applesThen these stamps from Australia are for you!! Recently issued by Australia Post, they feature labels that were placed on fruit boxes from the 1920s until the 1970s. The attractive,colourful paper labels displayed information on the produce and its associated growers, shippers and exporters and were pasted onto the ends of wooden fruit cases as a means of identification and promotion.

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pluto-stampThe US Postal Service has made history after a stamp which they placed on NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft travelled a mind-boggling 5,250,843,896 km (3,262,723,132 miles) – all the way to the planet Pluto.

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stamp collectors handbookIn the late 1970s a fascinating series of articles written by Mr. K. Kouwenberg about the history of Stamp Collecting, appeared in the Dutch magazine Philatelie. This series has been the source of inspiration for PostBeeld owner Rob Smit to rewrite the history of stamp collecting in instalments. This is Part 13 – Edward Pemberton.

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Michel catalogueEvery year, at different times, new stamp catalogues are issued. Not only from Michel but also Yvert, the latter with a new geographical layout. Besides the big world catalogs new countries also appear this year catalogs, such as the Facit and Sakura. Michel is well on our way this year with the publication of the Overseas catalogs, once again published every few years. You are assured of a lot of new additions . The annual Europe catalogs have naturally incorporated all new issues .Besides the countries catalogs, Michel has also this year a variety of Motif catalogs.Through the link below, you can keep an eye on the ever-changing issue program.

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1Most of us have heard of Venice’s Grand Canal, seen below. But perhaps fewer people are aware of the longest canal in the world, the Grand Canal in China, also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal.

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Muhammad Ali postage stampThree times heavyweights world champion boxing Muhammad Ali died last week at age 74. With 56 winnings out of 61 matches, he is considered to be the greatest boxer of all time by many people. Ali was also famous for his quotes that were everything but modest.

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Jambo The Gentle GiantAs a silverback gorilla was recently the subject of great controversy after an incident in an American zoo, my mind went back to 1986 and the English Channel island of Jersey. In August of that year at the island’s Durrell Wildlife Park (formerly Jersey Zoo), a five-year-old boy fell into a concrete ditch in the enclosure housing silverback gorillas – including the then 25-year-old Jambo.

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SperatiIt is an accepted fact that the more desirable and valuable collectible items become, the temptation for counterfeiting increases. And in the world of philately, the master forger was surely Jean de Sperati. Born in Pisa, Italy, in 1884, Giovanni de Sperati (later adopting the forename Jean) was part of a wealthy family thrown into poverty by the failure of their business. This forced his brothers, Massimo and Mariano, to take up a trade – one becoming a photographer, the other a stamp dealer. As a result, Giovanni developed a passion for both philately and photographic processes and techniques. As an impoverished collector of stamps, he once discovered that a particular item he had bought was a fake. In later life he claimed that his desire to avenge the selling dealer led him to create his own philatelic ‘‘works of art’, which would eventually fool stamp experts across Europe.

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train stampNew stamps appear regularly with a variety of subjects. Below is a selection of recently-published stamps from around the globe.

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Stuart WeitzmanMaybe luck doesn’t come into it, but most of us in the philatelic world are quite envious of the man pictured below. Why? Possibly some of our readers will recognise the man above as being the owner of an item that has been/still is considered to be the holy grail for stamp collectors.

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