Peculiar Postage: Unusual Stamps from Around the World, Part Two

Stamps with embedded volcanic ash, sand from Sahara dunes, and even precious crystals

A while ago, we took a look at examples of strange and noteworthy stamps from around the world. Today we have another fascinating look at some of the more peculiar, quite unusual, slightly odd and downright weird postage stamps from around the world.

Since philately and stamp collecting are somewhat specialized fields of study, this article doesn’t examine postage stamps in terms of their financial value to collectors. Instead, here is just a selection of some of the more unusual and often very strange postage stamp designs that have appeared in various countries over the years.

This Israeli stamp has a portrait of H.G. Wells and the time machine from his novel. This was part of a set featuring famous science fiction authors including Wells, Jules Verne and Isaac Asimov:


(image via)
Here’s a Paraguayan stamp printed on cedar:

(image credit: Copyright 2009 by Linn's Stamp News ( Used with permission.)
We’ve covered high denomination currency from Germany’s hyper-inflation period in the 1920s in previous articles here at Dark Roasted Blend, but here are some postage stamps from that time. This stamp was originally valued at 200 marks early in 1923, but had been surcharged to cost 800,000 marks later that year:

(image credit: Copyright 2009 by Linn's Stamp News ( Used with permission.)
The Swarovski Crystal souvenir sheet of stamps issued in Austria in 2004 is embedded with tiny Swarovski crystals:

(image credit: Heindorffhus Shoebox)
To commemorate the Davis Cup, these Russian stamps in 2003 depicting a clay tennis court contain have genuine clay particles:

(image via)
There have been a number of scented stamps around the world over the years. This UK scratch and sniff stamp, which smells of eucalyptus, was issued in 2001 for the centenary of the Nobel Prize:

(image via)
French Polynesia produced this pineapple-scented postage stamp in 2005:

(image credit: Universal Postal Union)
More scented stamps from Germany, these smelling of apple, huckleberry lemon or strawberry:

(image via)
In 2008, Finland issued the world's first transparent postage stamp (printed on plastic):

(image via)
Although this 2010 Netherlands stamp only measures 3 cm by 4 cm, it actually contains a book complete with a story:

(image via)
Also from the Netherlands, is this 2010 stamp featuring what is claimed to be the smallest and shortest film in the world. At a certain angle, the stamp has animation in which Dutch actress Carice van Houten bites someone’s finger:

(image via, click to see the whole animation)
This is the world’s first embroidered stamp, from Switzerland in 2000:

(image via)
Another embroidered stamp, issued in Micronesia for the Year of the Dragon:

(images via 1, )
From Brazil, this stamp is printed on synthetic fabric, and has invisible ink that’s luminescent under UV light:
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