Post Early for the Lunar New Year (2012)

The Year of the Dragon is just a few weeks away. Just like every other year, there will be a slogan message printed on selected mail items.

From 3 January to 18 January, the slogan message “Lunar New Year – Please Post Early” will be marked on mail items which pass through FC Stamp Cancelling Machine C4. However, do note that there is a possibility where mail items are randomly sorted to other cancelling machines.

As delays in mail processing and delivery are expected during the festive season, do remember to send out your greeting cards in advance so that it will arrive in time for the Lunar New Year.

Do note that the Year of the Dragon Stamps will only be available from 5 January.

Images by SingPost

The 2011 Collection of Singapore Stamps

On 2 December 2011, Singapore Post released the 2011 annual collection of stamps featuring the various philatelic issues throughout the year in a colourful coffee-table book.

Featured stamps include Singapore’s longest individual stamp in a joint issue with Egypt, Singapore’s largest individual stamp, Spirit of Giving, and Eric Kong’s latest definitive issue coated with reflective ink, showcasing Pond Life. It also commemorates international events such as the World Orchid Conference 2011.

The book comes with two stock cards containing a total of 60 pieces of mint stamps and two miniature sheets.

Every purchase comes with a limited edition story book entitled Little Otters to the Rescue!. It features four little otters on a rescue mission to save their father. This A4-sized children’s book is written by SingPost’s Stamp Ambassador, Edmund Chen Zhi Cai. Earlier this year, he illustrated a set of stamps featuring the oriental small-clawed otter. An autograph session was held on 2 December at Singapore Post Centre.

From 2 to 31 December 2011, The 2011 Collection of Singapore Stamps is available at all post offices for S$66.90 (US$52). The usual price is S$72.90.

C12 and C13 Stamp Cancellation Datestamp

Two new stamp cancelling machines C12 and C13 will be used for the postmarking of mail items with effect from 12 December 2011. Singapore Post has indicated that these cancelling impressions are applied to ‘C5 envelopes with a minimum weight of 50 grams’. However, it is not known if these machines will be used on a daily basis or during the peak season.

On 8 June 2011, SingPost started using the C11 stamp cancelling machine.

C12 is a round datestamp which is rolled onto mail items as they pass through the machine. It is similar to machines C1 to C7, C9 and C11.

C13 is a dot matrix printer which cancels stamps with a double octogon outline. This is the same as two other stamp cancelling machines, C8 and C10. C8 is said to handle C6 envelopes during peak period.

This is the tenth year since SingPost started offering festive postage rates. The rates apply to greeting cards of any size, shape or colour, posted from 4 December to 25 December 2011. The local rate is 26 cents (up to 20 grams) and 32 cents (up to 40 grams), while the overseas rate is 55 cents (up to 40 grams). For Malaysia and Brunei, the weight is up to 50 grams.

Update 12 Dec 2011: 

Here is the first day cancellation for the C12 and C13 stamp cancelling machines.

Singapore $1000 Note with One Diamond

Singapore $1000 banknotes with the 3AA prefix has been found in circulation, carrying the one diamond symbol on the reverse (above the word Government).

It carries the signature of Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, the previous Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, suggesting that the banknotes were printed before 21 May 2011. Future banknotes will be issued with the signature of MAS Chairman Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

The colour is more vivid on the 3AA series, as printing technology continues to improve. Such colour improvements were also observed on the latest $100 notes. On the reverse, different tints are used for the space below the arches. We compare it with an earlier variety of the $1000 note with two triangles (right).

Now, does the $1000 1AA series exist? If it does, is the symbol is a square dot (based on the pattern for other denominations)?

Know 10 Trees: Trumpet Tree

This is the last of a three-part series featuring the ‘Know 10 Trees’ maximum cards.

Another tree which was featured among the three maximum cards was the pink-flowered Trumpet Tree, together with the Rain Tree and the Yellow Flame. Printed on A5 cardstock, these colourful maximum cards are affixed with a matching 1st Local stamp from the  ‘Know 10 Trees’ issue released on 26 May 2010.

The Trumpet Tree (Tabebuia rosea) originates from South America and is often planted for its shady crown. The deciduous tree can be up to 30 metres tall, and has large, trumpet-shaped flowers which comes in a pink-white tint. In Singapore, flowering usually occurs twice a year after a dry spell, around April and August. The flowers then develop into fruits with elongated pods, which subsequently split open to release winged seeds.

Graphics by Singapore Post

Text adapted from Singapore Post

Know 10 Trees: Yellow Flame

This is the second post of a three-part series featuring the ‘Know 10 Trees’ maximum cards.

Also featured on one of the three maximum cards released in 2011 was the Yellow Flame, which is featured in this post. These maximum cards were given to SODA members who accumulated a certain number of points in a year.

The Yellow Flame (Peltophorum pterocarpum) is a medium-sized deciduous tree originating from most parts of China, Southeast Asia and the tropical regions of Australia. The tree can reach a height of around 15 to 25 metres, making it an attractive and common wayside tree. It has bright yellow flowers which grow in bunches of up to 40 centimetres in length. During the flowering season (which can last for several weeks), the whole crown of the tree is covered in a distinctive shade of yellow. The flowers develop into woody, purple-brown fruit pods which usually contains up to five seeds.

Next week, we will be featuring the Trumpet Tree. Check back soon!

Graphics by Singapore Post
Text adapted from Singapore Post

20th World Orchid Conference (2011)

Singapore hosts the 20th World Orchid Conference (20WOC) from 13 to 20 November 2011 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. The theme for the conference is Where New and Old World Orchids Meet. To commemorate this occasion, Singapore Post released five stamps and a special Collectors’ sheet on 12 November 2011, which coincides with the opening ceremony.

This event is jointly organised by the National Parks Board (NParks) Singapore and the Orchid Society of South East Asia (OSSEA). Singapore is currently the only Asian city which is hosting the international event for a second time. The 4th World Orchid Conference was also held in Singapore in October 1963.

Featured on the stamps are five commonly known orchids. The Vanda Miss Joaquim (1st Local) is the national flower of Singapore. The Renanthera 20th WOC Singapore (45 cents) is the official flower of the event. The Dendrobium World Peace (65 cents) and Cyrtocidium Goldiana (80 cents) are cultivated in Singapore, where the latter is popularly known as the Golden Shower here. The $2 stamp portrays Grammatophyllum speciosum, or the Tiger Orchid, the largest orchid in the world.

The Collectors’ sheet contains a $5 stamp and features an assortment of orchid species and hybrids placed in a woven basket. It is sold for $8. The designer for the stamps is  Nicodemus Loh.

The orchids featured in the stamp issue are also showcased at the World Orchid Show. As part of the 20WOC, the orchid show features over 75 magnificent displays of orchid species and hybrids from 23 countries. These orchids are also found in the Singapore Botanic Gardens as well as the National Orchid Garden. The National Orchid Garden boasts some 600 orchid species and hybrids on three hectares of carefully landscaped slopes.

The 21st World Orchid Conference will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2014.

Know 10 Trees: Rain Tree

This is the first of a three-part series featuring the ‘Know 10 Trees’ maximum cards.

Singapore Post issued the ‘Know 10 Trees’ stamps on 26 May 2010, featuring ten trees which are found locally. The stamps were designed by Mr Wong Wui Kong, who also illustrated the oriental small-clawed otter stamp issue and the recent joint issue depicting the Singapore River, just to name a few.

Earlier this year, SingPost produced a set of three maximum cards for this issue. They featured the Rain Tree (below), the Yellow Flame and the Trumpet Tree. These maxicards were postmarked 31 March 2011.

The Rain Tree (Samanea saman) was brought into Singapore back in 1876 and is native to the temperate and tropical regions of South America. Its branches spread out widely, giving the tree an umbrella-shaped crown which spans 30 metres. Furthermore, the tree can reach a height of 25 metres, making it an excellent shade tree. Its flowers are fragrant and showy, with pink and white stamens. On a rainy day, the leaves of the tree would fold up, thus it is commonly known as the Rain Tree. It is also known as the Pukul Lima (which translates to 5 o’clock in Malay), as the leaves would fold up in the evenings.

Look out for the upcoming post on the Yellow Flame!

Graphics by Singapore Post
Text adapted from Singapore Post

Singapore-Egypt Joint Commemorative Cover: Significant Rivers (2011)

On 17 October 2011, a joint stamp issue was launched to commemorate 45 years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Egypt. The commemorative covers have just arrived yesterday after its shipment was delayed to Monday.

The stamps from Egypt were printed as a two se-tenant strips of three. The first set of 30 pt, LE 2 and LE 25 stamps featured the Singapore River just like Singapore’s $1.10 stamp, while the other set featured The Nile River.

The se-tenant strips from Egypt seem to be slightly shorter than the stamps from Singapore. Also, there are slight differences in colour between the stamps, with more vivid blues in the Singapore version and a slightly more realistic hue in Egypt’s stamps. The cancellation were somewhat similar, featuring the Great Pyramid of Egypt and the Singapore skyline.

Singapore-Egypt Joint Issue: Significant Rivers (2011)

On 17 October 2011, Singapore Post launched a joint stamp issue to commemorate 45 years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Egypt. The $1.10 stamp designed by Wong Wui Kong features a panoramic illustration of the Singapore River, while the $2 stamp designed by Amany Ahmed and Rasha El Zonkoly features The Nile River.

At 162 mm by 30 mm, this is likely to be the longest individual stamp issued by Singapore Post.

The Singapore River has great historical importance. In 1819, it was made the first trading port by Sir Stamford Raffles, and served as the main lifeline of Singapore then. Today, the Singapore River continues to play an important role as part of the Marina reservoir and a major tourist destination.

The Nile River is the longest river in the world, and has been the lifeline of ancient Egyptian civilisation. Most of its inhabitants and cultural and historical sites are situated along the river banks. Presently a major tourist attraction of Egypt, The Nile River is truly the heart of both ancient and modern Egypt.

This issue has a wide range of philatelic products to look out for. The miniature sheet featuring both the S$1.10 and S$2 stamps is sold for $3.30. Also, the set-of-two commemorative covers ($6.70) featuring both stamps from Singapore and Egypt is definitely be limited in numbers, and is only be available today at all Singapore Post branches.

Update: The set-of-two commemorative covers will only be available in the next few days as the stamps have arrived from Egypt on Monday.

Text adapted from Singapore Post
Graphics by Singapore Post