|Some of my photos of natural snowflakes have been
used in postage stamps. This page takes a look at the stamps, along
with a bit of the stories behind the stamps.|
|United States 1st-Class Snowflake Stamps|
United States Postal Service issued a set of four snowflake stamps on
October 5th, 2006. Click on the image for a closer view.
These were first-class stamps when they were issued, and over two billion
were sold during the 2006 Christmas season (that estimate is from my
contact at the USPS). They are no longer for sale at the post office,
but there may be a few collectors out there that have them.
often think these were snowflake drawings, but the stamp images are
based on photographs of real snowflakes, specifically pictures I
took in Fairbanks, Alaska (upper right image), in
Houghton, Michigan (lower left), and in northern Ontario (the other
|Here are the orginal photographs used to create the stamp images:|
|I don't know much about how the USPS decides on
stamp issues. In my case, my phone rang and they asked me if I was
interested in supplying them with a suitable set of snowflake images.
So of course I did! I suspect it was SnowCrystals.com that led the USPS
to my photos; there weren't a lot of snowflake pictures on the web in
those days.The announcement of the snowflake stamps was made in Madison Square Garden, in the middle of a large philatelic meeting. Fun stuff! |
|Swedish Snowflake Stamps|
set of five snowflake stamps (click on the image for the full version)
was issued by the Swedish Postal System on November 18, 2010.
stamps got their start in the small town of Kiruna in northern Sweden.
I went there for a month in January 2009 tor a scientific visit, and to
photograph snowflakes of course. My host knew the postmaster in Kiruna,
and he arranged for me to meet a woman from Stockholm who was involved
in stamp design decisions. She and her colleagues apparently liked
these snowflakes that I photographed in Kiruna.
|Here are some of the original Kiruna snowflake photos that were used in designing the stamps:|
|Austrian Snowflake Stamps|
set of 20 snowflake stamps came out in Austria in 2006, again using my
photographs. They sent me a sheet of stamps, but other than that I
don't know much about this issue.
United States Snowflake Stamps
set of US snowflake stamps was issued in 2013, again using my
photographs. You can see that these are labeled "presorted" stamps,
which is post-office speak for what the rest of us call junk mail.
(Apparently you are more likely to open your junk mail if it has a real
stamp on it.) This did not come with the hoopla associated with the
1st-class issue, but of course I am nevertheless delighted to again
have my work used by the USPS.