Tuesday January 10, 2012

BC News

Mail Dragons

Canada Post reveals new stamps commemorating 2012 Year of the Dragon

Released Canada Post

anada Post today honoured the Year of the Dragon by issuing a pair of stamps and collectibles to mark the Lunar New Year. A dragon year is said to be a time of innovation, risk and achievement. These stamps are the fourth release in a twelve-year Lunar New Year series.

"Lunar New Year is celebrated around the world, in countries and territories with significant Chinese communities. Canada Post is proud to celebrate the occasion by issuing these popular stamps," said Jim Phillips, Director of Stamp Services at Canada Post. "The stamps in the Lunar New Year series are always well received by both members of the Chinese community and collectors. As in past years, these images are complex and striking, and the foil and embossing techniques are outstanding."

The dragon on the domestic-rate PERMANENT™ stamp is fully embossed and gold foil is used prominently in the creature's scales. Swirls, a graphic element from ancient Chinese designs, are placed at the bottom of the stamp to represent the water element. The Chinese characters in the top right corner spell out "dragon."

A fiery red dragon bursts from the water on the souvenir sheet bearing an international-rate stamp. The embossing on the dragon's head is carved by hand, with touches of foil to give it vibrancy. The background is red, a colour used prominently during Chinese New Year celebrations to symbolize good fortune and joy.

New products
For the first time, Canada Post is introducing additional products related to the Lunar New Year:

  • A second souvenir sheet—a 'transitional' collectible—that features both Rabbit and Dragon international stamps, as well selvedge depicting last year's Rabbit exiting from the left as the Dragon enters from the right;

  • A wallet-sized mini-booklet with six gummed International stamps that will enable stamp and New Year enthusiasts to keep a convenient supply of Dragon stamps on hand for their New Year greetings;

  • Packages of Lunar New Year greeting cards—with matching stamps—which provide the opportunity to share the festive dragon that graces the stamps with friends and family;

  • Two different framed collectibles: one offering a full pane of domestic stamps and a souvenir sheet, and a second one featuring an enlargement of the souvenir sheet.

In addition, the always highly collectible uncut press sheet features 12 souvenir sheets. The Chinese characters on the selvedge bear the names of all the Zodiac creatures, and the calligraphy along the bottom offers greetings and wishes for luck in the New Year, in a tone similar to messages found in fortune cookies.

About the Stamps
The Year of the Dragon PERMANENT domestic stamp measures 32 mm x 32 mm (square) and the souvenir sheet measures 40 mm x 140 mm (vertical).  The stamps have 13+ perforations and are general tagged on four sides (domestic) and three sides (international). The stamps were designed by Louis Fishauf and Charles Vinh with calligraphy by James Tan. The stamps are printed by Lowe-Martin and Gravure Choquet on Tullis Russell paper using lithography in six colours plus gold foil stamping, embossing plus varnish. The Official First Day Cover bears the cancellation of Toronto, Ontario. Canada Post is issuing 5.25 million of the PERMANENT domestic stamps and 500,000 souvenir sheets. The International Rate stamp is available only on the souvenir sheet.

As in past issues in this series, the text of the stamps and related products is in Chinese, English and French.

Stamps and related products are available at participating post offices. They can also be ordered online by following the links at canadapost.ca/collecting or by mail order from the National Philatelic Centre. From Canada and the United States call toll-free: 1-800-565-4362. From all other countries, call: 1-902-863-6550. Additional information about Canadian stamps can be found in the News section of the Canada Post website (canadapost.ca), including photographs.