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Sierra Leone Stamps Or Stickers

 
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Valued Member

Canada
308 Posts
Posted 05/16/2010   11:44 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Katchem_ash to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello,

I was wondering since seeing the Sierra Leone Stamp/Stickers at a local store here whether these would be called stamps or not. They were seals (one of an eagle) and shapes of fruit I guess. Could anyone tell me whether these should be picked up as stamps or I shouldn't pick them up? I saw the backing and they were like stickers so I was wondering.

Thanks
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Rest in Peace
Canada
6750 Posts
Posted 05/16/2010   1:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Puzzler to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Katchem_ash, welcome to the forum!

The Sierra Leone stamps are actually stamps. They are some of the first odd-shaped self-adhesive stamps issued (Tonga or Togo was first, not sure when.)

They can be had used as I have some somewhere buried that I bought as kiloware (stamps still stuck on the pieces of envelopes or paper they were mailed on, and cancelled on)

They were mostly produced (I think) as a stand out stamp to collectors and to sell to collectors, so can be regarded as not a stamp really used for postage so thus not a real stamp.

I used to think so myself. But as I grew more knowledgeable about stamps from around the world I realized that they were kind of in the middle ground. They are attractive and people usually like them so I think a good buy for those reasons alone.

Especially if you are collecting a certain topic or theme that they might fit into, even as a side line to your general collecting interest(s). Some people do enjoy collecting odd-shaped stamps, now-a-days more and more as more countries issue such stamps.

Do a search on SCF here for odd shaped stamps and lots will come up.
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Valued Member
USA
246 Posts
Posted 05/16/2010   3:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Prince Afa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I can second what Puzzler has said.

Various companies have made "deals" with various 3rd world countries to produce "weird" postage and coinage items.

In almost all cases, they were never used in the specific country and if you asked the residents of those countries, they would not have any idea of what you are talking about.

To buy or not buy? Once again, I second Puzzler's comments. If you really need a "complete" Sierra Leone collection, then......

BTW, I was to Sierra Leone perhaps 15 times in the 1993- 2004 timeframe and most often, you would show up at the Post Office to send an item and they'd just take your money and say "we'll take care of it." --> if you get what I mean.

Wasn't a fun place to be back then.
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Pillar Of The Community
Finland
751 Posts
Posted 05/17/2010   04:11 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add scb to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here's something I wrote last week on my blog about the Sierra Leone diecut stamps: http://www.stampcollectingblog.com/...t-stamps.php
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Collecting the world 1840 to date one stamp at a time.
Author & owner of Stamp Collecting Blog
Valued Member
Canada
308 Posts
Posted 05/17/2010   10:16 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Katchem_ash to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the help!
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
1997 Posts
Posted 05/17/2010   10:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jubilee to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sad though, isn't it? This is what Sierra Leone stamps used to look like



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Valued Member
Canada
308 Posts
Posted 05/17/2010   11:22 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Katchem_ash to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
So was it just the chance of pandering to the collectors that changed the style of the stamps or was it some geniune interest to produce unique stamps?
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Rest in Peace
Canada
5701 Posts
Posted 05/17/2010   11:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BeeSee to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Maybe Sierra Leone (and Tonga) were way ahead of their time - now all countries produce such stamps...
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BeeSee in BC
"The Postmark is Mightier than the Stamp"
http://brcstamps.com ---- BNAPS, RPSC, APS
Valued Member
United States
248 Posts
Posted 05/17/2010   3:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add abohart to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My guess would be that it was a way of boosting national income for some of these very small countries... still, some of those stamps are really cool, and I collect them anyway!

-Allen
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Rest in Peace
Canada
5701 Posts
Posted 05/17/2010   3:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BeeSee to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Of course it was for boosting national economies, but the innovation of self-adhesive stamps was way ahead of it's time, accidentally or not. They also suited the tropical climate better.

Now most countries produce such stamps, and are putting out subjects to boost post office revenue with topics that would be unheard of 30 years ago...
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BeeSee in BC
"The Postmark is Mightier than the Stamp"
http://brcstamps.com ---- BNAPS, RPSC, APS
Rest in Peace
Canada
5701 Posts
Posted 05/17/2010   3:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BeeSee to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Jubilee, great stamp there!
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BeeSee in BC
"The Postmark is Mightier than the Stamp"
http://brcstamps.com ---- BNAPS, RPSC, APS
Valued Member
USA
246 Posts
Posted 05/18/2010   03:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Prince Afa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I can only address West African countries, but in earlier years, most of them issued "real" postage stamps that were aimed at the collecting community. Take a look at countries like Togo and Benin and you find dozens and dozens of issues. Stamps honoring disney characters, Elvis, classic cars, etc. - things that had very little to do with those countries.

They were obviously "pandering" to the collecting community - the only difference is that these issues actually did circulate and you could usually find them in the Post Offices.
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
1997 Posts
Posted 05/18/2010   03:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jubilee to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It's finding them on cover which would be the real challenge for a collector. IMHO, stamps that are issued should do service.
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Valued Member
United States
91 Posts
Posted 05/18/2010   04:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add halflizard to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here are a few relevent factors to consider: What is the literacy rate in Sierra Leone? How many residents have enough income to allow them to generously mail letters, postcards and gift packages of spiced millipedes?
Lizardly,
halflizard

If you can't take it with you, don't go.
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