participated in Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica. Abhai Mishra is a noted philatelist and well known in philatelic community for his wonderful collection on Antarctic Expedition and his book ( co-authored with Mr Rajesh Verma) “Uttarakhand-A Philatelic Journey” published by Uttarakhand Postal Circle. Mr Bhagwati Prasad is a stamp lover and an amateur philatelist who holds the record for the longest stay in Antarctica at a stretch by an Indian (492 days). Here they tell their thrilling experiences of the Antarctica Expedition and how they associated it with philately. A very interesting story which every philatelist would be keen to know…..a great experience…. a new branch …a new idea to make philately possible at the remotest place you can never think of …It is my pleasure to publish here the interviews of Mr Abhai Mishra and Mr Bhagwati Prasad  and a special article “FIRST INDIAN EXPEDITION TO SOUTH POLE” by them Editor

Abhai Abhai Mishra is a defense scientist by profession and an amateur philatelist. He was a member of XXI (2002-03) Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica. His philatelic interests include early Antarctic expedition postcards (1890-1950), Indian Antarctic Expeditions and Uttarakhand Postal History. He is the author of the book “Uttarakhand-A Philatelic Journey” published by Uttarakhand Postal Circle. His exhibit on Indian Antarctic Expedition has been awarded at World Philatelic Exhibition, Spain, National Philatelic Exhibition, Chennai, Stampmania and SINE. He actively participates in spreading philately among youngsters and at grass root level. Being an ardent Nature photographer, he has designed scores of special covers and cancellations. Mr Abhai Mishra may be contacted at email :

Q1. When did you start collecting stamps??? How were you introduced to this hobby ??

A1. I started collecting stamps when I was studying in class-II of St. Joseph School, Allahabad. My elder brothers Ajai Mishra and Anadi Mishra inculcated this hobby as they themselves were keen stamp collectors.

Q2 . What is your favorite branch of philately ? In thematics what are your topics of interest ?

A2. My favorite branch is Thematics. To name a few, I collect Indian Antarctic Expeditions, Early Antarctic Expedition Postcards (1890-1950), Uttarakhand, Scientists on Indian stamps and Covers from unusual places.

Q3. Tell your experience as a member of Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica. As a philatelist how did you associate it with philately? You have prepared a specialized collection of Antarctic Expedition Covers and post cards? Is there any facility at Maitri to provide cancellation during special Indian expeditions ?

A3. People around me knew that I love collecting stamps. Some of my friends, who went to Antarctica, sent me letters from the icy continent. The cachets and postmarks on the cover always fascinated me. The to and fro distance covered by the letter from Antarctica is approximately 25000 Km. It travels all sort of conveyance modes – railways/aero plane/ship/helicopter/snow vehicles and might take a year to reach its destination. I got the opportunity to go to Antarctica as communication officer in the twenty-first Indian Antarctic Expedition (2002). At that time I was not very serious about Antarctic Philately. After reaching Indian station Maitri, I saw hundreds of covers from all over the world waiting to be serviced at Maitri B.O. I posted around 40 letters from Maitri to known/unknown philatelists in India. When I came back, I tried to find philatelist collecting Indian Antarctica. To my surprise there were very few. Then I decided that lets go for it. It took 6-7 years in building the collection. Though I have hundred of covers of various Antarctic stations but my exhibit is specialized on “Indian Antarctic Expeditions”. There is a branch office at “Maitri” under the aegis of North Goa Post Office. As a custom it opens on Republic Day (26th January) and you can get cancellation of that day. One of the team members is designated as honorary postmaster, who takes care of the post office business as additional responsibility. The ship goes to Maitri once in a year and hence the mail is also cleared yearly. That is why it is a bit difficult to get Antarctic covers.

Q4. You have also written a book  (co - authored with Mr Rajesh Verma) on Uttarakhand Postal History ? What prompted you to work in this field ??

abhai 2

A4. I always enjoy inculcating the hobby of stamp collecting in children. Whenever I get time, I take workshop in schools around Dehradun. I found that children associate everything with their immediate surroundings. So I made an exhibit on Uttrakhand for the children. They were excited to see stamps on IMA, Doon Railways etc. Over the time period this exhibit exploded to whopping 6 frames. Mrs Suneeta Trivedi, then CPMG gave the idea, why not put it in the form of book. She also tried to associate Mr. Robert Keeling, the legendary writer from the Doon valley. But, somehow the idea was not kicked off and later Mr. Keeling also passed away. When Mr. Vivek Kaul became the CPMG, he with Mr. Sanjay Singh, DPS, again toyed with the idea of having a philatelic book on Uttarakhand. One fine day he called me and said, I have funds and I want the book in next twenty days. We worked hard and finally produced the book. My only condition was that the book should be sold at cost price and there should not be any premium. Mr. Kaul honored my demand and the book was published by the Uttarakhand Postal Circle.

Q5. Give your opinion about one Frame exhibit class in the exhibitions ? This class needs to be promoted or abolished ?

OFE was introduced for those topics which were hard to cover in more than one frame. It is a sort of highly specialized form of display. Problem arises when we use it for compacting larger exhibits. This violates the rule. We should use it wisely and judiciously. I can very well make a 5 frame exhibit on Indian Antarctic Expeditions so I should avoid using OFE. But if I want to display only the activities of single expedition then OFE comes to rescue. This is one side of the OFE. There are other sides also. In district level exhibitions there is always dearth of frames. We want to accommodate large number of aspiring philatelist hence we use OFE. Though this is technically incorrect, but it serves a larger purpose, so in my opinion there is no harm in it. There is yet another angle which is rather interesting. I wanted to send my exhibit in World Exhibition, Spain. I was not keen in spending the whopping fee for five frames, so I cleverly compacted it using the name “Milestones of Indian Antarctic Expedition”. The organizers accepted it because the milestones of 25 year history cannot go beyond 16 pages, and the best part was that I got a bronze also. I feel that OFE should be promoted; only thing is that its scope should be clearly defined at different level of exhibitions so that we can use it for the larger cause “PROMOTING PHILATELY AT ALL LEVELS”.

Q6. Today the hobby of stamp collecting has become more or less commercial. What is your opinion “most of the people take up this hobby for pleasure or for investment ??”

A6. I disagree with the notion that the hobby of stamp collecting has become more or less commercial. We should see philately in totality. The three major elements are Collector, Post Office and Dealers. We can consider it the three vertices of an equilateral triangle in the state of equilibrium. All three are interdependent and no-body can part away with other. The problem arises when the equilibrium is disturbed and the triangle becomes scalene. Now the big question is how to balance it again. Considering the past history I feel that this triangle is self-correcting and it regains equilibrium on its own. But that might take some time, and during that period chaos prevails, which is the present situation. We should have strong functioning philatelic associations in the country with mass representation. They can device checks and see that the equilibrium is maintained as soon as possible.

The answer to the second question lies in my previous explanation. If the collectors vertex is weighted you will see collectors growing. If the dealer’s vertex is weighted, they will obviously inculcate more investors. We should not take the two entities as complimenting factors rather they supplement each other. You just cannot sell anything if there are no buyers in the market. Only thing is that in order to maintain the balance the third factor, i.e. the Post Office and the Associations should play active and constructive role.

Q7.Last but not the least share your most memorable moment of your philatelic journey with the readers....... Any rare philatelic item you got by mere chance or any special memories of a philatelic event.....

A7. I consider myself extremely lucky in the sense that I have large number of philatelic friends in India and abroad. I would like to share with the Rainbow readers one of my cherished moments (there are lot many more). After coming from Antarctica, I was in the process of building my collection. I was not able to get hand on the covers of first & second Indian Expedition and they kept eluding me. One fine day I got a letter from a retired German post-master. Inside the letter there were some euros in cash with the request of sending one cover of my expedition. I was a bit annoyed to see the euros. But anyway, I returned the euros to him with one of my cover asking him politely not to do such thing again. I also placed a request that if he knew any dealer in Germany I would like to procure covers of first and second expedition. After that I forgot the incident. May be after a month or so I got a letter from him and when I opened it, there were the two required covers. Since that day we are good friends and keep exchanging covers.

abhai 3

I would like to share one of interesting covers which has travelled Arctic and Antarctic both. It originated from Nalunao Gold Mines, Greenland in Arctic (Dec-2004) and was sent to my friend Soren in Denmark. He sent the cover to me (Nov-2005). It was then carried to Antarctica with the 25th expedition (postmarked 26 Jan 2006) and came back again to India (April 2006).

Bhagwati Prasad

image Bhagwati Prasad Semwal : (VU3BPZ/EX-AT10BP) participated thrice in Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica during 2000-2002, 2004-2006 and 2009-2011 as communication officer. He holds the record for the longest stay in Antarctica at a stretch by an Indian (492 days, from 19 Nov 2009

to 23 March 2011). He is HAM (amateur radio) and philatelist. He ran the special event call sign AT10BP allowed by Ministry of Communication & IT for special ham activity from Indian base Maitri. He is the only Indian to receive the World Antarctic award for his work in ham radio activities from Antarctica. By profession he is a Technical Officer with Defense R&D Organization. Mr Bhagwati Prasad may be contacted at email :

Q1. You have spent a lot of time in Antarctica, holding a record for the longest stay by an Indian in Antarctica. It must be a tough time for you. Share your experience with the readers.

A1. Antarctica is an amazing part of the earth. The continent is surrounded by ocean with extreme hostile weather conditions. Antarctica is an experimental test bed for scientific community as most of the area is still virgin and pristine.

I am lucky to get opportunity for working in Antarctica for so many years. It is really challenging and tough for a polar man to work during long wintering periods. To survive in long polar nights, that too in isolation, one needs to be always in high spirits and positive frame of mind. The polar night is 62 day long from 20 May to 22 July. The location of Maitri station is 70 degree South and 11 degree East. The outside temperature during winters reaches -25 degree Celsius. The wind is very strong and if you include the wind chill factor this further drops to -55 degree Celsius. The expedition normally reaches Antarctica in December when there is summer. At that time it is 24 hours day. Most of the experimental work is carried out during summers. For conveyance we use helicopters and snow vehicles (called piston bulleys). The summer contingent starts back to homeland by March end leaving the wintering contingent. Wintering period is from April to November. Around 20 people live during winter time in the station, cut-off from the outer world, maintaining the scientific experimental setups. Antarctic weather is highly unpredictable. The weather changes so fast that during 3-4 months of summer, we have to do the field work in short windows of good weather immaculately. We use special type of polar dresses for keeping us protected. The UV rays are so intense during summer that one cannot open his eyes without UV glasses.

India is signatory to the Antarctic treaty and enjoys the consultative status. As per the treaty we are very careful in maintaining the Antarctic Environment. All the garbage and human waste is returned back to India for disposal. In Maitri scientific research is carried out in the field of Metrology, Geo-Magnetism, Geology, Seismology, Snow science to name a few.

In wintering period less outside activities are there due to long polar nights and strong blizzards, but we are required to maintain the routine power for station, boiler room and water supply .The generators are our life line in Antarctica. They run on special ATF as other fuels freezes easily. Fire is also a big hazard. Due to high wind speed and totally dry air it is next to impossible to diminish a fire breakout. We are extra cautious for it.

Food supply comes once in a year with the ship. The first station was constructed during the third expedition on the ice-shelf itself named Dakshin Gangotri. It has now sunk deep inside the ice and is abandoned. The new station Bharti is under construction which is approximately 2500 Km (68 deg. South, 77 deg. East) away from Maitri.

Russian station “NOVOLASKAYA” is 4.5 km from Maitri. They operate air base during summers where Russian and ALCC aircraft lands. Now a day’s most of the scientists come by air from Cape Town. Earlier we used to directly sail from Goa, and it took almost one month to reach Antarctica. But the fuel, ration, equipments etc. still come with the ship.

As a communication officer our job is very demanding because we have to maintain the satellite and radio communication 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Availability of limited spare parts, low temperatures, and regular disorientation of the antennas due to high wind speed makes the job difficult. But I thoroughly enjoyed my job and would like to visit Antarctica if given chance. Our Lab DEAL (Defence Electronics Applications Laboratory) is forerunner in providing the Antarctic Communication and I am proud to be associated with it.

Q2. When did you enter the hobby of stamp collecting ?

A2. Since childhood I was attracted with stamps. But frankly speaking I am not a very serious philatelist. It is just fun and General Knowledge for me. Abhai Mishra sir always encourages and guides me in making exhibits for myself and my children as he does with everyone else.

Q3. What type of philatelic items did you manage to prepare during Antarctica expedition ?

A3. I had been honorary post master at Maitri. People from India and around the world send hundred of covers for getting franked at Maitri. Beside Maitri B.O. regular CDS every expedition is provided with new cachets. Expedition members also carry their department/personal cachets with them. I must admit that getting so many covers stamped is an uphill task but we somehow manage it sparing time from our main activities. Helicopter and Ship also carry their postmarks which we can get on the covers by requesting them. Sometimes scientists visiting from other bases also carry cachets which we get on the covers. That is why the Antarctic covers have wide variety of postmarks and cachets.

Q.4 Do you have specific philatelic interest in particular theme or collect any topic that attracts you ?

A4. I have scores of HAM friends in Antarctica as well as around the world. We exchange stamps and covers. I collect whatever comes in my way. I have an exhibit on Antarctic QSL cards.

Q5 As you are associated with radio ham, tell about the special event call at maîtri.

A5. HAM (Amateur Radio) activities are very useful from Antarctica as it is absolutely free in contrast to satellite phone calls which are very costly. If you have HAM radio call sign you can chat freely with lot of HAM friend around the globe. As HAM operates in HF frequency band it is very much affected by sunlight and weather conditions. Due to different time zones in various countries we have to optimize the short window for communication. It is very interesting. 


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Bhagwati Prasad, inside the Maitri Radio Room

I was awarded my personal call sign VU3BPZ in 2005. Later in 2010 I got special event call sign AT10BP, allowed by Ministry of Communication & IT to operate from Indian scientific base “MAITRI” in Antarctica seeing my interest in HAM activities. It was a big honor for me. I made about 80 country contacts but it fell short of my desire of making 100 contacts from Indian Antarctic station.

Q6 Describe the pleasure of stamp collecting in your own words.

A6. Stamps fascinate me as tiny ambassador of their country. It is a pastime and fun for me. It helps me in releasing my job pressure. I am not a hardcore, technically sound philatelist but I simply love and enjoy stamp collecting, I am just a simple man. Jai Hind and Jai Badri Vishaal.


- Abhai Mishra and Bhagwati Prasad

One hundred years back in circa 1911 it was the team led by Norwegian Roald Amundsen and British Robert Falcon Scott who raced for the Geographic South Pole. Roald Amundsen and its team reached South Pole on 14 Dec 1911 and returned back to tell the world about the unique feat while the team of Scott reached pole on 17 Jan 1912 but perished while coming back. To mark the centenary of that historic event, India sent its first expedition to South Pole, led by Sh. Rasik Ravindra, Director NCAOR. The other members of team included Mirza Javed Beg, a geologist, Thamban Meloth, an ice-core drilling expert, Ajay Dhar, a geophysicist, Dr. Pradip Malhotra, a central government doctor, Ashit Kumar Swain, a geologist, Krishna Murthy and Surat Singh, as technical experts. The feat was carried during the XXX (2010-2012) Indian Scientific expedition to Antarctica.

The South Pole expedition team started their traverse to Pole on 13th November 2010, at 09:00 am after a small function held at Maitri. Subsequently, the four Arctic trucks (Hilux) carrying the entire expedition team along with the luggage and equipments started their travel to South Pole. The team also included four supportive staff from ALCI (two ice truck drivers and two Icelanders).

The team was equipped with dual frequency ground penetrating radar, shallow ice coring machine, digital flux-gate magnetometer, vehicle mounted weather station and a video camera. The team also carries polar clothing, generators, cooking utensils, ropes, batteries - everything needed for the 40 plus day journey to South Pole.

The team reached the position of 90°S and 0°W on 21st November 2010, where 360 degree lines of longitude collide and which is the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth. The team covered a total distance of almost 2240km during their traverse to pole. The team camped at South Pole, where the ice thickness is almost 3000 m. The expedition team hoisted Indian flag at South Pole.

The team collected short ice cores, geographical and meteorological data from South Pole to study the changes in climate patterns that have taken place in the Antarctica over the past.


The expedition route to the South Pole.

The expedition team started their return journey from South Pole on 24th November after 3 days camping at the pole. The camping location was at an altitude of 2835m and weather was extremely cold and harsh because of the wind chill effect.The team collected atmospheric aerosol data and drilled short ice cores from pole and surrounding area even in extreme climatic condition. The team also conducted GPR survey to study bed rock topography and sub-surface ice structure near the pole.


Cover carried with the first south-pole expedition. It was sent from Maitri and came to India. The route is not clear. The cancellation bears “KUKA ??”. Most probably it was sent paquebot, through some other country expedition team.

Members of India’s first South Pole expedition team reached Maitri from South Pole on 1st December 2010 after successful completion of their traverse to South Pole. They were accorded a grand ceremonial welcome at Maitri and warmly greeted by leaders and wintering members of XXIX and XXX Indian Antarctic Expedition.


Official label of the first south-pole expedition (navy-blue and blue).



Official cover of the first Indian Scientific Expedition to South Pole. It was carried to the South Pole, and is signed by the expedition team members. At the back it is cancelled through Maitri CDS 13 Nov 2010 (day when expedition left Maitri) and 01 Dec 2010 (when expedition came back to Maitri).

Beginners’ Section

What is a FOREVER Stamp ?

- Dr Hemant V. Kulkarni

image A 'FOREVER' stamp is a postage stamp in the United States that is valid for 'First-Class' mail envelope (comparable to one used in India with a Rs. 5 stamp) weighing up to 1 Oz or 28g no matter when it is used within mailing in 50 states of this vast country that includes offshore states of Hawaii and Alaska. Every additional 1 Oz costs only 17 Cents. By concept, once purchased, a forever stamp is a perpetual stamp that never expires or declines in value.
The U.S. Postal Service submitted a proposal in May 2006 to the U.S. Postal Rate Commission to create a forever stamp beginning in 2007. The proposal was approved and forever stamps went on sale in April of 2007 ('Liberty Bell' being the very first). Forever stamps are sold at the First-Class Mail Stamp postage rate in effect at the time they are purchased. They can also be used for postage for mail sent from the United States to an international destination too, although that would require additional postage. Currently first class rate is 44 C. For a larger size envelope weighing up to 1 Oz, one has to affix an extra 10 Cent stamp as these must be hand cancelled by a postal employee. In short, if you buy a 'Forever' stamp today, you'll be paying 44 Cents for it and that stamp would be honored for First Class mailing for generations to come despite any price increases in rates down the road. Thus, it's wise to purchase as many you can afford and lock in the first class price at the moment.

Effective from this year, USPS has decided to issue all of its First Class stamps in this manner without mentioning its value with a number. Thus, seeing 44C on a stamp is now history. Needless to say, his same stamp would cost higher at the postal window from the day USPS increases its rates and it does because of the inflation and decreasing usage of its services. In conclusion, the advantages of a forever stamp to the consumer include the ability to stock up on first class postage at the current rate and use them until the supply is exhausted. As postage rates change, it is no longer necessary to buy two or three cent stamps to add to the old postage stamp. For most consumers, the greatest advantage of a forever stamp is convenience.

First FOREVER stamp (Liberty Bell) did bear the two words 'First Class' on it but from now on these would be permanently eliminated as unnecessary.

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Other than the FOREVER stamps, USPS has issued two funds raising First Class mail stamps that show the words 'First Class' on them and today they would cost 55 cents instead of the regular 44 cents (difference of extra 11 Cents goes to support Breast Cancer Research or '911' tragedy related causes). These are called 'Semi Postal' issues .

Specialized Section


image By Naresh Agarwal

Contd…from the last


Quarantine stations in southern Europe were originally called lazarettos. These stations were the places where the infected human, cattle, goods, packages, mail etc. were detained, treated and after the goods were decontaminated or the persons were healed of the disease they suffered / infected under supervision of the health authorities and their clearance and certification , they were sent to the final destination. The period was never specified for such detainment or quarantine.

The quarantine stations / places were made outside far away from the townships or at distant banks, islands to check spread of any virus, epidemic or contagious disease carried by the incoming ship through the man and material it carried. These could be temporary housing, temporary hospitals but were made in isolation.


Quarantine Station, 1900



As described above, quarantine is voluntary or compulsory isolation, typically to contain and stop the spread of something considered dangerous, often but not always disease. Though the word quarantine, in fact means forty days isolation applied to humans, cattle, goods, mail, packages etc. but this period could be very long as un till the person was healed properly and there was no threat to others, and might be very short, such as in the case of a suspected anthrax attack, in which persons were allowed to leave as soon as they shed their potentially contaminated garments and undergo a decontamination shower even in a tent.


Private Ship Letter dated 25.10.1883 from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands via St. Coix shows QUARATINE marking

In some parts of the world like Australia mail was treated to prevent spread of disease to humans. Nowadays it is treated to protect indigenous wildlife and our agricultural industries. Mails have been sprayed, gassed, scorched, baked, irradiated, detained and soaked in the pursuit of cleanliness. The most sought after covers are those from detainees in quarantine or from ships arriving with cases of infectious disease aboard.


Apart from the quarantine the letters were treated by three basic methods, perforation, to let out the harmful “ miasma” and let in clean air; immersion or sprinkling of vinegar or sea water ( both ) thought to have phylactic properties and heating and fumigating properties briefly detailed as under :


The usual practice was to puncture the envelope with small holes, often in a grid pattern. The mail / letters were pierced by the use of spike headed “ rastel” , tongs, needles, or knives. Practice varied from one area to another. The perforation also varied from place to place at that time. The use of rastels and tongs made very deep perforation normally penetrating the letters completely and are readily visible. In many cases however, the perforation took the form of a fine slit, often so fine as to escape the notice, until the letter is handled and careful observation revealed the slit or the cut.

Piercing for the purpose of disinfection may generally be distinguished from accidental damages by the presence of cuts at two or more places. However, in some cases there can be one cut also.


01.09.1832 U.S. Navy folded letter written at Port Mahon, and disinfected by sulphur fumes in a steam kettle. This letter contains unusual chisel slits and punctures in a star shaped circular pattern which are only known from this Naval installation.


Russia 1849 cover/disinfection slits, punch holes/Odessa quarantine


Entire letter dated 15.11.1852 from Braila to Marseille, rastel punched for disinfection


The usual practice was to puncture the envelope with small holes or to snip off one or more corners, in order to let the fumigation gases in. In addition, a special postal marking used to be done to note the disinfection process.


Cover dated 28.02.1926 from Kalaupapa to Detroit, Michigan, disinfected prior to leaving the leprosy settlement. All four corners of the envelope were cut off prior to fumigation.


27.04.1900 Soldier letter clipped at the corners. The plague quarantine lifted on April 30, 1900 following a month in which no new plague cases occurred.


Immersion in liquid has the effect of causing inks to run, sometimes to the point of producing illegibility, and in case of vinegar – very widely used –causing a brown staining. Sprinkling from vinegar, less obliterate, produces a splash pattern of brown staining. Sprinkling of vinegar, less obliterate, process a splash pattern of staining. Immersion in sea water, commonly used in ports and quarantine harbors, had very bad effect on mails. As with all evidence of “Disinfection”, the damage provided a reassurance to the recipient.

In Malta, the disinfection was existence even in 1678 and till 1787 like in Marseilles Incising the letter and soaking it in vinegar and continued even after 1809.


Sprinkling of disinfectants on the mail was also in practice to disinfect the same. Vinegar was one of the major disinfectants in use being less obliterate but produced a splash pattern of brown staining on the over

Sprinkling did not confine to the mail articles only but to the room or the building also to check spread of the infection. In November 2001, chlorine dioxide gas was sprayed into the partly contaminated Hart Senate Office Building, while the Postal Service used a 10% solution of bleach to "sterilize" its mail sorting centers. As some suspected mail had arrived in that building.


Entire Letter dated 19.12.1590 from Bologna to Castle Bolognese with VINEGAR STAINS for Disinfection. Vinegar Stains for disinfection not disfiguring the document


Heat disinfection involved holding the letter over glowing coals. The effect here was to scorch the letter, leaving unburnt patches where tongs had held the letters / items for treatment.



Instruments used for disinfecting mail by smoking


Putting the mail in steam of water or vinegar water solution was one of the methods to disinfect the mail. This method mainly treated the outer surface. However , for treatment of the contents large slitting was done on covers giving way to steam to enter and treat the contents.


Registered Letter dated 21.06.1897 from Peshawer(N.W.India) to Bokhara, directed via Odessa Sent by P.& O. India from Bombay to Brindisi.By rail ( Italian and Austrian ), to frontier had 32 days transit. The letter had been disinfected by steam under Govt. regulations dated 19th April, 1897


Fumigation is the process of exposing letters to sulphur fumes or smoke. Letters were slitted / cut and fumigant gas in form of smoke or spray was put in side it so that all the letter inside and outside both is disinfected. But during this process discoloration occurred. It was not uncommon for letters long journey to be treated in one or more health stations separately during its transmission. Later, some common fumigants like Propylene oxide, Ethylene oxide Eto, Methyl Bromide were in use.


1799 fumigated folded letter quarantine outside Philadelphia at Health Station situated about 10 miles from main township which initially was an island



Small outbreak of smallpox in Launceston in 1903 is perhaps the most written incident that caused the fumigation of mail. The disease was attributed to a traveling performer who visited Launceston after contracting the disease on tour in India. Mail was fumigated and hand stamped as shown on the cover

Most countries have instituted mail fumigation at one point or another, and investigation of the specific incidents is an active area for postal history.



Entire Letter dated 04.09.1817 from BASTIA (Corsica, French Island) to Cavalier Spannocchi disinfected on arrival with a fumigation procedure that resulted in light browning of the paper, leaving lighter areas where the tongs holding the letter made contact with the paper during fumigation. It was fumigated inside and outside and then re-sealed by opening the letter by breaking the seal of the sender (at right, middle of back flap). The re-sealing was done by applying two red wax disinfection seals featuring the House of Lorraine Coat of Arms of the Grand Duke of Tuscany.


During quarantining of vessels, at some places of the world ( Malta 1720 ) the rules were passed not to take delivery of correspondence ( packets and letters) unless those were perfumed thoroughly prior to unloading from the ship followed by opening of mail and double perfuming the same and leaving the same open exposed for the action for at least 24 hours.


Apart from the above mentioned methods which remained in practice for hundreds of years throughout the world which damaged the mail substantially in some cases up to the extent of illegibility of text or burning of or hard to handle ; some other methods were also tried and employed not only to disinfect the mail covers or packets but also to the place where those were kept such as exposure to smoke and various fumes. The eventual widespread use of burning sulfur yielding sulfur dioxide (with its "sharp, irritating odor") may have been based on an ancient idea that the more foul a medicine, the more effective it might be. In the late 19th century, sulfur gave way to chlorine or formaldehyde gas.

NOTE : Fumigation, quarantine, baking, splashing, steaming, smoking, immersion and sprinkling vinegar were one of the methods widely used not only in Europe ( great Britain 1671 to 1850 ) but in Russia and other parts of the world since 14th century due to limited medical and scientific knowledge based on the assumption and belief that paper products and paper are one of the major carriers of these epidemics like plague, cholera, yellow fever, typhus, smallpox etc. until early 19th century when the causes of all these epidemics were identified and so these traditional disinfection methods were considered useless. In some cases for additional safety, the letters were exposed to all the three or even more than one treatments.

To be contd…..

Mr Naresh Agarwal may be contacted at email :


When Stamps served as Coins

image © Dr.Satyendra Kumar Agrawal

A request to Readers

In my second phase of writing, after Indipex 2011, I again made some experiment in my articles and tried to illustrate the text as much as possible so that reader could also feel the pleasure of watching a Thematic Exhibit while reading the article. Your comments and suggestions about this experiment will be helpful making this ‘Specialized Column’ more attractive and meaningful for you. -Dr. Satyendra

On many occasions, while paying bill, we receive toffee in return of our balance of Rs.1 or even smaller amount due to non availability of small coins with the shopkeeper. But shopkeeper himself never prefers to accept a handful of toffees as meant of payment against our bill. But political or economic upheavals have sometimes made it necessary for people to use postage stamps in place of coins. As they are most readily available substitute, printed in a variety of denominations from One Cent to Ninety Cents. This has happened in many countries at different times, and makes the use of such ‘money-stamps’ of interest not only to philatelists and numismatists, but also to historians.

In both World War I and World War II the British government declared postage stamps legal tender, but the stamps were never encased for special protection, or affixed to a special card.

We can classify Encased Postage Stamps in two categories: stamps stuck on a paper or a cardboard, inserted or not into a translucent envelope and the metal Encased Postage Stamps, the stamp being inserted into a metal capsule (copper, brass, aluminum, and iron), covered with a transparent film, in mica for the greater part.

Stamps affixed currency cards

Stamps affixed to cards and circulated in lieu of coins were issued in Rhodesia (1915-17), Madagascar (WW I) and Spain (during the Civil War of 1936-9).

Rhodesia used The British South Africa Company issued stamps affixed to cards bearing the statement, “Please pay in cash to the person producing this card the face value of the stamp affixed thereto, if presented on or after the 1st August 1900, with signature of the Civil Commissioner Hugh Marshall Hole.

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Madagascar glued stamp on cardboard, painted and used as currency during 1903-17.


Taiwan’s 'Tokubetsu Yubin Kitte Daishi ", i.e.: Special Postage Stamp Cards also fall in this category of stamp money on which Japanese stamps of denomination and value (sen) were used when Taiwan was a colony of Japan in 1917-18.


1920 - Comoros Is, Ivory Coast during 1920, and Italy in 1944 also issued stamp affixed currency cards.

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In 1944, Denmark also pasted stamps on cardboard cut to size, with the back printed with advertising messages but wrapped in cellophane bags.

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Whereas the Spanish government printed small discs of brown cardboard with the Spanish coat of arms on one side and were given by banks to people who wanted it, attaching a stamp on the back of the current disc, thereby creating the desired value. This also earned him the Spanish colonies, such as Tangier and Morocco.


During World War I, Austrian traders prepared preprinted card with Turkish tobacco advertisement and inserting a stamp on the card as the rest, due to the lack of money.

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Russia (1915-17) and the Ukraine , instead printed stamps of the Romanov eagle on stout cards and circulated in lieu of coins with a sign that reminded that the specimen had to be accepted like the coins of silver or copper. . With the advent of the Soviets, the eagle was replaced by a numerical value.

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During World War II Ceylon and the Indian state of Bundi issued small change in the form of cards printed with contemporary stamps. Bundi printed 3 pies and 1 Anna tokens, consisting of cards reproducing the current stamps overprinted ‘CASH COUPON BUNDI STATE’.


Metal Encased Postage Stamps

Encased Postage Stamps took their development during the First World war and some next years, they existed in most of the European countries, and under their metal shape, more particularly in France, Monaco, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Argentina, Greece, Italy and Norway.

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In addition few more countries adopted this idea of encasing stamps in metal casing with advertisement on their back and using it as currency whenever they faced the shortage of small coins. Notable examples are from Denmark, Indochina and Spain.

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First use of Stamps as Money

Use of stamps as money was made for the first time during the American Civil War (1861-5), when people predicted the hard times and shortages looming ahead and began hoarding resources, coins included. Many millions of dollars in gold and silver coins and even copper-nickel cents disappeared from the market as a result of this hoarding. A resourceful public then used postage stamps as currency for small obligations, a situation that forced shopkeepers to accept stamps as change. On July 17, 1862, Congress stepped into the fray and passed a law which stated that postage stamps could pay debts of less than $5 to the government.

Daily purchases of stamps increased fivefold in New York City alone, and individual stamps circulated until they became too dirty and tattered for recognition.

The stamps were ill-suited for this task. They were thin (destroyed easily with handling) and the glue on their backs encouraged them to stick to hands, wallets, and anything else with which they came in contact.

The earliest attempted solution to the "sticky stamp" problem was to incorporate the use of Apothecary Envelopes, 70 by 35-mm in size. These envelopes, and others quickly prepared by merchants, soon became Postage Stamp Envelopes, which carried a specified value in Postage Stamps inside. The envelopes usually had the denomination and the name of the sponsoring merchant on the outside.


Even postage stamp/stamps glued on cards were used as currency. However, these methods failed to provide a workable solution.

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But in USA, John Gault, a Boston sewing-machine salesman, proposed the encasement of stamps in circular metal discs made of brass with a mica front into which a postage stamp could be installed, received a patent on 12 August 1862 for 'Design for Encasing Government Stamps' .

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His firm Scovill & Co then issued the encased stamps in various denominations using 1861 issue- the 1, 3,5,10,12,24,30 and 90 cent stamps. Except for the values ​​of 5 and 10 cents, others do not lend themselves well as coins and the government did not approve of private money.

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He sold these stamp money at small premium to meet the cost of production. On back of the metal casing advertisements were stamped.

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Besides those there are also rounded rectangular shapes that contain two or more stamps. These strips had a metal backing with a mica covering, usually encasing three 3c stamps, for a total of 9 cents with open ends and stamps could be slid in or out.

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The United States Post Office was having a very difficult time accommodating the redemption of circulated postage stamps.  It was reported that one day two employees of a New York Railway company brought a bag of 8,400 dollars worth of sticky, circulated postage stamps to their local Post Office for redemption.  This untenable situation forced the Treasury to create facsimiles of new 5c and 10c stamps with portraits of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington,( 25c & 50c were prepared overlapping five of these images) bearing the inscription “Receivable for all U.S. stamps ” on bank note paper from 21 August 1862-27 May 1863. The tickets were valid for postage and although they had not actually legal tender banknotes were exchanged for the United States into lots of not less than $5.

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In the first months of production notes were perforated like stamps, even for the ease of being able to rip and distribute, but the machines could not keep up with demand and the manufacturer began to print the full sheet that had to be cut manually with scissors.

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Used as currency, the Gault’s encased stamps became popular for a few months only, as the post office department refused to sell Mr. Gault the necessary stamps.  They felt he was competing with their postal currency notes. It has given an end to Gault’s enterprises on August 21, 1862.

Of the approximately 750,000 pieces sold, only 3,500-7,000 are believed to have survived. All are very scarce today as they were used for such a short time.

Fractional currency notes issued by US Post office also remained in use until 1876 when Congress authorized the minting of silver coins.

“JETONS” of France

The period immediately following the First World War saw the increased use of encased postage stamps. The former warring countries were struggling to stabilize their currencies and the sharp devaluation brought the prices of gold bullion and silver stars.  European countries, chiefly Germany, France, Austria, Denmark and Italy followed the same procedure for encasing the stamps. Germany used aluminum and celluloid holders whereas France issued similar discs with a numeral on one side indicating the value of the encased stamp. They are known as ‘Jetons’and patented on March 29th, 1920 by Edouard Bouchaud-Praceiq. They are usually 33mm in diameter, and are made of aluminum or tin. They are also made colourful applying colour to the tin base. Red, black and gilt is the predominant colours, but green, cream and other colours were also applied. Money-stamps were produced in France between 1920 and 1923.

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Most of the French money stamps feature the graceful Sower, designed by Louis-Oscar Roty. The most commonly used denominations of Sower stamps were the 5c Green, 10c Red and 25c Blue cameo Sower. The 15c Green lined Sower and the 5c Orange cameo Sower was also used, but these are scarce. The 20c Brown, 35c Violet and 10c Green Sower encased in jetons are extremely rare. Approximately 220 tokens of different brands are known to exist.

Are they Gems for Thematic Collections?

The advertisements on holders of these Money stamps are treasure-trove for thematic collectors. The variety of advertisers and the range of goods and services are astonishing. They include suppliers of pharmaceutical and petroleum products, wine and spirit merchants, brewers, hotel proprietors, owners of brasseries and restaurants, chocolate manufacturers, dealers in oysters, manufacturers of footwear and auto accessories, suppliers of optical and photographic equipment, an oceanographic museum in Monaco, and many more.

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Medicine “AYER’S PILLS”                "BOTOT” Toothpaste                     Automobile “OPEL “

These gems can illuminate and enhance their subjects, but it is to be noted that neither the holder with the advertisement nor the whole is postal, stamps encapsulated was being used quite explicitly for a non-postal purpose. That does not alter the fact that they are indeed often looked on with great sympathy internationally, the more so as often only a few of them exist for each theme, so that a sparring use is made of them anyway.

Dr SK Agarwal may be contacted at email :

Something of interest, also for non-philatelists….

How do you spell Delhi ?


 Dr Jagtap - Dr. Avinash B. Jagtap

Soon after the British established themselves in India, they first concentrated on the internal communications such as transmission of news from different parts of India. Although there did exist the ways and means of communications from the early days of Sher Shah (1486-1545), but the British introduced the means of travel and transport. After the advent of railway in Indian Subcontinent in the year 1877 the working of the postal system got an unprecedented momentum. First only the British and that also those who were in active service of the East India Company and later on in the Service of Her (or His) Majesty the Queen (or the King), were allowed to send and receive letters. The letters could be sent either “pre-paid” or with the remark “Bearing”, whereby the recipient had to pay for the postage.

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The names of the post offices of towns or cities named by the British had experienced various changes in their spelling. The most remarkable and interesting is the name of Delhi, which became the capital of India in 1931 (before that it was Calcutta). The name of the city of Delhi, as its postal despatch stamps read, was first “DEHLI” (1818-1828), later on it was changed to “DELHIE”(1839-42) and finally it was “DELHI” (1841 onwards). It seems that British sought their own way to spell the names of Indian towns and cities, whereby, as it seems, that they did not bother to take into consideration why a certain place was called so, or they did not find it necessary to search for its history.

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Most of the Indian names derived from the local languages were very difficult for the British to pronounce. For example, “GAYA” connected with the life of Gautama Buddha was simply spelt “GYA”, and the Hindu town connected with Lord Krishna, MATHURA was christened to “MUTTRA”! How many of us know that the place which is now named “PUNE” was “Poona” for years, but during 1824-1856 it was changed to “POONAH”?

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They were rather not sure, if the city on the river “Ganges” (“GANGA”!) had derived its name from “Allah”, as we have some letters which bear the stamp of the city as “ALAHABAD” (with one “L”), but afterwards it was “corrected” to “ALLAHABAD”!

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This duplication of the letter also existed in the name of city which was the capital of French Settlements in India, namely “PONDICHERY”. There exist hand-struck stamps which read “PONDICHERY” and also with “PONDICHERRY” (with two “RR” in its name).

To be contd ....

Dr. Avinash B, Jagtap may be contacted at email :

New Issues from other countries


5 July 2011 :  50 Years of Amnesty International – 60c : Living in Australian – 5 val.

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8 September 2011 : Europa 2011 ‘ Year of Forest ‘ - MS


27 June 2011 : Clown Care – 1val


Clown care..

The image of a clown entertaining a sick child in hospital that appears on this stamp has become the symbol of clown care in Israel and around the world.

In the 1970's Dr. Patch Adams, considered to be the founder of clown care, was determined to change doctors' patronizing attitude toward their patients and to get them to see those patients as people, not just as cases. Patch Adams claimed that combined treatment of both the body and the spirit is the best way to defeat disease. He utilized a lot of humor, games and clowning in order to improve patients' spirits. The highly successful 1998 film 'Patch Adams', starring Robin Williams, portrayed his work.

A number of years after Patch Adams began his mission, real clowns from the Big Apple Circus began visiting children's wards in New York hospitals. Adams' message spread quickly and today medical clowns operate in most countries around the world, working in conjunction with medical teams. Clown care came to Israel in 2000, with Shlomi Algosi considered to be the first Israeli medical clown.


18 July 2011 Royal Palaces of Malaysia – 10 val


New Zealand

6 July 2011 : Children’s health : Flightless birds – 3 val + MS


Reader’s Right

Editor’s note- The aim of this stamp newsletter is to provide instant information and facts on philately to the readers and not to hurt anyone’s feelings. Readers may express their views, anguish and resentment through this column on philately. The platform is not used for any vested interest to cause derogatory to philately. When writing your views be sure that it should be related to philately only. It should not be used to express personal feelings between persons or groups in any manner.

Naesh Agarwal, Bilaspur

This time the bulletin looks different......even better and appealing. Interview of Mr. Bagri, Hidden treasurer  : Supplementary information by Sri Satyendra Agrawal, Dr. Jagtap's  something for the non-philatelists ( though it is certainly for the philatelists too),Information regarding happening in the field of philately are well covered......  What more one would want from a newsletter which is so comprehensive and covers almost all the required happening of the field along with high class educative article covering different aspects of philately.

Philatelic Library

e books on Philately : All about Stamp Collecting


Online Stamp Catalogue…

Search stamps of different countries online…

New Blogs & Websites

Sports Philately : - Website on Sports Philately.

Philately of Today : - A nice blog with discussion and details on various philatelic subjects..

Glimpses of Modern Indian Philately :

A new Blog on Modern Indian Postal History and Modern Philately of India, has been created by Mr Prashant Pandya. Idea of creating this blog ‘Glimpses of Modern Indian Philately’ by Mr Pandya is conceived to provide, share and discuss information exclusively on Modern Postal History or Modern Philately of India. Collectors of Modern Indian Philately around the world are invited to share the knowledge and information on the subject.

West Essex Philatelic Society : A philatelic society with lot of philatelic activities.

Gandhi Stamps : - The website is a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi Philately. All the stamps issued on Mahatma Gandhi from various countries in the World have been featured.

Join Mobile Philately & Stay Updated - It is a blog by Mr Dipak Modi of Jalna, Maharashtra. Mobile Philately is a mobile technology based philatelic community with short messaging service (SMS) that allows the community members to get latest updates related to Indian philately directly into mobile message box.

Se- tenant Stamps of India - It is a specialized Blog on se-tenant stamps.

Flags & Stamps - - It is a specialized blog on Flag Theme .. - It is a site based on Question & Answers on Philately. Mr Prashant Pandya replies to queries.

Philatelic Clubs & Societies

Baroda Philatelic Society -

Eastern India Philatelists’ Association -

Indian Stamp Ghar -

Indian Thematic Society, Ludhiana -

Ludhiana Philatelic Club

Mobile Philately -

Philatelic Society of Rajasthan, Jaipur

Rainbow Stamp Club -

South India Philatelists Association -

Stamps of India -

The Lighter Side

Stamps that connect you to the Internet

More than a half dozen postal administrations have added an extra dimension to their stamps and stamp panes through a direct connection to the Internet. This connection can boost both the entertainment and educational value of stamps.

For example, a special code on a new pane of stamps from the African nation of Liberia takes you to a site that explains how chocolate is made. According to a June 21 press release from Inter-Government Philatelic Corp. of South Plainfield, N.J., the pane includes a quick response (QR) barcode that can be scanned by most smartphones (cell phones with advanced computing and web-browsing capabilities) then automatically decoded to reveal the document "From Bean to Bar: The Making of Chocolate." IGPC is the new-issue agency for Liberia and about 70 other postal administrations.


This pane of stamps to looking like a chocolate bar and smelling like cocoa from Liberia can be linked by smartphone to a document about the making of chocolate.

As an extra bonus, the Liberian stamp pane looks like a chocolate bar and smells like cocoa. The QR barcode is included in the lower left border of this pane of nine se-tenant (side-by-side) stamps. Text below the code explains its purpose.

In the press release, IGPC announces that similar stamps will be issued by other cocoa-exporting nations in the coming months.

: Linn’s Stamp News

Promotional section


“My Rainbow of Philatelic Articles” by Dr Satyendra Kumar Agarwal is a collection of specialized and comprehensive articles on a variety of subjects published in Rainbow Stamp News during last three years.

The 150 page hardbound book published by Philagold Publications is priced at Rs 1200 ( US $ 25). Dr Satyendra Kumar Agarwal may be contacted for this book at email :

Read more details..

Gandhi Balloon Card

The India International Hot Air Balloon Mela was held in Delhi from 13th to 28th November 2010. The inaugural hot air balloon was from near Rajghat, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial. This was the first time a Hot Air Balloon Flight was initiated from near Rajghat.


To commemorate this event, 50 individually numbered Special Cards were prepared by Nikhil Mundra, Gandhi Philatelist ( All 50 cards were then flown aboard the inaugural flight of the Balloon Mela from Rajghat on the 13th November 2010. The cards feature an artwork depicting the Rajghat memorial, the main gate and the 0 km milestone at Rajghat.

For more details visit:

- Nikhil Mundra email :

Year Book 2011

Mr Madan Middha the publisher of Year Book of Indian Philately needs suggestions from the Readers for Year Book 2011..for which he has started working Readers are requested to send their suggestions about contents of the new edition. Articles are also invited from the readers. Please contact Mr Middha email

ITS Stamp News

ITS stamp News, India’s only magazine on Thematic Philately can be subscribed , write to : Suraj Jaitly      Mobile: +91 98728 51244 MIG # 3464, Phase Two, Dugri Road, Ludhiana - 141 013 INDIA email :
ITS at
ITS Stamp News at
ITS Postal Auction photos at

New French Stamps available

For new issues of France and stamps on other themes, Mr Pradip Jain may be contacted at email :

Current Philatelic Magazines – Newsletters

Stamp of India Collectors’ Companion - India’s first and most updated weekly e-newsletter edited by Madhukar and Savita Jhingan from Stamps of India, New Delhi. E-mail: Website:

ITS Stamp News - Quarterly - Editor: Suraj Jaitly Publisher: Indian Thematic Society website -

Phila News, Editor Rajesh Pahariya and published by Philatelic Society of Rajasthan, Jaipur

VADOPHIL, Editor - Prashant Pandya and published by Baroda Philatelic Society, Vadodara. Website -

e ZEP Newsletter Editor : Dieter Leder email website

SIPA Bulletin Editor - Mr G. Madan Mohan Das and published by South India Philatelists’ Association, Chennai website :

FILA Capsule – Editor : Ajit Dash and  published by EIPA, Bhubaneshwar.

GPA News – Editor- Ilias Patel and published by Gujarat Philatelists’ Association, Ahemadabad.

Kar Phila News published by Karnataka Philatelic Society & edited by by Akshay Borad

e–mail :

Editor’s Mail Box

July issue….

George Sebastian, Mumbai

I came across your site and news-letter and would like to compliment you on the easy-to- use format and the comprehensive information given in it.

H.Kishie Singh, Chandigarh

Congratulations on running a very unique and different web site for stamp collectors. You are doing a fantastic service to a very interesting, noble and knowledgeable hobby. Keep up the good work.

Dr Avinash B. Jagtap, Switzerland

Thank you for forwarding me the July issue of your "Rainbow". I appreciate very much the article by Mr, Naresh Agrawal and also that of Dr. Satyendra Agrawal. This proves that there is scope for the development and learning from philately, which is not only limited to collection of stamps!

Shrikant Parikh, Ahmedabad

Nice to go thru RSN. It is fabulous !! Philatelists at large will always find your publication very very useful and informative.

Dr Hemant V. Kulkarni, USA

As usual, the new issue has been colorful and full of interesting read from the experts/novice philatelists.


This is a blog of e-stamp Club . The idea of this blog is to extend philatelic fraternity in all corners of the world. Readers may write about themselves with their collecting interests and share new ideas with other philatelists. Those who are interested may send following details for publication on blog. If they wish they may also send their photo for publication. New Post on recent issues, news on stamp activities and Contribution by members are published every day on this blog.




Postal Address…………………………….

Collecting Interests……………………….

Brief write up about yourself……………

Readers may also express their views on any philatelic matter which will be published under Club News at Rainbow Stamp Cub Blog. Philatelic Clubs and Societies may also send brief write ups. News about new issues of India and abroad and other information related with Philately are regularly posted on this blog. Readers may send reports on new issues, special covers, cancellations & philatelic activities of their area for inclusion in this Blog. - Editor

Acknowledgement :

· Vadophil

· SIPA Bulletin

· ITS Stamp News

· Special Covers from Mrs Radha Ramalingam, Tiruvannamalai

Courtesy - News and Image Resource to this issue - Stamps of India, ; International Stamp News Naresh Agarwal – Bilaspur (CG);  Prashant Pandya – Vadodara;Thevarayan Srinivasan – Malaysia; Jagannath Mani – Bangalore; Yogesh Kumar - Bareilly ; Vipan Kumar Thakur – Chandigarh; Rajesh Paharia – Jaipur;  Moloy sarkar – Kolkata; Mansoor B.- Mangalore ; Mobile Philately; Vinod Sabharwal; Souvik Roy – Kolkata

Address for communication:

Jeevan Jyoti, c / o Mr. Ajay Srivastav, Director, Great Himalayan National Park, Shamshi, Kullu (H.P.) PIN 175126 India

E-mail – or

clip_image001[21] Last date for receiving write ups – 25th of every month. Kindly send images in jpg compressed format & text in MS Word only.

clip_image001[22] If you liked this issue please forward it to your friends and help in promoting philately.

A Request to Readers & Contributors-

clip_image002 Please do not send the text in scan form. Send your write ups in MS Word only.

Kindly specify your contribution such as article/News/ Reader’s Right / Beginners’ Section/ Lighter Side etc.

clip_image002[1] Please do not send forwarded messages for promotional section if you want to give any information for promotion please write personally with brief write up. As this newsletter is not used for any commercial purpose in any manner.

Attention -
Please send limited number of images in compressed jpg format only with your article. Please send text and images separately. Please do not send text or image for publication in PDF.

Till Next Month …..Happy Collecting…………………………………………………………………

Rainbow Stamp News is edited and published monthly by Jeevan Jyoti, from Kullu (Himachal Pradesh) India.

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Recent Awards

INPEX 2017, Mumbai - Large Silver

CHINA 2016 - Bronze

TAIPEI 2015 - Bronze

CG International Philatelic Promotion Award 2014, Germany - ( 4th Position)

INPEX 2013, Mumbai - Vermeil

SHARJAH 2012, Sharjah ( UAE ) - Silver Bronze

IPHLA 2012, Mainz - Germany : Bronze

NDIPEX 2011 - World Stamp Exhibition, New Delhi - Bronze

JOBURG 2010 - 26th Asian International Stamp Exhibition, Johannesburg - Silver Bronze

PORTUGAL 2010 - World Stamp Exhibition, Lisbon - Bronze

Hong Kong 2009 -23rd Asian International Stamp Exhibition, Hong Kong - Silver Bronze

About Me

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Participated in different philatelic exhibitions Wrote for philately column in The Pioneer and worked as sub-editor for U-Phil Times published from United Philatelists, Kanpur.Did Schooling from Kanpur Vidya Mandir and Post Graduation in Botany from A.N.D. College Kanpur.


The views expressed in the articles published on Rainbow Stamp News Blog are solely those of the authors and contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Blog Owner. The Readers are requested to contact author or the contributor of the particular article if they have any objection or do not agree with the views expressed in the article . Please do not ask the Blog Owner to delete or change any Post published on this blog.The Post will be removed only after strong recommendation of the original author / contributor after proper verification .

All contents provided on this blog is for information only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any link on this blog. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

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