Sunday, September 16, 2007

Post-marked Palau

Before the advent of the internet, letter senders rely mainly on the services of the post office. These letters and packages are sent on their way with postage stamps, those colorful pieces of designed adhesive paper which proves to be a way of preserving, protecting and promoting Palau’s culture.
Before post offices provided paste or sponges on the counters, you can see customers licking before sticking the stamps on the envelopes.

Palau has its share of thousands of stamps which accumulated over the years. Images on the stamps on Palau depict a sampling of the wide variety of the island’s treasured collections, from birds to flags of the different States, history, environmental heroes, famous personalities, places or commemorative stamps. Postage stamps provide contemporary views of Palauan culture, artistic and historical heritage to the world.

Some postage stamps are designed based on events, like the 40th anniversary of the Peace Corps in Palau, the anniversary of the diplomatic relationships between Palau and the Republic of China (Taiwan), celebration of the Festival of Pacific Arts and others.
Sometimes the stamps make up part of a greater picture. One example is the Japan-Palau Friendship Bridge stamp depicting a picture of the KB Bridge divided into 31 stamps priced at 34 cents each. Another is a sheet of stamps depict the history of sailing in Palau while yet another sheet shows a philatelic panorama of the wonders of the sea and reefs of the island. These are just a few samples of Palau’s eye-catching stamps that have made their way all over the world and into the books of collectors. Thousands of years later, future generations will look into these collections and see what Palau is.

Palau postmaster Ponciano Materne said the post office comes up with several new stamps each year.
The world's first stamp was the Penny Black issued with the profile of Queen Victoria printed on it in Great Britain by James Chalmers around 1834. The different countries of the world produce scores of different stamps each year estimating to a total of some 400,000 different types in existence as of 2000. Recently, the annual world output has averaged about 10,000 types each year.

Stamp collecting is a popular hobby worldwide, and stamps are often produced as collectibles. Want to start your own stamp collection now? A visit to the local post office during office hours is worth it.

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