New Zealand's New Stamps with Meteorite Dust

16 Apr 2019  Tue

New Zealand Post is honoring the country’s space pioneers on stamps that are “dusted with a sprinkling of crushed meteorite, to make them truly out of this world!” The five stamps will be issued May 1.

Also, the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing will be among the U.S. space achievements recognized on a souvenir sheet issued at the same time. This sheet was printed with what New Zealand Post calls a mesmerizing lenticular 3D effect. The five New Zealand Space Pioneers stamps are se-tenant (joined together) in a vertical strip to form a composite design of a rocket about to lift off.

The nose cone of the rocket is shown on the top stamp, a $1.20 domestic-rate stamp honoring Beatrice Hill Tinsley – the first female professor of astronomy at Yale University.
The next stamp, another $1.20 denomination, commemorates Alan Gilmore and Pamela Kilmartin as the discoverers of 41 minor planets.
The $2.40 stamp in the middle of the strip of five honors Charles Gifford who is considered to be the most outstanding astronomer in the first half of the 20th century.
Pictured on the $3 stamp is Albert Jones. He was an amateur astronomer who built his own telescope looking at more than 500,000 stars.
The final stamp, a $3.60 denomination, shows the bottom of the rocket surrounded by flames at liftoff and honors rocket scientist William Pickering one of the titans of our nation’s space program.

The meteor dust is affixed around the portrait. New Zealand Post isn’t the first and only postal administration to use meteor dust on a stamp. In 2006, Austria issued a souvenir sheet. Norway also included meteorite dust on the two Europa stamps in its 2009 souvenir sheet.

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