2014-05-27     Postage stamps: Australia, China and Hong Kong


When I was a primary school student in Australia, I used to love collecting stamps from all over the world.  On my ninth birthday my mother and father gave me a lovely stamp album. I joined a stamp club and used to love swapping stamps with other collectors.

When I was working in China some years ago, the local post office had a jug of white glue and a single chopstick, with which to attach stamps to envelopes, since in those days stamps in China did not have any gum (the sticky stuff on the back of a stamp).

In Hong Kong many people find the new $1.70 local stamp and the new $3.10 overseas stamp very confusing, because they have no value figure on them, and the print on them is very hard to read. I suppose they were introduced to save money: no need to print new stamps when their value increases. But stamp collectors all over the world will be scratching their heads wondering what these "no value" stamps are worth.

I wonder how much longer stamps will be used at all?  Already in Hong Kong and other places stamps are being replaced by machine-generated self-adhesive labels. The labels are of no interest to stamp collectors, but at least they show their value and they don't need water ....or glue!