Information About the Stamps in the Game

The best way to use this page is to click the "BACK" thing at the top of your screen, to look again at the stamps; then click on the "FORWARD" thing at the top, when you want to come back to this information page. When you have finished reading about the stamps for any question, click the little rocket thing to return to the game for the next question.
1. The left stamp showing the head of Queen Elizabeth II has no country name on it. That means it's from Great Britain. It cost 75 pence to buy it in British money. Notice that the perforations are torn off in some places? Well, that always lowers the value of the stamp, so if you have two of this stamp, keep the one with the perfs that are not damaged.

The yellow stamp in the middle is from Argentina. Notice how the picture in the stamp is close to being in the center, with even edges all around. We say that this stamp is "well centered" and that makes it more valuable than one that is too close to one of the edges.

The right side stamp shows two satellites joined up - one from the Soviet Union and one from the USA. However, we see in the writing that it says "US", so we know the stamp is from the United States.

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2. The stamp on the left side is from "Sverige", which is "Sweden" in the Swedish language. Remember that every country will print the name of their country in their own language. You won't find stamps with "Sweden" written on them, because that's the English name for Sweden. If you look close, you will see that the cancellation on this stamp says "_TOCKHOLM". The letter almost missing in the front is an "S", so we know the stamp was posted in the Capital of Sweden, a city called Stockholm. The stamp cost 5 Kronor to buy, so we have learned that "Kronor" is a name for some kinds of money in Sweden.

The middle stamp is from Canada and cost 5 cents, in Canadian money, when it was bought at the Post Office. Notice the picture of Queen Elizabeth II of Britain. This is because Canada has very close connections with Britain. The King or Queen of Britain is also the King or Queen of Canada. This stamp was issued to honour the 100th anniversary of the independence of Canada. In 1867, Canada became a country on its own. One hundred years later, in 1967, this stamp was issued. Get your maps out and find where this stamp was used - you see Brandon, Man. on the postmark - so, find Manitoba on the map and look for Brandon.

The stamp on the right cost 5 Schillings to buy. It is from a country called Republic of Austria, but again you see they used their name in their own language. So, it is "Republik Osterreich".

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3.Here we have a well-known guy, called Santa Claus in some countries, Father Christmas in some, and other names in several other countries. On the left, Santa trudges through the snow in Canada with goodies for boys and girls. On the right, Santa obviously is finished his work and is having a ball at the beach. Lucky Old Santy!! In the middle, we do not have a stamp, we have Santy doing the "stomp", an old fashioned dance your parents used to do. Get them to show you !!

Notice on the stamp from Canada, that we left the stamp connected to the paper along the edge of the sheet of stamps it was taken from. Stamps are almost always printed in "sheets" of maybe a 100 stamps. By leaving the stamp this way, we can see all of the perforation holes, instead of just the pointy edges you get after you remove the stamp from the sheet.

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4. Here we have 3 Canadian stamps. The red one on the left was used in a little village called Vananda, British Columbia. We can sort of make out the "B.C." on the postmark, which tells us the province Vananda is in. Get out the map!! On the west coast of British Columbia, there is an island a little ways out from the town of Powell River. The island is called Texada Island. Vananda is on that island!! Even very small villages in remote places have post offices!!

Now comes the trick question!! The second (middle) stamp has Toronto written on it, but that is only because the stamp was issued to celebrate 100 years of Toronto being a city. By looking at the postmark, also called "cancellation mark", you can tell that the stamp was on a letter mailed in Brandon, Manitoba, and you already know where that is.

The stamp on the right has "Toronto" written in the cancellation mark, so that tells us it was on a letter mailed in the city of Toronto.

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5. Singers?? Hey, we thought this was about collecting stamps! Well, it seems that some countries like to honour singers by showing them on their postage stamps. The stamps on the left shows 4 different pictures of Elvis Presley. They are each different stamps, but they are printed on the same sheet ! They did not do that years ago, when all the stamps on a sheet were supposed to be the same. In this example, the country that issued stamps honouring Elvis is Gambia. Elvis is also shown on stamps of some other countries.

Gambia is found in Africa. Look for it in your atlas of the world. It is the smallest country in Africa.

The middle stamp, from the United States shows a famous person from Britain, Sir Winston Churchill. As far as we know, he never sang, except in the shower. He was made an Honorary Citizen of the United States, because he was an important leader of Great Britain during the World War II.

On the right, we see a character who does sing, in some cartoons. But he is best known for eating carrots, than for singing! This stamp does not appear from the picture to have perforations. These stamps were made so that you just "peeled" them off the paper they were stuck to, and the edges of the stamps did not have true "perforations". If you have one of these stamps, you will see that the "perforatiuons" are "wavy".

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6. The stamp on the left is a copy of one of the first stamps ever used in Canada. It cost one half penny to buy - cheap, eh? In those days, Canadians used English money. Notice that it has three ink scratches made with a pen? In those days, some post offices just used a pen to "cancel" the stamps on letters. Notice also that there are no perforations? This tells us that the stamp was made before perforations were invented. Sooooooooo, from all this, we know the stamp is very old and valuable.

Before we leave this stamp, look carefully at the edges. If the person who snipped this stamp from the sheet it was printed on had been more careful, there would be more of the whitish edge showing. The more, the better! Stamps that are cut too close are not as valuable.

The stamp in the middle might look old, but it has perforations, so it is not THAT old! It is a stamp from El Salvador, in Central America. Find it on a map! It cost 5 centavos to buy.

We didn't need to tell you that Sylvester and Tweety aren't very old, did we?

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7. This one is too easy!! Obviously the two outside stamps with the postmarks are "used" stamps, while the one in the middle is "mint". But, is it? You have to look for two things to be sure. First, is the gum (glue) on the back still there? If it is, then the chances are certain that the stamp has never been used. But, even if the stamp's gum is gone, maybe the stamp has never been used. Look very closely to see if there are any signs of a postmark, even a tiny smudge, on the front of the stamp. If the front (face) of the stamp is clean, but the gum is gone, we can call the stamp "unused", which means neither mint or used. What happened to the gum? We might never know, but there is always the chance that you accidently dropped the stamp into the bathtub when you were goofing around!!

This mint Canadian stamp (honest, it has gum on the back!) shows a painting by a famous Canadian artist, whose last name was "Suzor-Cote". If you collect stamps showing paintings, look for this one!

Let's look more carefully at the other two stamps that are postmarked. The first one, on the left, has a postmark in the French language, which is the other official language of Canada. You probably already noticed some French writing on other Canadian stamps you have seen so far. The postmark says: "Parlement Provincial Quebec", so we know the stamp was posted at the provincial government building in the Province of Quebec. In English, the postmark means "Provincial Parliament of Quebec". Quebec is a very large province - look it up - where most of the people use the French language.

The stamp on the right certainly has a different kind of postmark! "Sydney and Truro"?? And R.P.O.? Well, it does not mean that the stamp was mailed in both Sydney, Nova Scotia and Truro, Nova Scotia. It means that the stamp was postmarked while it was on a train travelling between these two places! Cool, eh?

The date is "Jul 11, 39", which means July 11th, 1939. In those days, many trains that carried the mail had "mail cars" which carried the mail and a postal clerk, who cancelled the stamps with postmarks. R.P.O. means "Railway Post Office". The cancellations always had the name of the route of the train, and sometimes they also showed the direction the train was moving, or the "Train Number". Look hard and you will see that this on Train Number 8. Of course, the date was always there as well. Many people collect and study R.P.O. stamps.

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8. These 3 stamps all look alike. They are older stamps from Canada and they show a picture of a beaver, the national symbol of Canada. The stamp on the left is the design for one of the stamps in the very first set of stamps ever printed in Canada. It was issued in 1851. It cost 3 pence to buy (remember that Canada once used British money) and it had no perforations - you can even see part of the next stamp on the left side and there are no perforations between the stamps. So, it is called "imperforate". By the way, next time you go to visit your aunt and uncle in Montana and you have to change your watch by two hours, think of this stamp!

What do different time zones have to do with a postage stamp? Well, the man who designed this "beaver" stamp, Sir Sandford Fleming, was the Canadian who also invented time zones. If you don't understand time zones, ask someone!!

OK, let's look at the middle stamp, which you see is the same design except it has perforations! Canada started to put perforations on its stamps in 1858. They liked this stamp design so much, they kept using it. Now, suppose you took the scissors and cut off the perforations - *yikes!!* - *shudder* - how could you tell the difference between this stamp and the one on the left? Well, you might not be able to tell the difference. So, when you get to the point where you are interested in collecting these very old stamps, be sure to get good advice about how to be sure that the stamp you have is what you think it is!! The catch could be that the stamp with perforations might even be more valuable than the older one that is imperforate!!

The stamp on the right looks familiar, doesn't it? ....... Hmmmmm, where have we seen it before? Gee, it looks just like the other two, sort of, but what is the difference now? In 1859, Canada began using its own money - Canadian dollars and cents. This stamp cost 5 cents to buy at the post office. They sure liked that design !!

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9. Some people collect stamps that show pictures of the same subject, or "topic". The middle stamp and the stamp on the right are both ships - right? So, if you collect "ships" as your topic, you might want them in your collection. If you collect butterflies, you might like the one on the left, from Jamaica.

By the way, the mint stamp in the middle is one of the prettiest stamps ever made in Canada. It shows a famous old Canadian sailing ship, called "Bluenose" that used to win lots of sailing races. If you are ever in Halifax, Nova Scotia, you can see a ship called "Bluenose II" which is a copy of the old one seen in the stamp.

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10. You can collect stamps from all over the world!. Here are 3 stamps from 3 different countries. The one at the left has a picture of United States President John Kennedy, but the stamp is from Uruguay (look it up in your atlas!!). Countries often honour people from other countries by showing them on their stamps.

The stamp in the middle is from Southern Rhodesia. This is one of those countries that has changed since this stamp was issued. So, it will be a bit tricky to find where it was. Well, you will find that it was in Africa, and the man whose picture is on it is Cecil Rhodes. Mr. Rhodes developed the diamond industry in Africa and he started a scholarship for young people to go to university in England. The ones who win this scholarship are called Rhodes Scholars. U.S. President Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar.

The stamp on the right is from New Zealand, which is not in Africa. Find New Zealand in your atlas. It's a long swim from there to Africa but maybe that large swordfish did it!!

This ends this game - hope you had fun!!

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