Philosateleia
Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

Owning a small piece of Iceland

A couple of weeks ago, the shipping manager at work gave a stamp off of a piece of incoming mail from Iceland to me. The stamp features a photo of Eyjafjallajökull, a volcano located near Iceland’s southern coastline.

If you follow world news, you might remember Eyjafjallajökull from 2010. The volcano erupted that year, and the resulting ash that was spewed into the atmosphere grounded passenger planes across much of Europe since ash can do a number on aircraft engines.

Icelandic stamp picturing Eyjafjallajokull
Eyjafjallajökull

So, back to the stamp. When I first looked at it, I thought to myself, “Somebody spilled glue on this thing.” That’s really what I thought it was because I could see several shiny patches on the face of the stamp.

Further sleuthing, however, revealed something a bit more exciting than spilled glue. It seems that Iceland’s postal authorities decided that the stamps issued to commemorate Eyjafjallajökull’s activity should include tiny amounts of ash from the volcano. The shiny spots on the surface of my stamp are not glue spots, but the spots where microscopic bits of ash were attached to the stamp.

Is this a bit gimmicky? Absolutely, but I love it because even though I live in the United States, I can say that I own a small piece of Iceland.

Published 2015-02-22

Comments

Linda W (2015-02-23 23:59):

Very interesting!! Thanks for sharing this stamp with your readers

Kevin Blackston (2015-02-24 06:39):

Isn’t it cool? Some interesting materials have been used in the manufacture of stamps over the years. For example, Canada is issuing a flag stamp this year that will be printed on rayon! (That’s made from wood pulp, but because of its presence in clothing, we tend to think of it as a fabric.)

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