International Phone Card

International Phone Card

There has never been a satisfactory explanation as to why any of us collect anything, or indeed why we find a compelling interest each month to purchase a magazine such as 'Collectables'! Perhaps it is a generic trait within our personality, or even simply, as one enthusiast was once reported to reply when asked why he collected, "because they are there".

International Phone Card

On a personal basis, because I have never felt an impulse urge to collect sewing machines, tractor seats or vintage vehicles, practical storage space and finances have been determining factors, and I would never criticise or eschew the activities of others to collect whatever they wish.

They obviously derive much personal satisfaction from their collections, and enjoy sharing that interest with others.

My own collecting interests have been the accumulation of miniature visual images, originally on postage stamps and cigarette cards, and more recently on telephone cards.

International Phone Card

The image area of a telephone card is of more generous proportions than that of most postage stamps or cigarette cards, and additionally they are far more durable and less prone to accidental damage.

International Phone Card are Furthermore, they can be easily indexed and stored in albums.

As a final bonus, there is such wealth of diverse subject matter that can be developed into special themes by subject or country.

Even if I am unable to collect actual vintage vehicles, my own personal collection of images on telephone cards gives me much pleasure, and can encompass many different theme interests through a single medium.

One of the popular areas of multi-theme collecting is stamps on telephone cards, and it is well known that most older collectors of telephone cards have their origins as stamp or postcard collectors, thereby extending a past collecting interest into a modern medium.

International Phone Card

Whilst not wanting to divert readers' interest from the excellent monthly feature on stamps, this month I am illustrating and listing some of the stamp issues which have appeared on telephone cards.

The widest selection of stamps on telephone cards can be found in the Denmark 'Tele Sonderjylland' issues of private cards commissioned from Germany in 1993/1994.

Illustrations of some of the world's rarest stamps feature on twenty cards which can still be obtained for prices of about £6-7 each.

Here can be found images of the first stamp issues from America, Saxony, Norway, France, Greece et cetera, together with the famous octagonal British Guiana 2 cents and the Cape of Good Hope triangular on which the business of Stanley Gibbons was originally founded.
International Phone Card

The classic British 'penny black' is featured on a BT private commemorative card (BTG 338) issued in 1994 to celebrate the Southborough Centenary.

The same stamp was also illustrated on a promotional Mercurycard from Stanley Gibbons in 1990, whilst the Postal Union Congress £1 is depicted on three Mercurycards produced in the same year on behalf of Brian Reeve Auctions.

International Phone Card
Another privately commissioned BT card issued in 1991 to commemorate Matthew Flinders, incorporates into the design the Australian stamp honouring the remarkable achievements of this Lincolnshire born navigator and explorer (BTG 009).

Stamps are also a prominent part of the designs of twelve of the Mercurycards commissioned from Germany to celebrate the Olympic Games.

Stamps are illustrated only for those countries who issued special commemorative stamps in honour of the Games, but these include the 1896 Greek issue, and 1912 Stockholm stamp, as well as those for more recent years.

International Phone Card

There are attractive representations of early stamps on a series of cards rom Brazil. Even if philatelists do not have the means to acquire the original stamps, for a pound or two each, the Brazilian cards may notionally provide interest in a stamp album!

There are currently several series of cards on sale in China featuring various stamp issues- flowers, folklore, and the Lunar New Year being the subjects depicted.
Albanian stamps were the subject of one of the earlier card issues from this East European country. In fact, two issues were made, the second with the stamps in a larger format than the first.

International Phone Card
Gibraltar has always promoted philatelic interest, and stamp designs appear on a number of telephone cards, normally in close association with the country's maritime history and naval vessels from both Britain and the USA which have been familiar sights to residents of 'the Rock' over the past decades.

Malta is another Mediterranean country which acknowledges the close relationship between stamps and telephone cards.

A promotional card was issued in 1997 publicising the services of the Maltese Philatelic Bureau, and featuring the 2/6d value from the 1966 set of stamps commemorating the Great Siege which played such a prominent part in the island's history.

International Phone Card

Switzerland is another nation with strong philatelic links.

Various cards have appeared since 1990 illustrating Swiss stamp issues. Most of these can be found for two or three pounds each, and can be acquired piecemeal to build into a mini-collection.

Stamps also feature on phonecards from a number of other European countries including Croatia, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany and Spain, not infrequently in connection with international fairs where there is an association of interest between the two hobbies.

 International Phone Card

This is not surprising since both stamps and telephone cards are prepayments for services in either postal or audible communications!

As a general principle, it is worth sourcing albums of cards from almost any country, since there is often a possibility of a stamp-related phonecard.

This certainly applies to issues from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, French Polynesia, St Helena and even French Antarctica, all of which have felt that stamp designs are worthy of further representation on telephone cards. Similarly, the Isle of Man has seen fit to reproduce two sets of stamps on telephone cards as long ago as 1989/1990.

International Phone Card To emphasise the close relationship between the two collecting hobbies, pride of place for innovation and the ultimate proximity of one to the other goes to Eric Elias of Philcard International.

International Phone Card

In 1991 he commissioned a 'private' card from BT to commemorate the Philatelia Exhibition held in Cologne.

The illustration incorporated into the card design is of a German telephone card with a stamp on the card, k i.e a stamp on a phonecard on a phonecard! Nice one Eric!

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