Cyprus Stamps Blog

The Cyprus Stamps blog - for Cyprus stamp news, views and info......


 

 RSS Feed

Category: 1. Stamp News

  1. An Interview with Cyprus Stamps by CyPress Grapevine

    Posted on

    Cyprus Stamps website was featured in the August 2010 edition of the CyPress Grapevine Magazine (pages 76 and 77 - Our World section).


    August 2010 - An interview with CyPress Grapevine island wide magazine.

    Cyprus stamps chart and depict the rich history of the island from the stories behind archaeological remains to the plight of refugees from the 1974 Turkish invasion. A fascinating website run by Clement and Michele Chapman specialises in selling Cyprus stamps sets, singles, First Day Covers and Year Packs as part of a full range of products related to philately or study of stamps. Started in 2008, www.cyprusstamps.co.uk, the site has sections on news, useful links, books and accessories and a blog alongside the online shop.

    “We really started the site to facilitate our hobby and to complete our own Cyprus stamp collection by offloading the duplicate stamps we hold,” explains Michele who maintains the website. “It seems to have gained a regular band of followers and we’ve made some fantastic friends with fellow collectors around the world and in Cyprus too!”

    The Cyprus postal service dates back to the Venetians who were the first to organise postal communications for correspondence amongst dignitaries, merchants and officials. The first known letter was sent from Famagusta to Constantinople, current day Istanbul, bearing the date the 17th of August 1353. Many letters of the time were without postmarks but bore the initials ‘C.D.G.’ which stood for ‘Che Dio Guardi ‘ or ‘God is Guarding It’.

    Under Ottoman rule postmarks were egg-shaped with confidentiality secured by a wax stamp. Handmade stamps were used for the fist time by the Austrian Post Office Lloyd of Larnaca during this era. Under British administration from 1878, all post offices operated under the General Post Office of England and stamps were initially the same as British postage stamps. From 1880, British stamps of the time were overprinted ‘Cyprus’ at the Government Printing Press in Nicosia. From 1928 to 1960 the portraits of British royalty were phased out and stamps started to depict scenes which were related to Cyprus.

    When the British left the island and Cyprus became an independent Republic in 1960, three commemorative tamps were put into circulation while the standard series displaying Britain’s Queen Elizabeth was overprinted in Greek and Turkish with the words ‘Cyprus Republic’.

    Since then, the postal service has issued a limited number of series each year aimed at covering postage revenue and promoting the history, cultural heritage and natural attractions of Cyprus.

    “I have so many favourite stamp sets from Cyprus,” says Clement, who is a seasoned collector. “One I really like is a 1989 set of the mosaics in Paphos. They are like little works of art.”

    Former civil servant, Clement started collecting stamps at a young age but stopped after his collection was destroyed in a flood. He picked up the hobby again when he retired in Limassol with wife Michele in 2004.

    “One of the best sets in the world issued in Cyprus was in 1928 which marked the 50th anniversary of British administration. It has an image of George the 5th. This cost £5 which was a lot of money at the time,” says Clement.

    The service has been issuing stamp sets to commemorate Cyprus’ own 50th anniversary which is marked this year. For three years a series of sets have been coming out, each of which can be found on www.cyprusstamps.co.uk.

    Clement says that enthusiasm and interest in history are the key traits of a stamp collector.

    “I have learnt things about Cyprus history through stamp collecting. For example, I didn’t know that Leonardo da Vinci had visited Cyprus until I saw a 1981 set of three issue marking the 500th anniversary of the visit,” he says. “I’ve also learnt about different icons and which churches they are located in through Christmas stamps.”

    Everyone who sends post regularly from Cyprus will have noticed the extra obligatory 2¢ stamp for refugees displaced during the 1974 invasion.

    “I don’t know if there is anything similar in any other country but it is the only time I have seen such a stamp,” says Clement. “The first version was issued in October 1974 and the second version in December of the same year. Initially, 7 million were printed. All of the monies raised from this stamp go into special fund for refugees.
    It also raises awareness about the matter because it stands out. You look at the letter and wonder what the extra stamp is.”

    As well as stamps to raise awareness of different concerns, most special stamps are commemorative. A further set marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus will be issued in the autumn. In June, a set was issued to commemorate the visit of Pope Benedict XVI.

    “On the same day, a special stamp was issued on the Cyprus railway which shut in 1955. Ironically, it sold faster than the stamp about the Pope!”

    The most sought-after Cyprus stamps are from the Victorian and early Edwardian eras. While top-price stamps are traded and invested in like works of art for millions, Clement says that collecting does not have to be a costly hobby. “A child can start a good collection quite quickly with pocket money,” he says.

    With the widespread use of e-mail, has post and stamp issue been generally affected? “Of course, letter-sending has decreased but there is still nothing like receiving letters covered in foreign stamps and postmarks!”

    To access Clement and Michele’s site, go to: www.cyprusstamps.co.uk. All prices are quoted in sterling (GBP).

  2. Cyprus Stamps Newsletter Signup Form

    Posted on

    We've started our email newsletters again this year with a new email format for this brand new decade of 2020 as we've been very remiss over the last few years :-(

    If you wish to keep in contact with Cyprus Stamps and receive up to date information just 2 or 3 times each year regarding the Preliminary Stamp Issues programme at the beginning of the year with a final rundown on what was issued and the exact date of release (yes, they do change) at the end of the year, please use this sign up form.

    P.S. There will always be an option to Unsubscribe in each Newsletter we send.

    All we need is your email address, first name and last name.
    Please complete our new Newsletter Signup Form

    Thank you!
    Michele and Clement

  3. NEW Cyprus stamps and north Cyprus (Turkish Cypriot) stamp issues have arrived.

    Posted on

    Sadly, it's been a long time coming..... I haven't written a blog post for a very long time and it seems like forever that we've been waiting for these latest stamp issues to reach us due to them being caught up in the Coronavirus pandemic.

    We have 3 new stamp issues:
    North Cyprus Stamps 2020 "UEFA EURO 2020 Football Championship",
    Cyprus Stamps
    EUROPA 2020 "Ancient Postal Routes" and
    Cyprus Stamps "International Year of the Nurse and Midwife and 200 Years since birth of Florence Nightingale"

    Finally, they've arrived and we now have the following issues in stock and ready to purchase on our website in the NEW Stamp Issue category.

    The long awaited UEFA EURO 2020 Football Championship issue from March 2020 has really become a casualty in the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only has it been somewhere in cyberspace for months, the tournament is no more..... having been postponed until 2021. So these are a bit of white elephant for the celebration of football as a whole but will also be a bit of a rarity in time to come.

    North Cyprus Stamps 2020 "UEFA EURO 2020 Football Championship"

    Due to the 2020 Virus Pandemic this UEFA football tournement did not take place. UEFA postponed the tournament for 12 months till 2021.

    Sadly, not all of the information produced below is now relevant:

    This football tournament, simply referred to as UEFA Euro 2020, is the 16th of the UEFA European Championships organised since 1960.

    The theme of the event is all about bringing fans together, combining rivalry with celebration, independence and togetherness across 12 different cities with 12 different cultures.

    The Stadio Olimpico in Rome will host the opening game, involving Turkey and Italy. Wembley Stadium in London will host the semi-finals and final.

    For the first time, the video assistant referee (VAR) system will be used at the UEFA European Championship.

    Graphic Design: Görel Korol Sönmezer

    This issue comprises of a single stamp and also available as a full sheet of 9 stamps and on Post Office official FDC

    North Cyprus Stamps 2020 stamp issues

    North Cyprus Stamps SG 2020 (a) UEFA EURO 2020 Football Championship - Offi

    North Cyprus Stamps SG 2020 (a) UEFA EURO 2020 Football Championship - Full

     

    ------------------------------------------

    Cyprus Stamps EUROPA 2020 "Ancient Postal Routes"

    During three centuries (1571-1878) of Ottoman occupation of Cyprus the town of Larnaka was the centre of commerce and the abode of the consular corps. Correspondence was minimal and any mail was hand carried by a ship’s captain.

    The first ottoman post office opened in Lefkosia in 1871, and the first  postal route between Larnaka and Lefkosia was opened. Inland post was carried by horses, mules and camels on dirt tracks from ancient times.

    In 1878 when Great Britain took over the administration of the island’s post offices were opened in every town. The transportation  of mail was by means of a diligence drawn by two horses and two mules.

     In 1905 a railway service began  between Ammohostos and Evrychou  via Lefkosia and Morphou carrying passengers, goods and mail. The transportation of mail by train ceased with the closure of the railway in 1951.

    The issue comprises of 2 stamps and is available in sets of 2 stamps, Official FDC, Booklet format and in full sheets of 8 stamps (2 sheets per set)

    We really like this one!

    Cyprus Stamps EUROPA 2020 Ancient Postal Routes 0.34c

    Cyprus Stamps EUROPA 2020 Ancient Postal Routes 0.64c

    Cyprus Stamps EUROPA 2020 Ancient Postal Routes Booklet

    -----------------------------------------

    Cyprus Stamps "International Year of the Nurse and Midwife and 200 Years since birth of Florence Nightingale"

    This is a single issue stamp and is also available on a Post Office Official FDC and full sheet of 8 stamps.

    Each year, May 12th is established as the International Nurses Day. 2020 has also been designated as the year of the nurse and the midwife. Nurses and midwives are the "bridge" of health care, at the forefront and a key factor in achieving universal health coverage as they are the link between the community and the complex health system.

    The Cyprus Nurses and Midwives Association has been established in Cyprus since 1971, representing both Nurses and Midwives locally and internationally.

    2020 is also the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, a British pioneer in modern nursing, a woman who devoted her life to caring for the sick and who founded the profession of nursing sisters.

    Cyprus Stamps 2020 World Year of Midwifery

    Cyprus Stamps 2020 World Year of Midwifery full sheet

  4. Cyprus Stamps has gone MultiNational today!

    Posted on

    Cyprus Stamps goes MultiNational - 20 September 2019

    Well it's been a busy few days at Cyprus Stamps head office with the latest stamp issues from 10 September being dispatched Worldwide.

    Today we have posted envelopes to: UK, Malta, Germany, Israel, USA, UAE, Canada and India.

    Cyprus Stamps dispatch WorldWide.

    One of the issues is really causing some excitement and that's the 2019 Anniversaries and Events trio.

    Cyprus Stamps 2019 - Anniversaries and Events:

    "70th Anniversary of the Council of Europe"

    In 2019, Cyprus Post participates actively in the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe by issuing a commemorative stamp. The main message of the anniversary is: “Our Rights, our Freedoms, our Europe”. During its 70-year operation, the Council of Europe has significantly contributed to promoting human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

    The Republic of Cyprus is an active member of the Organisation based in Strasbourg, since 24 May 1961. The Republic has also undertaken the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers five times and the last time was from November 2019 to May 2017. The active participation of the Cyprus Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is remarkable.

    "75th Anniversary of the International Civil Aviation Organisation"

    The International Civil Aviation Organisation is a UN specialised agency. Established on 1.12.1944 under the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, the ICAO has 192 State parties and its headquarters in Montreal, Canada.

    ICAO’s core mandate is to promote a safe, efficient, secure, economically sustainable and environmentally responsible civil aviation sector and to facilitate passengers.

    Cyprus validated the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation by Law No 213/83 according to which ICAO’s standards and recommendations are immediately applicable to domestic law in Cyprus.

    "20th Anniversary of EMS Cooperative"

    The EMS Cooperative was created at the 22nd Congress of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), in Beijing of China on the 10th September 1999.
    EMS is an international postal express mail service, for documents and merchandise, offered by postal operators of the UPU, connecting every business and citizen in more than 180 countries and territories worldwide.The EMS Cooperative promotes cooperation among its member Posts to provide a high-quality, reliable and visible express mail service worldwide.

    Comprising of a set of 3 individual stamps of different values available in sheets of 8 stamps and on a single Official First Day Cover.

    You can find these and also the "150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi" which was released on the same day in the NEW Stamp Issue category located on the Home page of our website along with our other stamp categories.

    Cyprus Stamps 2019 Anniversaries and Events - Mint Set of 3 stamps

    Cyprus Stamps 2019 Anniversaries and Events Official FDC

     

  5. History of Cyprus Refugee Tax Fund Stamps

    Posted on

    In order to handle the massive problems caused by the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, with 200.000 Greek Cypriots displaced in their own country, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus set up a “Special Refugee Fund”. To support the Fund and to reduce the financial impact of the refugee problem, Cyprus Post issued a special refugee stamp, which, under legislation, must accompany every object to be posted.

    The 3 mils stamp from the 1971 Definitive Issue, which was overprinted with 10 mils value and the wording “Refugee Fund” in black, was the first refugee stamp.

    At the end of 1974 the first official 10 mils refugee stamp was issued, depicting a Cypriot refugee old woman holding her grandchild on her shoulders.
    In 1977 a new refugee stamp was in circulation, valued at 10 mils, in a black and white design by the well-known Greek engraver Tassos, depicting a refugee boy from Cyprus, sadly sitting in front of the barbed wires of occupation.

    This particular refugee stamp was issued until 1984, when it was re - issued in the same black and white design valued at 1 cent. From 1988 until 2007, the same refugee stamp was issued in grey background. In 2008, it was re-issued at the value of €0,02. Since 2009, the refugee stamp has been re-issued with the same design, but with a different-coloured font.

    You can find all of our current listings of Cyprus Refugee Stamps on our website by browsing the Cyprus Refugee (Tax Fund) Stamps shop category.

    Below is the Cyprus Stamps 2019 Refugee Tax Fund Reprint for this year in a block of 4 stamps:
    Cyprus Stamps 2019 Refugee Fund Tax stamp reprint - block of 4

  6. NEW north Cyprus (Turkish Cyprus) stamp issue - 19 May 2019 "Centenary of National Struggle"

    Posted on

    North Cyprus (Turkish Cypriot) 19 May 2019
    "Centenary of National Struggle"

    To start a national struggle against the decision of the World War I allies to divide many territories of the defeated Ottoman Empire, and to rescue the Turkish nation from enemies who come in like a flood, Mustafa Kemal Pasha left Istanbul with "ship" named Bandirma on 16 May 1919 and arrived in Samsun on 19 May 1919. Upon landing, he started the Turkish national movement, contrary to the orders given to him by the Ottoman government in Istanbul, that resulted in the declaration of the Republic of Turkey four years later.

    Available: stamps (single stamp issue), official FDC and Souvenir Sheet containing 4 stamps. Full Sheets - subject to availability.

    North Cyprus Stamps SG 2019 Centenary of National Struggle

     

    North Cyprus Stamps SG 2019 Centenary of National Struggle Souvenir Sheet

    North Cyprus Stamps SG 2019 Centenary of National Struggle FDC

    North Cyprus Stamps SG 2019 Centenary of National Struggle Full Sheet

  7. Smelly Stamps! "Aromatic Stamps - Origanum" Issue Date: 2 May 2013

    Posted on

    "Aromatic Stamps - Origanum"
    This commemorative stamp issue was released on 2 May 2013 and consisted of a souvenir sheet (mini sheet) and one stamp. For the printing of the stamps an aromatic varnish was used.

     
    Cyprus 2013 Aromatic Stamps - Oregano Cyprus 2013 Aromatic Stamps MS - Oregano
     
    Cyprus 2013 Aromatic Stamps - Oregano cancellation mark
     
    Oregano - or "rouvanos" -  is a member of the Lamiaceae family. It is an aromatic bush or semi-bush growing up to 100cm tall with spade-shaped, succulent and thick hairy leaves.

    It is a species native to Cyprus, restricted mainly to the Pafos forest area and thrives in rocky areas in various habitats, at an altitude between 200-100m. It is used extensively in cooking and is one of the most popular herbs in the Mediterranean cuisine. Oregano is effective against headaches and insomnia and acts as a cure for stomach ailments. It also has analgesic and sedative properties. Its essential oils are extracted and used in the perfumery and pharmaceutical industry.

    Oregano can be used as an ornamental plant and provides ground cover in combination with other species. It is also used in rock gardens and pots. It thrives in well-drained soil and can be planted from seed.
     

    Text: Department of Forest
    Source: 
    Stamps and Philatelic Service, Cyprus Post


    Available as single stamps, Mini / Souvenir Sheet (Mint and Used/CTO) and on Post Office official First Day Cover.

    Images above are sample images as taken from the post office issue leaflet
     
    The above issue is the third of the Aromatic stamps to be produced by Cyprus Post. The first was in 2011 called "Roses" with the second following in 2012 entitled "Jasmine".

    You can find all our current stock of Aromatic stamps by following the link here, or simply type the word "Aromatic" into the Search function on our website.
     
    Thank you for looking!
  8. Search for Cyprus stamps using the Search function

    Posted on

    How to use the Product Search on Cyprus Stamps website.

    Now, those of my website visitors who correspond with me on a regular basis will know that the Product Search function is not my most favourite piece of kit when it comes to trying to get results :-(

    So I'm going to try to explain using words and images as to why when you perform a search on Cyprus Stamps website, you may not receive the results you were antiicipating - and ways to get around the issue....

    Recently we were asked for some specific stamp issues for a collector who joined us just this year. He's looking for only certain years for a particular reason, which I will not go into - and in trying to assist with his quest, I came across an oddity which is what prompted me to write this blog post.

    Let's say you're looking for a particular stamp - for example SG 652 (one of the stamps in the set SG 648-662 1985 6th Definitives)

    652 Product Search - a simple search option

    Cyprus Stamps product search instructions - 652 single stamp

     

    Cyprus Stamps product search - 652 single stamp results (2)

    As you can see in the image above, you get a fairly short and simple list (but unfortunately, we do not have SG 652 single stamp available in our online shop at this time). However, it shows perfectly how the search performs with a straightforward number search.

     

    SG 652 a short phrase search results

    Cyprus stamps SG 652 search results

    Now, if you type SG 652 into the Product Search field you will see something you really wouldn't enjoy! (see above image).
    You can see there are 38 pages of search results simply because you entered SG with a space before the number 652.
    Not a good look, is it?

    Want a longer list but with more results? That's an easy one!
    If you know the year the stamp you are looking for was issued - then just type the year into the Product Search field.


    Know the year of issue? Simply type it in the Product Search field

    Cyprus stamps search for a single year of issue

     

    You can also use quotation marks around a 2 or 3 word search, but it helps if you know the stamps you are looking for contain those words in the title such as: "intellectual personalities" or "boy scouts" (see example below)

    boy scouts search results using quotation marks

    As you can see the Product Search field performs quite differently depending on what you enter there. The easy solution is to type only a single word (or number) search into it and hit the Enter key to get a sensible list of results.

    I hope my "How to..." guide will help those collectors who perhaps in the past may have been as frustrated as I have when trying to find either a single stamp or a set.

    As a tip, when we list Cyprus stamps in full sets we do not put a space between the hyphen, so SG 648 to SG 662 will be listed as SG 648-62

    If you're a Thematics collector - please take a look at the left hand side column (visible on any page of the website) for some of our most popular searches made by visitors to Cyprus Stamps website.

    Thematic stamp search

  9. A Potted History of the Cyprus Postal Service.

    Posted on

    Here's how it all began...

    The primary postal administration in Cyprus was set up by the Austrians in 1845. In 1871 the principal Ottoman mail station was opened in Nicosia, and a second in Larnaca in 1873. All these were shut in 1878 when a transitory British Postal Service was opened.


    Amid these early years the main open transport that worked among Larnaca and Nicosia was a pony drawn carriage or a mail truck. A pony conveyed mail to and from different towns and a mounted postman was not allowed to work in excess of 100 miles for every week. Donkeys were used in more rustic zones and pedal bikes inside towns and/or rural areas.

    In 1910 mail motorised vehicles started to be used for services between Limassol and Nicosia by means of Kophinou and Larnaca, then in 1915 an agreement was entered to with the Cairo motor company based in London for mechanised mail administrations covering every one of the towns along these routes proclaiming the finish of a long age of mail buses.

    Towards the middle of the twentieth century mail transports were placed in administration between real towns. Vans, for example, those delineated on the 2013 Europa stamps, were presented for the gathering and dissemination of mass mail between remote post workplaces in the towns and urban communities. Bikes were switched by mopeds or what we refer to as scooters.

    Cyprus (Republic) and north Cyprus (Turkish Cypriot) 2013 EUROPA "Postal Vehicles"
    Cyprus Stamps SG 1297-98 2013 EUROPA Postal Vehicles  North Cyprus Stamps SG 0759-60 2013 EUROPA Postal Vehicles

    If you're looking for EUROPA 2013 Cyprus or north Cyprus Postal Vehicles stamp issues, we do still have a small selection available. You can find them easily if click just here!

  10. Cyprus stamp issues July 2017 EUROMED "Trees of the Mediterranean" and North Cyprus "Endemic Plants"

    Posted on

    Republic of Cyprus 10 July 2017
    Joint Stamp Issue Euromed 2017 - Trees of the Mediterranean

    This year's common theme adopted by the member states of the Postal Union for the Mediterranean "Euromed" is "Trees of the Mediterranean".

     

    Available as a single stamp and Official First Day Cover.

     

    Cyprus Stamps Euromed 2017 - Trees of the Mediterranean

     

    Technical Information
    Design: Artwork: Christina Vasiliadou, Lemesos
    Text: Barkev Mihranian

    Size of stamps: 30x40 mm in sheets of 8 stamps
    Printing method: Litho-Offset on unwatermarked paper
    Printer: Veridos Matsoukis S.A., Greece

     

    North Cyprus (Turkish Cypriot) - 31 July 2017
    Endemic Plants / Endemik Bitkiler

    A set of 4 stamps of different values and featuring the following:
    1.00 TL - Teucrium divaricatum subsp. canescens
    1.50 TL - Dianthus strictus subsp.Troodi
    1.65 TL - Teucrium salaminium
    1.80 TL - Sideritis cypria

    2017 (d) North Cyprus Stamps Plants MINT 

    And below is the Official FDC for this Turkish Cypriot stamp issue:

    2017 (d) North Cyprus Stamps Plants Off FDC

    The stamps and FDCs referred to in this article can be found on our website (currently in the NEW Stamp Issue category up until the next stamp issue is released) or in the relevant Republic of Cyprus Stamps and/or North Cyprus Stamps categories on our website at www.CyprusStamps.com