A few years ago I decide to start a new thematic stamps collection dedicated to the topic of the Chinese New Lunar Year.

This blog have now the objective to share with all of you this new thematic stamps collection initiated in 2007 with the Year of the Rat.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2008 Year of the Rat - Hong Kong

Set of stamps
Miniature sheet
Souvenir sheet

Souvenir sheet (gold issue)
This is the ninth Lunar New Year special stamp issue in the third series released by Hongkong Post. The first and second sets of special stamps for the Year of the Rat were issued in 1972 and 1996 respectively.

Each lunar year in China is named after an animal, running in twelve-year cycles. As the Rat is the first animal in the sequence, the cycle will begin again in 2008. In traditional Chinese culture, the Rat is a symbol of intelligence and agility. People born under this sign are considered to be sharp-witted, cheerful and amiable, they make friends easily.

The four stamps come in denominations of $1.4, $2.4, $3 and $5, and depict four cute and smart rats. To enhance the gradation of light and shade and accentuate the three-dimensional effect, five-colour printing is used on the stamps to highlight the image detail of the rats against a background embellished with silver foliage.

The First Day Cover design presents an interesting combination of paper-cutting and computer aided drawing. The paper-cut pattern gives a note of festivity, and the cute rat in the front heralds the Year of the Rat.

Gold and Silver Stamp Sheetlet on Lunar New Year Animals – Pig / Rat
As symbols of wealth and status, gold and silver have always been treasured by all people. Gold and silver philatelic products, therefore, make perfect gifts and express our wish for success and prosperity during the Lunar New Year.

The eighth issue in Hongkong Post’s Gold and Silver Stamp Sheetlet on Lunar New Year Animals series presents the Pig and the Rat. The two stamps are in a denomination of $50 and both are embossed and hot-foiled – the Pig with genuine 24-carat gold and 99.9% pure silver, and the Rat with genuine 22-carat gold and 99.9% pure silver. A certificate of authenticity is included, making the sheetlet a precious gift for the Lunar New Year.

The Chinese Lunar Calendar marks the years in a twelve-year cycle, with each year of the cycle named after an animal. It is believed that people born in the Year of the Pig are honest and straightforward, while those born in the Year of the Rat are sociable and sharp-witted.

A gradation of light and shade is used to accentuate the details of the Pig and the Rat against their brick red and sienna backgrounds, and to produce a strong three-dimensional effect.

Technical details
Serial number:
Values in set: 4
Date of issue: January 26, 2008
Stamps A set of 4 stamps ($1.4, $2.4, $3 and $5)
Miniature sheet Each containing a set of 4 stamps
Souvenir sheet Each containing a $5 imperforated stamp
Design: Bon KWAN
Gum Type: P.V.A.
Paper Type: Paper with Security Fibres
Size of the stamps: 28 mm x 45 mm
Size of the souvenir sheet: 135 mm x 85 mm
Perforations: 13.6 x 13.3
(one elliptical perforation on each vertical)
Sheet composition: 25 stamps
Printing Process: Lithography
Printing House: Cartor Security Printing, France

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