Friday, February 5, 2010

Added Value

I have been listing some stamps in my store at and doing a little research about the stamps as I usually do. As I stated before I am not an expert and I do think I should have something interesting to state about each stamp. But that's another subject. As I was doing my research I found out something I wasn't expecting.

I had several stamps where the price of the stamp was written in a strange manner. Well, at least in a manner I was not used to seing on stamps. They would have the amount written as an addition. Take a look at the picture on the left (the commemorative Turkish postage stamp for the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Red Crescent). See what I mean? 60+10 kuruĊŸ.

It turns out these kinds of stamps are called an added value stamp. At least that is the closest I can translate it as. What the added amount (like the +10 at the end) is about is a donation taken from people who buy the stamps in order to donate it to humanitarian causes. In this case the Turkish Postal Services was collecting the money to donate it to two separate humanitarian aid organizations: the Red Crescent and the Child Protection Services. The Red Crescent would get 75% of the collected amount (that is the added value, the +10 portion of the stamp price) and the Child Protection Services received the remaining 25%.

The Red Crescent is the organization that provides humanitarian aid in case of natural disasters and war. They provide temporary shelter, food, medical aid to victims. The Child Protection Services primarily takes care of orphans and in general helps children in need of help.

I discovered that Turkish Postal Services have been printing such stamps since 1958 twice a year. So not every stamp that came out had these added values. No wonder I have not noticed this before. They are not the most common. But even in 1981 they were printing such stamps (see the Turkish postage stamp printed in honor of 1981 International Year Of Disabled Persons declared as such by the United Nations.) I do suspect in this case however the probably donated the added value to help the disabled people rather than the other humanitarian causes. But that is just a guess on my part. Probably need me to look more into it.

In my search for more information I did discover another interesting factor relating to this subject. The first stamp they ever printed with added value was the Year of Katip Celebi Turkish Postage Stamp. The stamp was printed in September 4, 1958. And it turns out I have one of these stamps in my store:

It was fun to learn something new and discover the significance of one of the stamps I have.


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