Sunday, 25 June 2017

Aland - ATM stamps 2017

ATM stamps are not my specialty and not a necessary part of my World envelope collection, but sometimes I come across the possibility of sending an envelope with an ATM stamp on it and then I can't resist it.

The postal service of Aland started issuing ATM stamps almost immediately after starting issuing its own stamps in 1986. The first ones were the well-known Frama labels. These days there are more local designs, like the 2017 issue showing beach finds.

At Aland Post it is only possible to buy the complete set of four different values, but at stamp shows Aland Post sells individual labels. At the Briefmarken-Messe in Essen I bought the EUR 1,40 label, wich covers the tariff for a letter to European countries. The priority label was affixed by the philatelic service in Mariehamn. The postmark is from the central postal terminal.

Date sent: 11 May 2017
Date postmark: 15 May 2017
Date received: 18 May 2017
Number of days: 7
Envelope in collection: 80




Wednesday, 14 June 2017

United States of America - Arkansas

In my World envelope collection I do not just want to have envelopes from stamp-issuing countries and territories, but also from other regions. This includes the 50 states of the United States of America. This envelope comes from the state of Arkansas, lying in the southeastern region of the United States. It was the 25th state, admitted in 1836.

The stamps were affixed by me and come from the Flags of our nations and Greetings series, a stamp commemorating the 150th anniversary of statehood and the Arkansas stamp from the 1981 State Bird & Flower series. I sent the envelope to the post office in the capital Little Rockto be postmarked. The envelope arrived back inside a large protecting envelope with two beautiful postmarks from USPS Little Rock Main Office Station. The envelope protected my stamps from the terrible wavy lines that end up on so many of my envelopes.

Date sent: 1 May 2017
Date postmark: 10 May 2017
Date received: 18 May 2017
Number of days: 18
Envelope in collection: 79






Liechtenstein

The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked German-speaking microstate in Central Europe. It is a constitutional monarchy with the rank of principality, headed by the Prince of Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein is bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and Austria to the east and north. It has an area of just over 160 square kilometres, the fourth-smallest in Europe, and an estimated population of 37,000. Divided into 11 municipalities, its capital is Vaduz and its largest municipality is Schaan.

Liechtenstein is a member of the European Free Trade Association, and while not being a member of the European Union, the country participates in both the Schengen Area and European Economic Area. It also has a customs union and a monetary union with Switzerland.

The first stamps were issued in 1912 in Austrian currency since Liechtenstein was closely tied to its eastern neighbour. After the First World War Liechtenstein chose for a customs and currency union with Switzerland and stamps were issued in Swiss francs. Stamps of Liechtenstein are very popular and widely collected.

For the envelope I bought the latest Europa stamp from the Liechtenstein postal administration at the Briefmarken-Messe in Essen in May 2017 and left the envelope with them. Within a week it arrived at my home.

Website of Philatelie Liechtenstein (in English): philatelie.li.

Date sent: 12 May 2017
Date postmark: 16 May 2017
Date received: 18 May 2017
Number of days: 6
Envelope in collection: 78




Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Switzerland

The Swiss Confederation started in 1291 with three small cantons and became an independent country in 1648. It is a landlocked country situated in western-Central Europe. The country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation; it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815 and did not join the United Nations until 2002. Nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association and it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market.

The first stamps were issued in the cantons of Zurich (1843), Geneva (1843) and Basel (1845). Of these stamps the Basel Dove was the first stamp in the world to be printed in three colours. After ratification of the constitution the first nation-wide stamps were issued in 1850. Instead of choosing one or more of the country's official languages for the country name on the stamps (French, German, Italian, Romanche), the stamps have the name 'Helvetia', the Latin translation of Switzerland.

During the Briefmarken-Messe in Essen in May 2017 I left stamped envelopes at almost every foreign postal administration hoping they would send them back when they arrived home. The stamp I chose for Switzerland is the 2016 definitive stamp in the international tariff showing the train station of Bellinzola. The postmark is from the philatelic service in Lausanne.

The philatelic website of the Swiss Post (in English): postshop.ch/Stamps.

Date sent: 12 May 2017
Date postmark: 16 May 2017
Date received: 18 May 2017
Number of days: 6
Envelope in collection: 77




Spain

The Kingdom of Spain is one of the larger countries in Europe situated in the southwest. Apart from mainland Spain, the country consists of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Africa and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla in north Africa. The first stamps were issued in 1850 and showed Queen Isabella II.

Spain issues a lot of stamps each year showing the rich culture and traditions of the country. For collectors the Spanish post offers special pictorial postmarks in post offices across the country, including postmarks for ships and the Antarctic stations.

During the Briefmarken-Messe in Essen in May 2017 I left stamped envelopes at almost every foreign postal administration hoping they would send them back when they arrived home. The stamp I chose for Spain is a new 2017 stamp commemorating the International Your for Sustainable Tourism, declared by the United Nations. The envelope received a perfect postmark from the capital city Madrid.

The philatelic website of the Spanish post, Correos (in English): correos.es/filatelia.

Date sent: 11 May 2017
Date postmark: 16 May 2017
Date received: 18 May 2017
Number of days: 7
Envelope in collection: 76




Sunday, 11 June 2017

Estonia

The republic of Estonia is one of the Baltic republics in the northeast of Europe with 1,3 million inhabitants. After centuries of foreign rule, the Estonians experienced a national awakening that culminated in independence from the Russian Empire after the First World War.

During World War II, Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, then by Nazi Germany a year later and was again annexed by the Soviets in 1944, after which it was reconstituted as the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1988, during the Singing Revolution, the Estonian Supreme Soviet issued the Estonian Sovereignty Declaration in defiance of Soviet rule, and independence was restored on 20 August 1991.

During the Briefmarken-Messe in Essen in May 2017 I left stamped envelopes at almost every foreign postal administration hoping they would send them back when they arrived home. The stamp is a 2017 definitive and the postmark is from Tallinn. The priority label was put there by Eesti Post.

The website of the philately section of Eesti Post: pood.post.ee.

Date sent: 11 May 2017
Date postmark: 12 May 2017
Date received: 18 May 2017
Number of days: 7
Envelope in collection: 75




Germany - Mannheim - Philatelie-Shop

Deutsche Post has established special philately windows in 26 major post offices throughout the country. Each uses a datestamp with the letters 'ps' in it to distinguish it from normal datestamps. The letters ps stand for Philatelie-shop.

The Philatelie-Shop in Mannheim can be found in the office building next to Paradeplatz in the city centre. The address for postmark requests is: O 2 2-10 (am Paradeplatz), 68161 Mannheim, Germany. Opening hours: Mo-Fr 9.00-19.00 h., Sat 9.00-16.00 h. The street name is O 2. Since the 17th century the inner city of Mannheim has been divided into quadrants, which gave the city the nickname Quadratestadt. The use of letters and numbers as street names started around 1798, although almost all street names were abolished in 1684.

For the envelope I used the new definitive 90 cent stamp from the flower series, issued on 11 May 2017 that I bought at the Philatelie-Shop in Essen on the first day of issue. The priority label was put there by the Philatelie-Shop.

Date sent: 11 May 2017
Date postmark: 15 May 2017
Date received: 18 May 2017
Number of days: 7
Envelope in collection: 74




Germany - Berlin 2 - Philatelie-Shop

Deutsche Post has established special philately windows in 26 major post offices throughout the country. Each uses a datestamp with the letters 'ps' in it to distinguish it from normal datestamps. The letters ps stand for Philatelie-shop.

The Philatelie-Shop in Berlin 2 can be found on the corner of Alexanderplatz in former East Berlin close to the Rundfunkturm. When I visited East Berlin in 1985 there was a DDR post office on this exact spot. I bought DDR stamps and first day covers there. The address for postmark requests is: Rathausstraβe 5, 10178 Berlin 2, Germany. Opening hours: Mo-Fr 9.00-19.00 h., Sat 9.00-16.00 h.

For the envelope I used the new definitive 90 cent stamp from the flower series, issued on 11 May 2017 that I bought at the Philatelie-Shop in Essen on the first day of issue.  The priority label was put there by the Philatelie-Shop.

Date sent: 11 May 2017
Date postmark: 15 May 2017
Date received: 18 May 2017
Number of days: 7
Envelope in collection: 73