Monday, February 28, 2011


Please take notice of the following :

GemsWorldPostcards Will Be On Hiatus Until Mar 09, 2011

Next update : Mar 09 th

Be sure to come back !

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mauritius, Christmas Island, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Taiwan

Hello again. From looking at the title above, it looks like its going to be a pretty interesting update. These are mighty interesting places from which to receive cards. So without further ado, here we go.

First up is Mauritius. I have already received a card or two from this paradise island, but one more won't go astray. As I often say, one can never have too many cards from anywhere. This card is the result of a private swap with David, who lives in Port-Louis. David operates the Mauritian Philatelic Blog here . His card shows us a few sunny views of Ile Maurice. Looks to me like a good place to pass a week this winter. David went a little above and beyond for me on this card. I specially requested a Dodo stamp. I think maybe he had a little trouble, but finally came up with one. Thanks so much David. The stamp is 1 of 4 Dodo bird stamps from 2007.

Next we have a card from Christmas Island. No , not the country in the Indian Ocean, but the Christmas Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. This Christmas Island, in Cape Breton, has a post office, a firehall and a very small population. The post office of Christmas Island gets postcards from around the world during Christmas time so they can get the Christmas Island post stamp.
The card is a very old Christmas postcard. We see on the card the Christmas souvenir sheet of 3 of the Christmas Ornaments issue , issued on November 1, 2010. Take note of the special Christmas Island Postmarks , dated on Christmas Eve. Thanks to Postmistress Hughena Mackinnon for her help on this.

Now we have another addition to my special aircraft/airlines on postcards collection. It is a side shot of the engines of Singapore Air Lines Boeing 747 Megatop Jumbo Jet. The Megatop was once considered the world's most advanced long-haul passenger aircraft. This Sri Lankan card is compliments of Ravindra who has a number of blogs about trains, lighthouses and cars. His blog about trains , Discover the World on Trains , can be found here. Ravindra used 3 nice stamps. The smaller one is from a 2008 set of 16 definitives. The larger one on the left was issued in 2010 and is part of a mixed set of 6. This one commemorates the Centenary of Kokuvil Hindu College. The 3rd stamp, also issued in 2010 , commemorates the 100th anniversary of the birth of P.R. Anthonis. Thanks Ravindra for this.

Here are a couple more cards from David, from his recent African trip. Both are from Ethiopia, one posted in Lalibela and the other in Addis Ababa. The first card gives us a look at the rock hewn Church of Bet Medhane Alem ( House of The Redeemer of the World) . Bet Medhane Alem is the largest monolithic rock-hewn church in the world, measuring 11.5m [37' 8"] in height and covering an area of almost 800m2 [8,610 square feet]. A plain building, held up by 36 pillars on the inside and another 36 around the outside, Bet Medhane Alem has a classical dignity reminiscent of an Ancient Greek temple, a resemblance that has led some experts to imagine it was modeled on the original St Mary Zion Church built by King Ezana at Axum.The interior of the church is also plain, and its huge size creates a cathedral-like austerity. Graves have been carved into the rock floor; they are no longer permanently occupied, Bet Medhane Alem has a wide courtyard whose walls are pockmarked with niches that originally served as graves or hermits’ caves.Approaching the most eastern church of this group, Bet Medhane Alem, you first catch a sight of the roof, decorated with relief crosses connected by blind arcades, and the upper part of the solemn colonnade surrounding the church: The roof demonstrates traces of the plaster remains of the restoration efforts of the early 1930’s.The tuff, from which the church is carved, blazes a typical deep pink color in striking harmony to the brownish-yellow earth and green-leaved trees of the landscape.
David used 2 Critically Endangered Black Rhinoceros stamps issued in 2005.

David's second card is of Martyr's Monument in Addis Ababa.
He used 4 stamps on this one, including a set of 3 from 2009, featuring Addis Ababa's monuments. The stamp on the left shows the same monument as is on the card. he 4th stamp is from 2003 and is 1 of a set of 4 featuring opals. Thanks David, great cards and great stamps.

The last card for this update is a maxicard from Taiwan ( Republic of China ). It is a Year of the Rabbit card with 1 of 2 Year of the Rabbit stamps from Taiwan. The postage side has 2 other stamps bearing beetles, but I wasn't able to locate the year of issue. This card is from George WU, who operates Gulfmann Maxicards among others and you can find it here. Thanks George, I appreciate it.

Great cards, Great places, Great stamps. A great update I guess, at least I think so. Comments ?
Comments ? Comments ?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cards from the Archives plus Scranton

I am continuing with my theme of showing a number of cards that I received before this blog took to the airwaves. Today you will see archive cards from Sudan, Kuwait, Bahamas , Sovereign Military Order of Malta , along with new card from Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.SA. The Scranton card is the only card I received from last Friday until yesterday. Yesterday I received ten cards, a good day at the mailbox, today two more. So enough talk, here are the cards

Card # 1 comes from Sudan, not that easy of a country to get a card from. Sudan is a country in northeastern Africa, sharing a border with 9 other countries plus the Rea Sea. On the card we see one of the stalls in the Omdurman Market, this one selling beads. Omdurman is the largest city in Sudan , but it's capital is in Khartoum. This market is one of the very best in the country , aimed at the locals and not the tourists. Mudathor used a 2005 stamp , 1 of a set of 3, featuring the Merowe Dam Project. We also see a definitive from 2003 featuring a fish, 1 of a set of 14 .
Nice card, nice stamps.

Card # 2 is from Kuwait. It is a very blurred picture of two young people sitting in the grass. I don't know why it's blurred but it I leave the reasons for it up to you readers. Graham used 3 stamps , all the same. They are a 1998 stamps , from a set of 6 featuring Old Professions.

Card # 3 , from the Bahamas. It gives us a view of Paradise Island, located just off the shore of the city of Nassau. Erin , who was visiting the Bahamas on a cruise, used a 2006 stamp from a set of 4 featuring flowering vines.

Card # 4 is from The Sovereign Military Order of Malta. On it we see a view of Rome at dawn. The postal administration of the order, known as the Poste Magistrali, was instituted on 20 May 1966 under a Decree of the Grand Master of the order and the first stamps were issued on 15 November 1966. Oriana used 3 different stamps and one of them celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Poste Magistrali.

Card # 5 is a current card , having arrived this past week. It comes from Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. On it is a vies of the Central Scranton Freeway. The stamp on the left is from 2010 and is 1 of 4 Christmas stamps issued in the Forever format. The stamp on the right , issued this year, is the Lunar New Year stamp or Year of the Rabbit stamp, also a Forever stamp. Look for the rabbit in the top left corner.

That is my update for this time. Hopefully I won't go as long till my next update as I already have received 12 cards in the last 2 days, so I have lots of material.
Thanks to all who sent these cards used today. Comments ?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Atomium and Quito and El Salvador

Hello again, Just a couple of cards to have a look at this time. One I received today and the other two many moons ago, long before this blog took shape.

The first card is from Belgium and was sent by Johan. You can see his blog here . His card shows The Atomium in Brussels. It was built for the 1958 World Fair. At 102 metres high, with its nine interconnected spheres, it represents an elementary ion crystal enlarged 165 billion times. It was supposed to be torn down after the 1958 Fair, but it was such a hit with the people, it remained and has become the most popular tourist attraction. Johan used a new 2011 stamp , 1 of a set of 3 featuring House of Authors.

Our Quito card shows the old city . It was selected as a UNESCO WHS in 1978. Quito is the capital of Ecuador and is located in the north central part of the country. Byron used a 2006 commemorative issued for the Military School Eloy Alfaro.

The last card gives us a look at La Libertad's wharf. Located about half an hour from San Salvador, La Libertad is emerging as one of Central America's best surfing destinations. The pier is now used as a fish market and is home port to the small boats of local fishermen. The stamps are 2 of 4 issued for Christmas 2006.

That's all for this time. Bit of a short one this time. Thanks to Johan, Byron and Amado

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Flag Day 2011, Billund and Antalya

First , before I get to any postcards, I want to mention Flag Day 2011. Today Feb 15th is Flag Day in Canada. It commemorates the inauguration of the Flag of Canada, The Maple Leaf, on Feburary 15th , 1965. It is not a public holiday, but any Government of Canada that wants to declare it one, will get my vote. So without further ado, I just want to fly our flag for a bit here.

Now moving right along, let's get to the postcards. I have two for sure to have a look at, maybe a couple more, we'll see as we go along. What I hope to do is every update , show a card or two from a bunch of wonderful cards , from wonderful places, that I received before the advent of this blog. That is my hope anyway.
The two new cards for this time are from Denmark and Turkey. Picturesd on the Denmark card are three members of The Danish Royal Family. On the left is HRH The Crown Prince Frederik Andre Henrik Christian. On the right is HRH Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth, while in the center is little HRH Prince Christian Valdemar Henri John, who was born 15 October 2005. Quite a good looking family. This card, which was written on Feb 7th and postmarked Feb 08th is from David, who just recently returned from Africa. David sent this card from the town of Billund, which is located in the southern part of Denmark, with a population of just over 6000. It is a company town , the home of the Lego Group head office. Located in or near Billund is a Lego factory and a Legoland theme park. Speaking of a company town, I grew up in one. Grand Falls, Newfoundland, Canada is a former company town, owned and operated by The Anglo Newfoundland Development Company Limited. A company town is a town or city in which much or all real estate, buildings (both residential and commercial, utilities, hospitals, small businesses such as grocery stores and gas stations, and other necessities or luxuries of life within its borders are owned by a single company. The term is used to refer to a town or city where loyalty to the company that is perceived to be responsible for its success is expected and that company is, or was, a major employer in the area. Sorry, I got a little off track there. David used a 2010 self adhesive definitive, one of a set of four.

The card from Turkey shows us Koprulu Canyon. Koprulr is a canyon and a National Park in the Province of Antalya, Turkey. The canyon stretches for 14 km along the Kopru River and is 400 metres deep in some places. The cliff valley formed by Kopru River between Bolasan Village and Beskonak is one of the longest canyons in Turkey at 14 kilometres , and its walls exceed 100 metres in height. There is a bridge with eight pointed arches over the Kopru River. The foundations of the bridge were laid in Roman times, and it was rebuilt from the remains of its foundations by the Seljuks. The 2 same stamps are from a set of 4 issued in 2010 honouring Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

I guess now it's time for the first of the older cards. I have two for this time and they come from Mongolia and Oman. Up first is Mongolia, a landlocked country in East and Central Asia, sharing borders with Russia and the People's Republic of China. Its capital is Ulaanbaatar with about 2,800,000 people. On the card we can see a yurt, a portable, felt covered , wood lattice framed dwelling structure. I really like what the sender of the card wrote, "May your collection
expand ". That would make perfect sense . The stamp on the right , issued in 2004 celebrates 130 years of The Universal Postal Union.The smaller stamp on the left , even thought dated 1993, was actually issued 1994 , as part of a set of 4 at the time.

The last card is from Oman. The Sultanate of Oman is an Arab country on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It shares borders with the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is one of the most developed countries in the region. This card is entitled Faces of Oman and that's exactly what you can see on it. My niece Sue, who lives in Oman , sent this card to me. Both stamps are definitives, from a set of 4 issued in 2001.

That is the update for this time. I hope you enjoyed yourself and that you will return again.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day, Somalia and Somaliland

Happy Valentine's Day
According to the St.Valentine's Day website, "A young Frenchman, Charles, Duke of Orleans is said to have written the first Valentine's Day card. The Duke who was captured at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 is said to have written a poem or ‘Valentine' to his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London."
I have 3 old Valentine's Day postcards to show you. They don't date from 1415 , but they are old so let's have a look at them. I picked them up in a large bunch of old postcards I found at an antique store last fall.

Happy Valentine's Day to all who celebrate it, especially My Valentine, My Lovely Teena.

Now back to the regular blog issues- postcards and stamps and new countries.
I have just two cards for today and they come from Somalia and Somaliland. First a little background information. I know and most postcard collectors know that it is very difficult and next to impossible to receive a postcard from Somalia. Actually with me in Canada it it now impossible to receive mail from Somalia. This of course is due to the latest air security rules due to the printer ink cartridge incident of last fall. No mail or packages from Somalia and Yemen are allowed in Canada. So what chance did I have of getting a postcard from Somalia?
Well up steps David, who has contributed lots of postcards to this blog. David planned a trip for this January to Somalia and Somaliland and intended to post cards if possible. He even purchased the postcards and the stamps online as he thought they might be difficult to find.
Before I go on let's look at Somalia.
Somalia is a country located on the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of civil war in 1991, there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory. The internationally recognized Transitional Federal Government controls only a small part of the country. Somalia has been classed as a failed state and is one of the poorest and most violent states in the world. It's capital is Mogadishu and is in the southern part of the country. As a result of the war and unrest it seems that Somalia does not have an operating postal system. Hence the difficulty of receiving a postcard from there.
So David decided to take matters into his own hands. In Mogadishu Airport he found the office of The Somali Civil Aviation Authority. This would have to take the place of the Post Office. He had his cards hand cancelled with the stamp of The Civil Aviation Authority to prove that they were indeed in Somalia. Still nowhere to post them, so he brought them back home and mailed them out from Ireland in another cover. The stamps are from 1998 and are two of a set of four featuring corals.

Now on to Somaliland. This is the north western part of the country of Somalia and has been relatively stable under the self declared , but unrecognized, sovereign state of Somaliland. Hargeisa is the capital. Again no post office , so what did David do ? He thought about courier service , but again no luck due to the security rules. In Hargesia he went to DHL Worldwide Express , but had to settle for their hand stamp on the stamp, again to verify it was indeed in Somaliland. The stamp on this card is in fact a Cinderella as no Somaliland stamps have been issued since the early 60s. Again he took the card back and mailed it out from home.

David also sent along 3 extra Somaliland Cinderellas, they make a nice train set , actually.

Now , as David said, these cards are the closest thing to getting mail from Somalia and Somaliland , anytime in the foreseeable future . So I am going to add these 2 cards to my collection as countries # 243 and 244 . I know what the purest out there will say, but sometimes you got to take what you get. Therefore I am quite happy to have these and to increase by country count by two.

That about does it for today. Thanks to David for his hard work and for thinking of me and my collection. Cheers. I'll be looking for your comments on this update , let me know what you think.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Zambia, Netherlands, The Vatican from Belgium and Thunderbirds

Hello again, glad you dropped by. Today I have a few cards that arrived either Friday or Thursday. These cards are from Zambia, Netherlands, Belgium and Great Britain. All cards except the Zambia card are from Postcrossers. Let's get to them.

First up is Bruce's card from Zambia. Bruce has been good enough to send me cards from a number of places recently , along with a souvenir sheet of stamps from South Africa. Bruce sent his card from Livingstone, a city of approximately 100,000 in the south part of the country. The card shows us a group of elephants at dusk. Now the stamps- let me start by saying both are overprints for a new value. The bird stamp on the left was issued in 2007. The The other stamp, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the UNO is an overprint of a stamp that was issued in 1995. I'm not sure if the stamp on the card was actually issued that year or not.

My next card is from Barendrecht, a small town, south of Rotterdam. On the card we can see a water tower that was built in 1912, but is now only used for weddings. And the three stamps used, well I couldn't find any information on then at all.

One would think the next card is from The Vatican or at least Italy, but no, it's from Belgium. Jo , who recently visited The Vatican and Rome, sent this card, when he got back home in Belgium. I guess I don't have to write anything about St. Peter's Square, now do I ? The large stamp on the left was issued in 1993 and celebrates Stamp Day. The other two stamps are from a multi-sheet of 20 different values celebrating the 20th century.

Today's final card is from London. It is a card showing the miniature sheet of 4 stamps that Royal Mail issued on 11 January 2011 for The Thunderbirds and the Genius of Gerry Anderson. My card doesn't have either of the Thunderbird stamps but it does have something a little different, at least for me. It has my first Post and Go stamp from Britain. I believe Machin Head Post and Go stamps have been on the go since 2008 but this is my first. I understand that other versions of these labels have been issued in September of 2010 and again recently in January of 2011. Both issues depict birds and are quite nice looking sets. Any and all would be welcome in my collection. Staying with this theme a little longer- I have recently read that Royal Mail is not the only entity providing valid postage stamps in Great Britain. UniversalMail is the producer of scenic generic postage stamps in the UK. UniversalMail produces postcard stamps for retailers to sell to international tourists only. The stamps cannot be used for delivery of mail in the UK.
The stamps are larger than Royal Mail's definitve stamps and picture local landmarks. I see they have issued stamps themed for Scotland, England, London, Northern Ireland and Wales. I would love to receive a postcard with one of these stamps on it. Come on all you British readers , how about it ?

I think that is the update for this time. Thanks to Bruce, Wim, Jo and Anne for their postcards. See you tomorrow for a little something unusual. Take care. Comments ?