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The new U.S. space stamp releases, of July 2000, as announced in issue 47 of Orbit are staggering, featuring pentagonal shaped stamps and tour holograms, reminiscent of 1970s Bhutan issues for the Apollo programme writes John Berry.

I have now received the sheet which contains all fifteen stamps and it is so large that it is only suitable for framing or filing in a tubular cardboard container, therefore I have made the decision to cut up the sheet into its four sections and carefully cut out the fifth stamp, the circular $11.75 issue.

This means that I can include the stamps on album pages. I am sure that in the years to come, the uncut sheet will attain great philatelic and financial value but I am now in my 75th year and so prefer immediate presentation satisfaction rather than long term gain when I will not be around to take advantage of it.

Philatelic writer and pundit Ken Lake told me to think carefully before putting scissors to sheet. He told me “Once it is cut, it is cut!” Presently the sheet is virgo intacta but my fingers are twitching.

Specialist collectors should note that three preliminary images of the circular $11.75 hologram have been noted:

Original stamp released by USPS with “SPACE” above the globe, which features Africa.

The word “SPACE” removed to the outer edge on the left, globe features Africa.

Globe shows North and South America, with value red.

The four-hologram stamps when held at the correct angle to reflect light are absolutely superb.

A framed display – not John’s by now of course!




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