I frequently grumble about what I see as the excessive number of stamp issues put out by Jersey Post as well as its irritating gimmicks such as the infamous diamond-encrusted miniature sheet. But, putting those complaints aside for once, there are many good points about many of Jersey's new issues.
The newest issue to be announced is the set and miniature sheet containing a single stamp which will be released on 27 August 2014 which deal with the island's connections with The Roman Empire. For once, there seems to be a reasonable explanation for why this issue is to be made - apparently a hoard of 70000 ancient Roman coins was discovered in a field in Jersey in 2012 and this issue ties in with that discovery depicting some of the emperors and governors who were featured on some of those coins.
Jersey stamp designs very frequently use original art which is much to be preferred to the products of a lot of postal administrations and philatelic agencies which are quite content to use photography, often poorly chosen, for their designs which makes the collector think that little or no effort has been put into producing the design despite the stamps being given high face values. This Jersey "Roman" issue uses the wonderful original art of the marvellous Victor Ambrus, who supplied the art for the Manx "Viking" set from earlier this year, and his artistry makes it an excellent issue. The reasonably priced £2 miniature sheet depicts a battle elephant and is bound to be popular with thematic collectors who specialise in stamps which portray elephants.
Having had my faith in modern issues restored by Jersey's issue, it comes crashing down to earth again with the outpourings from a large New York-based philatelic agency on behalf of several Commonwealth territories. Most of the subjects have little or nothing to do with the territories whose names appear on the stamps and there is no attempt that I can see to make the products original or even particularly interesting:-
27 August 2014 - Domestic dogs:- 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 miniature sheet:-
6 August 2014 - "Famous paintings":- 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 miniature sheet:-
14 August 2014 - Prince George of Cambridge commemoration:- 1 sheetlet of 6 stamps (3 x 2 different designs) and 1 miniature sheet:-
Papua New Guinea -
10 July 2014 - Commemoration of Pope Francis:- 4 stamps, 1 sheetlet of 4 more different stamps and 1 single stamp miniature sheet. Papua New Guinea is home to about 2 million Catholics - 27% of the country's population.
St. Vincent And The Grenadines -
19 May 2014 - Farm animals Part 2:- 1 sheetlet of 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet:-
21 July 2014 - The Meeting of US President Obama with Pope Francis:- 1 sheetlet of 6 identical stamps and 1 miniature sheet:-
14 August 2014 - "World Famous Paintings":- 1 sheetlet of 3 different stamps and 1 m.s.:-
Sierra Leone -
7 July 2014 - Centenary of the beginning of the First World War:- 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 m.s. of 2 different stamps:-
7 July 2014 - Chinese trains:- 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 m.s. of 2 different stamps:-
To return to stamps which have relevance to the countries which issue them:-
Ireland's An Post issued 8 self-adhesive stamps on 31 July 2014 - four depict marine life and the remaining 4 depict wildlife. The stamps were designed by Zinc Design Associates and digitally printed by Label Art Ltd:-
Ireland will issue 4 stamps on 7 August 2014 to commemorate the Irish Prison Service. The stamps were also designed by Zinc Design Associates and lithographed by Irish Security Printers:-
Botswana Post issued 6 stamps on 1 August 2014 on the subject of local domestic animals. It is worthwhile to compare the designs of the Botswana issue which have an authentic local feel about them with those of the St. Vincent issue featured above which seem to have had no feeling put into them at all:-
This week's issue from Australia Post is an admittedly modest pair of stamps inscribed "Christmas Island" which is on the subject of the island's red crab migration. The date of issue will be 12 August 2014 and the stamps were designed by Sonia Young and lithographed by RA Print:-
Vanuatu issued a clever set of free-form self adhesive stamps on 23 July 2014 on the original subject of "Cocktails in Paradise" - a lovely illustration to tourists to the islands of what can be enjoyed there apart from undersea post boxes, volcano post boxes, snorkelling and lazing on beaches. The set was designed by Denise Durkin and lithographed by Southern Colour Print:-