Sunday, December 11, 2011

Blue Whale, Canada

Few days ago I received this fantastic cover from Glenn...and it came in very handy for this Sunday's theme of Viridian's blog, featuring Stamps of the Great White apart from Canada being eligible for this category, the stamp itself feels very northy, so I simply had to choose it for today....and believe it or not, this cover took EXACTLY two months to reach me...from Canada!! I'll never understand the postal service, but im definitely more than happy it had arrived coz it is such a beautiful stamp and such a nice and clear cancellation! It would have been more than a pity if this had gotten lost somewhere..

On October 4, 2010 Canada Post issued a $10 definitive stamp depicting the world's largest creature, the Blue Whale (Balænoptera musculus). The stamp is the largest in size and highest denomination Canada Post has ever produced.
10 $ of face value certainly is A LOT and makes this stamp mainly interesting for collectors only coz I highly doubt it will be used for regular mail often.

The stamp was produced using a combination of intaglio (for the whale in the foreground) and offset lithography (for the colours in the background). The intaglio process (which was used to produce Canada’s first postage stamp) was recently reinvented using a new, state-of-the-art laser engraving technology.
A special printing technique called microtype was used to write the Latin name for blue whale - a feature that is normally impossible to reproduce by any other means than intaglio.
Additionally, a large cluster of krill (the whale’s food of choice), along with a diver, were introduced using tagging inks. These can only be seen under an ultraviolet lamp.

 here is an image of the stamp under UV:

pretty cool, no? :)

This mammal weighs between 80 and 180 metric tonnes and reaches lengths of more than 30 metres. It can travel at speeds of 33 km/hr, accelerating to 48 km/hr when chased, making it among the fastest of whale species. This fascinating giant of the deep is also unmatched in the projection of its voice, emitting low-frequency sounds that can travel hundreds of miles (and possibly entire oceans) under water. Yet despite its outstanding stature and might, sightings of the elusive blue whale are very rare—another reason why it has fascinated us since the dawn of time. In Canada, the blue whale roams the waters along the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence near eastern Nova Scotia, the south coast of Newfoundland, and in the Davis Strait between Baffin Island and Greenland. In the west it habits the coast of British Columbia.

Maybe not so appealing as dolphins coz whales are a bit scary, but I love them too....and im appalled each time when I read how in some part of the world there are mass killings of these animals...the latest I read was regarding the dolphins' killing in the Faroe Islands/Denmark...disgusted is the least i could say I've's nature is just so twisted...

well, a few more technical details about the stamp:

Date of Issue  4 October 2010
Width            128.0 mm
Height            49.0 mm
Denomination 10.00 CAD
Perforations    13 by 13

For more north-related stamps, please visit Viridian's blog:

Have a great Sunday!


  1. Beautiful creatures, looks majestic on a large stamp. Thanks for the fascinating detail you have provided on the stamp. Love the UV image, just like being underwater.

  2. Wow, what an interesting stamp!

  3. That's a beautiful stamp. I enjoyed reading about both the printing processes and the whale.

  4. Beautiful stamp, even more beautiful creature. :ole the UV treatment,

  5. That is a pretty awesome stamp, amiga! And it goes with an awesome price tag, too. A collector's item, indeed and lucky you to be a recipient of this stamp.

    This week I have two entries, one for each of my hobby blogs. Have a happy Sunday!

    Postcards Crossing
    My Stamp Menagerie

  6. Nice big stamp! And there aren't many people who get a $10 stamp on their mail.

  7. What a wonderful stamp! Thanks you for finding out all the information and sharing with us.

  8. Superb! How odd that they chose to hide part of the design from mere mortals without UV, but at the same time a great idea.

  9. That was very generous to send a stamp worth 10 times normal! How exciting! It is very beautiful.