The general imagery that comes to our mind when we think of stamps is a rectangular piece of paper with some interesting imagery, the name of the country and its value. It’s time to break the myth that stamps come only in square or rectangular shapes. Many countries all over the world including India have issued some really uniquely and odd shaped stamps. Let’s take a look at some of them.
This one’s for those love birds who have been thinking for a while about penning down a love letter for their dear one. “Symbol of Love” themed stamps were a yearly issue of stamps that are released by Thailand to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The 2013 release had perforations in the shape of heart to add that special touch of love. A stamp on a similar theme and shape has been issued by Taiwan as well. Hong kong has issued a heart shaped stamp in 2011 but to commemorate International Year of Volunteers. These stamps can be considered as some of the most beautiful odd stamps of the world.
Three acute angles to make cute little triangular stamps! This shape is more popular in the world of philately which is evident from the fact that many countries have issued triangular stamps. Since they are common, they cannot be called as odd stamps of the world, but they are amazing indeed! Triangular stamps from Afghanistan depict beautiful sail boats, those from Benin feature graceful horses and colourful birds. The most interesting one, that I personally liked are the series of stamps from Bhutan, which depict the Snowman or Yeti – the strange, spooky half ape, half human, huge living creature which many have claimed to have sighted. Have you seen one yet? Don’t go to the Himalayas; take a look at these artistic stamps to get a feel. India has issued 2 triangle shaped stamps, the first of which is a commemorative stamp issued to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Border Roads Org. It is named Stylized Mountain Road Stamp which depicts a mountain road in Bright Carmine,Blueish Violet & Black. The other one is a commemorative stamp presenting new colours to the Bombay Sappers.
This one almost looks like a square, but you have to tilt it at bit to get the right orientation. Like triangular stamps many countries have issued rhombus shaped stamps on various themes and designs. Listing just a few is like choosing from chocolates and ice creams, but being an Indian I would like to list a few Indian odd shaped stamps. In 2011, Mahatma Gandhi Khadi stamp was issued. The spices of India miniature sheet was issued in 2009, the reason why India was one of the richest countries in the world. When we are talking of Rhombus shaped stamps of India, how can we miss out the evergreen Madhubala stamp, featuring the beauty queen sporting her charming smile!
Countries have gone all out and have issued 5, 6, 7 and 8 sided polygon shaped stamps. Indonesia issued 2 pentagon shaped stamps featuring President Rt. Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and vice President Rt. H.M. Jusuf Kalla. In 2012, Malaysia issued hexagonal stamps featuring images of their national currency. In 2008, Aldabra Tortoise hexagonal stamp sheetlet was released by India. Though they are odd shaped stamps, they look extremely beautiful.
Yes, there are circular shaped stamps as well. Now don’t think of using them as bindis on your foreheads though. Switzerland issued a stamp in 2013 named “Goldvreneli” miniature sheet which was made from real gold with multi-level embossing and round perforation. A stamp so precious that you might not feel like wasting it on a letter, unless you are sending the letter to someone who is priceless to you! The Austrian 2008 stamp is circular as well and features a football, made of synthetic mix of Polyurethane. The stamp was issued to commemorate Euro 2008 which was hosted by the country. Don’t you want one of these odd shaped stamps of the world in your collection?
Finally comes the freestyle version of stamps! France commemorated the 50th anniversary of Asterix in a very interesting way – by issuing stamps featuring the characters from the world popular comic. In this miniature sheet, Dogmatix with the bone and Obelix with the Menhir Stone are oddly shaped stamps. In 2013, South Africa issued drop shaped stamps to celebrate the international Year of Water Co-operation.
The list is endless; you can find many more odd shaped stamps. I can’t list all of them here as the blog post might get never ending as well! Start collecting them; let’s see who gets to make the most unique collection of odd shaped stamps of the world.
Inputs from Mr. Bimal Trivedi.