I am currently reading the latest thriller by Steve Berry, The Malta Exchange, and just came across a passage mentioning stamps. The main character, Cotton Malone, is in Italy where he had a violent encounter with somebody he has discovered is a member of the Knights of Justice.  In the passage, Malone is thinking about what he has learned about the organization:

One hundred and four countries maintained formal diplomatic relations, including an exchange of embassies. It possessed its own constitution and actively operated within fifty-four nations, having the ability to transport medicine and supplies around the world without customs inspections or political interference. It even possessed observer status in the United Nations, issuing its own passports, license plates, stamps, and coins. Not a country, as there were no citizens or borders to defend, more a sovereign entity, all of its efforts focused on helping the sick and protecting its name and heritage, which members defended zealously.”

Palazzo di Malta, Via dei Condotti 68 Roma, headquarters of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Note the flags flying at half-staff after the death of the Grand Master Andrew Bertie. Photo taken by Willtron on February 11, 2008. Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Sovereign Military Order of Malta – Yvert et Tellier #184: Baptism of Christ (June 25, 1980). Image sourced from active eBay auction.

Upon reading that, my first thought was, “I have never heard of ‘Knights of Justice’ stamps” but then I realized that Malone is referring to the Knights Hospitaller (founded in 1050 in Jerusalem) which are now officially called the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta and better known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM). It is a Roman Catholic order based in Rome.  A postal administration called the Poste Magistrali was set up for the order under a Decree of the Grand Master on May 20, 1966, with first stamps issued on November15 of that year. I have seen these referred to once or twice but always thought they meant the stamps of Malta, either as a British colony or independent republic.

Of course, now that I know about this issuing entity, I need to seek out some of their stamps. Unfortunately, postal agreements have been established with only 50 or so territories which allow mail sent, provided it is posted at the Magistral Post Office at Via Bocca di Leone 68, Rome. The United States doesn’t have such an agreement with the Sovereign Military Order of Malta nor is the order a member of the Universal Postal Union. As a result, many catalogues view these as Cinderellas or local post stamps and simply do not list them. In fact, the only two major catalogues for which I have found SMOM listings are the Italian-language Unificato and French-language Yvert et Tellier catalogues.

Australia – Queen Victoria Bicentennial gold coin

May 24 marks the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth and a number of entities are planning stamp issues as well as commemorative coins. In searching for new stamps in this topical, I came across a number of coins that I would love to obtain as well. I found the designs from the Perth Mint in Australia particularly beautiful. Oddly, I cannot find an announcement picturing the designs for Great Britain’s upcoming stamp set other than the one that accompanied press releases last December that described this year’s stamp programme.  However, there are several online dealers advertising their first day cover cachet designs picturing the stamps. One example is shown below:

Great Britain – Queen Victoria Bicentennial (May 24, 2019) first day cover
Jersey – Queen Victoria Bicentennial (May 24, 2019)

The set from Jersey is another of my early favorites. This is an island I began collecting about the same time I started my childhood collections of Pitcairn Islands and Tristan da Cunha (sometime around late 1978 or early 1979). My other great interest at this time was North Atlantic ocean liners and I had just started a correspondence with Noel R.P. Bonsor, an author who had a series of books that profiled virtually every passenger ship that had steamed across the Atlantic since the early days of Samuel Cunard’s beginnings. Bonsor divided his time between a residence on Jersey and a villa in Alicante, Spain, and we traded letters back and forth for many years. Eventually, he began sending me stamp issues (mostly in presentation packs) from Jersey. I stopped actively collecting the bailiwick’s releases sometime in the 1990’s when they began releasing far too many stamps to keep up with (or afford). However, I will try to add the Queen Victoria set. The souvenir sheet is particularly striking:

Jersey – Queen Victoria Bicentennial (May 24, 2019) souvenir sheet
Thailand – Coronation of King Rama X (May 4, 2019)

Here in Thailand, everybody is getting reading for this weekend’s Coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, usually referred to in the West as King Rama X. There have already been a plethora of ceremonies and events associated with the event and the King himself got married Wednesday afternoon to the head of his Royal bodyguard detail (his father, the much revered King Bhumiphol Adulyadej, similarly married Queen Sirikit just prior to his own coronation back in 1950). The actual coronation ceremony occurs tomorrow (May 4) but the grand procession through the streets of Bangkok is scheduled for Sunday afternoon and Monday is a special holiday for the Kingdom.  All government employees (myself included) are to wear the Royal color of yellow every day for the entire month of May. Thailand Post’s stamp for the Coronation will be released tomorrow; while there are special postmarks available from many of the post offices in Bangkok, I doubt any of the post offices here in Phuket will be open. I have to work all day anyway and it won’t be until next week that I will be able to buy any of the new stamps (and there are several due for release next Friday so I may just wait until then).

Canada – Sweet Canada (April 17, 2019)

I have a fair amount of stamps that make me hungry looking at them, particularly those from Thailand, Malaysia, and New Zealand that portray the wonderful fruit we have in this part of the world.  I now have the opportunity to add a few picturing sweets thanks to delectable sets released by Canada and Singapore, coincidentally (?) both on April 17.  The Sweet Canada set has received some controversy as confectionary “experts” claim the proportions of chocolate, custard and crumb crust are pictured incorrectly on the design featuring the famed Nanaimo bar. It still looks tasty to me!  The stamps in Singapore’s Traditional Confections set are just as mouth-watering.

Singapore – Traditional Confections (April 17, 2019)

I haven’t spent much time on the stamp blogs lately but I did read an excellent article by John M. Hotchner on the Virtual Stamp Blog about “Collecting On A Tight Budget“, something I totally relate to.  I also came across an essay that was originally broadcast on CBC Radio discussing “The Lost Art of Writing Letters“.

“May 5, 1862 and the siege of Puebla”, a 1901 image from the Biblioteca del Niño Mexicano, a series of booklets for children detailing the history of Mexico.”

Sunday is, of course, the 5th of May — a date which is celebrated in Mexico and the American Southwest as Cinco de Mayo. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. The victory of the smaller Mexican force against a larger French force was a boost to morale for the Mexicans. Oddly, the holiday has taken on a greater significance in the U.S. than in Mexico, and has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. These celebrations began in California, where they have been observed annually since 1863. The day gained nationwide popularity in the 1980s thanks especially to advertising campaigns by beer and wine companies. Today, Cinco de Mayo generates beer sales on par with the Super Bowl. I plan to celebrate in my own way with a nice meal of Mexican food, a real hit-or-miss affair in Phuket, Thailand. Luckily, one of the island’s best restaurants serving Mexican food in located not far from my home.

Mexico – Children’s Day (April 26, 2017)

I am also thinking about putting together a Cinco de Mayo article for the long-hibernating A Stamp A Day blog as I have several stamps that commemorate the Battle of Puebla. Over the past several months, I have added quite a few Mexican stamps to my collection, many are modern stamps commemorating various holidays and other annual celebrations, something I think they do consistently well (much better than some of the other entities I collect). There are a number of other Mexican holidays in May for which I have stamps including the birthday of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla — the initiator of the Mexican Independence War — on the 8th, Día de las Madres (Mother’s Day) on the 10th, and Día del Maestro (Teachers’ Day) on the 15th.

Thailand – Coronation 2019 (May 4, 2019)

Late this afternoon, March 14, Thailand Post revealed the design for the single 10-baht stamp commemorating the Coronation of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (มหาวชิราลงกรณ บดินทรเทพยวรางกูร), the Tenth of the Chakri Dynasty. This followed the unveiling earlier this week (March 11) of the Royal Coronation Emblem which is portrayed on the stamp along with a portrait of the King wearing his Royal Thai Army uniform. An image of the Royal Grand Palace in Bangkok can be seen in the background. The stamp design is meant to echo that of the set of eight stamps issued to mark the coronation of Rama X’s father, the late King Bhumiphol Adulaydej, on May 5, 1950 (Scott #275-282). His Majesty the King personally gave the final approval to the stamp design.

Three million copies of the stamps have been printed and are claimed to be the first in the world to utilize a special four-color glass foil printing technique. This has been used on the lettering for the country’s name, denomination, and Royal Coronation Emblem which produces an embossed effect. Preorder reservations for first day covers began today and will continue until March 29 at a price of 20 baht per cover at www.thailandpostmart.com. More information can be found on the Thailand Post website or by phoning THP Contact Center 1545.

Thai Channel 3 reporter Meow Petcharat posted following images to an an album on her Facebook page this afternoon. I presume the second one is of an actual sheet of printed stamps rather than a Thailand Post mockup:


The Royal Coronation will be held from May 4 to 6 with the actual coronation taking place on the first day. Monday the 6th is a holiday. According to an announcement by the Bureau of the Royal Household, issued on January 1, stated that Vajiralongkorn “had ascended the Throne as the King of Thailand, following the invitation of the President of the National Legislative Assembly, acting as the President of the National Assembly, on behalf of the Thai people” and that “His Majesty the King deems it appropriate that it is time for the Royal Coronation Ceremony to be conducted in accordance with royal traditions and for the joy of the people and the Kingdom on this auspicious occasion of the country.”

The lead-up to the Coronation will begin with a water-drawing rite conducted by the governors of each of Thailand’s 77 provinces on April 6. This water will be consecrated the following Monday and Tuesday and then transported to Wat Suthat Thepphawararam in Bangkok for further purification on April 18 and then taken by procession the following day to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. A number of other pre-coronation rites follow and the three days from May 4 to 6 are full of additional ceremonies. A royal barge procession is expected during the Royal Krathin ceremonies later in the year (October or November, probably). A detailed explanation behind many of these, as well as a schedule, can be found in the article “The Crowing of A King” published by The Nation on March 2, 2019, That article mentions that the Ministry of Culture website includes free downloadable guides to the Coronation ceremonies but I have yet to find them.

Royal Coronation Emblem for HM King Maha Vachiralongkhorn

Thai people have been officially “encouraged” to display the Royal Coronation Emblem up until the actual ceremonies. Recommended places include coronation-related publications, decorative flags/arches and worship tables. I have already seen polo shirts for sale in Phuket bearing this new cipher. The following is a translated description from the Bureau of the Royal Household:

The Royal Emblem marked the upcoming Coronation of His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn (Rama X) which will be held on 4-6 May 2019, contains the King’s monogram in the white trimmed with gold in the centre. The Royal Cypher is decorated with diamonds which denote the origin from which his name is derived, whilst the gold trimming of the cypher represents the colour of Monday when he was born, according to the Thai traditional colours of the day.

The cypher lies on a dark blue background which is the colour of righteous kingship, contained within a lotus bud frame marked out in gold and green. The mixture of which two colours signifies the power and might of the King’s day of birth. The lotus bud frame begets inspiration from the shape of its foremost predecessor – which enclosed the Great Unalome insignis of the Royal Seal of State which belonged to King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I the Great). Surrounding the outer parts of the frame are the Five Royal Regalia, deemed to embody the symbol of Kingship itself, which contains:

  • The Great Crown of Victory, represents the great burden bearing down on the King for the sake of his people’s happiness.
  • The Sword of Victory, symbolises the King’s responsibility to protect the Kingdom from all harms threatening.
  • The Royal Sceptre, signifies the King’s virtues to bring forth peace and stability to the Kingdom.
  • The Royal Whisk and Royal Fan, symbolise the King’s righteousness as a ruler in relieving the suffering and hardship of his duties.
  • The Royal Slippers, represent the King’s care in fostering the sustenance and welfare throughout the Kingdom.

The Great Crown of Victory with the Unalome insignia includes within the sequence of number of this reign. The sword and whisk lie on the right, while the scepter and fan on the left. And below the cypher rest the royal slippers.

Standing behind the Crown is the Great Umbrella of State trimmed with bands of gold. The nine-tiered umbrella has the lotus bud finial showing Brahma Faces on top, while the lowest tier is decorated with golden Champa bouquets representing the extension in all directions yonder of his writ and authority. On the lowest part stretches of green-gold ribbon, trimmed in gold, bearing the Thai language phrase which is translated as: “The Coronation, 2562 B.E. (2019 A.D.)”.

On the tip of the ribbon stands the purple Kojasi lion, holding up the seven-tiered umbrella representing the Armed Forces, while the white Ratchasi lion holds the same but represents the Civil Service. Altogether represent the two pillars of public service. Inside the shafts of both umbrellas have golden Naga snake traceries denoting the year of the dragon, which defines the King’s birthyear according to the traditional belief. The golden colour of Naga traceries signifies the prosperity of the nation and her people.

It’s nearly February, but I am finally able to put together a tentative schedule of Thailand Post’s planned 2019 stamps. Most of the images are sourced from promotional images as found on Facebook (the first two issues are scans from my collection) and the information comes almost entirely from a screenshot found on Facebook. All of this is subject to change as additional issues are announced, images are revealed, printings are delayed, etc.

January 1, 2019: Zodiac (Year of the Pig)

Thailand - Thailand Post #TH1062 (January 1, 2019)
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH1062 (January 1, 2019)

1162. Zodiac Postage Stamp (Year of the Pig)
Date of Issue : 1 January 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht
Quantity : 1,000,000 pieces
Size : 30 x 40.5 mm. (Vertical)
Printer : Thai British Security Printing Public Company Limited,Thailand
Printing Process and Color : Lithography Multi-color
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 11.00 Baht
Designer : Mr.Udorn Niyomthum (Thailand Post Company Limited)

Thailand - Thailand Post #TH1062 (January 1, 2019) sheet of 10
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH1062 (January 1, 2019) full sheet

1162. ตราไปรษณียากรชุดนักษัตรประจำปี (กุน)
วันแรกจำหน่าย : 1 มกราคม 2562
ความมุ่งหมาย : เพื่อเผยแพร่ปีนักษัตรของไทยให้แพร่หลาย
ชนิดราคา : 3.00 บาท
จำนวนพิมพ์ : 1,000,000 ดวง
ขนาด : 30 x 40.5 มม. (แนวตั้ง)
ภาพ : ภาพนักษัตรปีกุน ภาพวาดฝีพระหัตถ์สมเด็จพระเทพรัตนราชสุดา ฯ สยามบรมราชกุมารี
ผู้ประกอบแบบ : นายอุดร นิยมธรรม (บริษัท ไปรษณีย์ไทย จำกัด)
บริษัทผู้พิมพ์ : ไทยบริติชซีเคียวริตี้ พริ้นติ้ง จำกัด (มหาชน) ประเทศไทย
วิธีการพิมพ์และสี : ลิโธกราฟี่ – หลายสี
จำนวนดวงในแผ่น : 10 ดวง
ซองวันแรกจำหน่าย : 11.00 บาท

Thailand - Thailand Post #TH1062 (January 1, 2019) first day cover-front

Thailand - Thailand Post #TH1062 (January 1, 2019) first day cover
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH1062 (January 1, 2019) first day cover
Thailand - Zodiac (Year of the Pig) - Post Office chops available on first day of issue (January 1, 2019)
Thailand – Zodiac (Year of the Pig) – Post Office chops available on first day of issue (January 1, 2019)

January 12, 2019: National Children’s Day

Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 1 (January 12, 2019)
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 1 (January 12, 2019)
Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 2 (January 12, 2019)
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 2 (January 12, 2019)
Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 3 (January 12, 2019)
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 3 (January 12, 2019)
Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 4 (January 12, 2019) - my scan
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 4 (January 12, 2019)

1163. National Children’s Day 2019 Commemorative Stamps
Date of Issue : 12 January 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (4 designs)
Quantity : 700,000 pieces per design
Size : 31 x 31 mm.
Printer : Thai British Security Printing Public Company Limited,Thailand
Printing Process and Color : Lithography Multi-color
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 23.00 Baht
Designer : Mr.Udorn Niyomthum (Thailand Post Company Limited)

Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 1 - full sheet (January 12, 2019)
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 1 – full sheet (January 12, 2019)
Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 2 - full sheet (January 12, 2019)
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 2 – full sheet (January 12, 2019)
Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 3 - full sheet (January 12, 2019)
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 3 – full sheet (January 12, 2019)
Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 4 - full sheet (January 12, 2019)
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 design 4 – full sheet (January 12, 2019)

1163. ตราไปรษณียากรที่ระลึกวันเด็กแห่งชาติ 2562
วันแรกจำหน่าย :12 มกราคม 2562
ชนิดราคา : 3.00 บาท(4 แบบ)
จำนวนพิมพ์ : แบบละ 700,000 ดวง
ขนาด : 31 x 31 มม.
บริษัทผู้พิมพ์ : ไทยบริติชซีเคียวริตี้ พริ้นติ้ง จำกัด (มหาชน) ประเทศไทย
วิธีการพิมพ์และสี : ลิโธกราฟี่ – หลายสี
จำนวนดวงในแผ่น : 10 ดวง
ซองวันแรกจำหน่าย : 23.00 บาท
ผู้ออกแบบ : นายอุดร นิยมธรรม (บริษัท ไปรษณีย์ไทย จำกัด)

Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 (January 12, 2019) first day cover - my scan
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 (January 12, 2019) first day cover
Thailand - Thailand Post #TH-1163 (January 12, 2019) first day cover
Thailand – Thailand Post #TH-1163 (January 12, 2019) first day cover
Thailand - National Children's Day - Post Office chops available on first day of issue (January 12, 2019)
Thailand – National Children’s Day – Post Office chops available on first day of issue (January 12, 2019)

February 7, 2019:  Symbol of Love

Thailand - Symbol of Love Postage Stamp (February 7, 2019)
Thailand – Symbol of Love Postage Stamp (February 7, 2019)

Symbol of Love Postage Stamp
Date of Issue : 7 February 2019
Denomination : 5.00 Baht
Quantity : 800,000 pieces
Size : 30 x 48 mm. (Vertical)
Printer :
Printing Process and Color : Lithography Multi-color
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 14.00 Baht
Designer : Miss Euamporn Supharoekchai (Thailand Post Company Limited)
ตราไปรษณียากรชุดสื่อแห่งความรัก
วันแรกจำหน่าย : 7 กุมภาพันธ์ 2562
ชนิดราคา : 5.00 บาท
จำนวนพิมพ์ : 800,000 ดวง
ขนาด : 30 x 48 มม.(แนวตั้ง)
บริษัทผู้พิมพ์ :
วิธีการพิมพ์และสี : ลิโธกราฟี่-หลายสี
จำนวนดวงในแผ่น : 10 ดวง
ซองวันแรกจำหน่าย : 14.00 บาท
ผู้ออกแบบ : น.ส.เอื้อมพร ศุภฤกษ์ชัย (บริษัท ไปรษณีย์ไทย จำกัด)


April 2, 2019:  Thai Heritage Conservation Day

Thailand - Thai Heritage Conservation Heritage Day (April 2, 2019)
Thailand – Thai Heritage Conservation Heritage Day (April 2, 2019)

Thai Heritage Conservation Day 2019 Commemorative Stamps
Date of Issue : 2 April 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (4 designs)
Quantity : 800,000 pieces per design
Size : 30 x 48 mm. (Vertical), 48 x 30 mm. (Horizontal)
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 23.00 Baht
Designer :

ตราไปรษณียากรที่ระลึกวันอนุรักษ์มรดกไทย 2562
วันแรกจำหน่าย : 2 เมษายน 2562
ชนิดราคา : 3.00 บาท (4 แบบ)
จำนวนพิมพ์ : แบบละ 500,000 ดวง
ขนาด : 30 x 48 มม.(แนวตั้ง) และ 48 x 30 มม.(แนวนอน)
ภาพ : จิตรกรรมฝาผนังในภาคใต้ อนุเคราะห์ภาพจาก รศ.ดร.สมพร ธุรี
ผู้ออกแบบ : น.ส.เอื้อมพร ศุภฤกษ์ชัย (บริษัท ไปรษณีย์ไทย จำกัด)
บริษัทผู้พิมพ์ :
วิธีการพิมพ์และสี : ลิโธกราฟี่ – หลายสี
จำนวนดวงในแผ่น : 10 ดวง
ซองวันแรกจำหน่าย : 23.00 บาท
แผ่นชีทที่ระลึก : 15 บาท


April 4, 2019:  Thai Traditional Festival

Stamp Image UnavailableThai Traditional Festival 2019 Commemorative Stamps
Date of Issue : 4 April 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (4 designs)
Quantity : 400,000 pieces per design
Size :
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 23.00 Baht
Designer :


May 10, 2019:  Important Buddhist Religious Day (Vesak Day)

Thailand - Vesak Day (May 10, 2019)
Thailand – Vesak Buja Day (May 10, 2019)

Important Buddhist Religious Day (Vesak Day)
Date of Issue : 10 May 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (4 designs)
Quantity : 500,000 pieces per design
Size : 30 x 48 mm. (Vertical)
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 23.00 Baht
Designer :

วันสำคัญทางพุทธศาสนา (วันวิสาขบูชา)
วันแรกจำหน่าย : 10 พฤษภาคม 2562
ชนิดราคา : 3.00 บาท (4 แบบ)
จำนวนพิมพ์ : แบบละ 500,000 ดวง
ขนาด : 30 x 48 มม. (แนวตั้ง)
ภาพ : พระธาตุประจำปีเกิด
ปีขาล – พระธาตุช่อแฮ จ.แพร่
ปีเถาะ – พระธาตุแช่แห้ง จ.น่าน
ปีมะโรง – พระธาตุเจดีย์วัดพระสิงห์ จ.เชียงใหม่
ปีมะเส็ง – พระธาตุเจดีย์เจ็ดยอด จ.เชียงใหม่
ผู้ออกแบบ : น.ส.มยุรี นาคนิศร (บริษัท ไปรษณีย์ไทย จำกัด)
บริษัทผู้พิมพ์
วิธีการพิมพ์และสี : ลิโธกราฟี่ – หลายสี
จำนวนดวงในแผ่น : 10 ดวง
ซองวันแรกจำหน่าย : 23.00 บาท

Stamp Image Unavailable

Important Buddhist Religious Day (Vesak Day) – Miniature Sheet of 4
Date of Issue : 10 May 2019
Denomination :
Quantity :
Size :
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 1 miniature sheet of 4 stamps
First Day Cover :
Designer :


May 10, 2019:  80 Years of Foundation for the Blind in Thailand

Stamp Image Unavailable

80 Years of Foundation for the Blind in Thailand
Date of Issue : 10 May 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht
Quantity : 500,000 pieces
Size :
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 11.00 Baht
Designer :


June 1, 2019: 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Kamphol Vacharaphol [UNDER CONSIDERATION]

Stamp Image Unavailable

100th Anniversary of the Birth of Kamphol Vacharaphol [UNDER CONSIDERATION]
Date of Issue : 1 June 2019
Denomination :
Quantity :
Size :
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover :
Designer :


June 2019: Thailand’s 2019 ASEAN Chairmanship [UNDER CONSIDERATION]

Stamp Image Unavailable

Thailand’s 2019 ASEAN Chairmanship [UNDER CONSIDERATION]
Date of Issue : June 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht
Quantity :
Size :
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover :
Designer :


June 14, 2019: 70th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between Thailand and the Philippines

Stamp Image Unavailable

70th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between Thailand and the Philippines
Date of Issue : 14 June 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (2 designs)
Quantity : 500,000 pieces per design
Size :
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover :
Designer :


June 16, 2019: 80th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between Thailand and Luxembourg

Stamp Image Unavailable

80th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between Thailand and Luxembourg
Date of Issue : 16 June 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (2 designs)
Quantity : 500,000 pieces per design
Size :
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover :
Designer :


June 21, 2019: Thailand – Maldives Joint Issue

Stamp Image Unavailable

Thailand – Maldives Joint Issue
Date of Issue : 21 June 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (2 designs)
Quantity : 500,000 pieces per design
Size :
Printer :
Printing Process and Color :
Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover :
Designer :


July 28, 2019: King Rama X’s 67th Birthday Anniversary

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King Rama X’s 67th Birthday Anniversary
Date of Issue : 28 July 2019
Denomination : 10.00 Baht
Quantity : 1,000,000 pieces
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Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
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August 8, 2019: ASEAN 2019

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ASEAN 2019 Commemorative Stamp
Date of Issue : 8 August 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht
Quantity : 500,000 pieces
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Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 11.00 Baht
Designer :


August 12, 2019: 87th Birthday Anniversary of H.M. Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign

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87th Birthday Anniversary of H.M. Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign Commemorative Stamp
Date of Issue : 12 August 2019
Denomination : 9.00 Baht
Quantity : 900,000 pieces
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Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover :
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September 11, 2019: Marine Life

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Marine Life
Date of Issue : 11 September 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (4 designs)
Quantity : 500,000 pieces per design
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Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 23.00 Baht
Designer :


September 30, 2019: Lighthouses

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Lighthouses
Date of Issue : 30 September 2019
Denomination : 4.00 Baht (4 designs)
Quantity : 500,000 pieces per design
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Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
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October 9, 2019: World Post Day

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World Post Day
Date of Issue : 9 October 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht
Quantity : 500,000
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Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 11.00 Baht
Designer :


November 15, 2019: New Year 2020 (Series 1)

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New Year 2020 (Series 1)
Date of Issue : 15 November 2019
Denomination : 3.00 Baht (4 designs)
Quantity : 300,000 pieces per design
Size :
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Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 23.00 Baht
Designer :


November 15, 2019: New Year 2020 (Series 2)

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New Year 2020 (Series 1)
Date of Issue : 15 November 2019
Denomination : 15.00 Baht (2 designs)
Quantity : 300,000 pieces per design
Size :
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Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover :
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December 5, 2019: National Day

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National Day
Date of Issue : 5 December 2019
Denomination : 5.00 Baht
Quantity : 500,000 pieces
Size :
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Sheet Composition : 10 stamps
First Day Cover : 14.00 Baht
Designer :


I will continue to update this post throughout the year as additional information and images are announced, as well as scanning the actual items as soon as I purchase them. I do try to keep up with the new issues of Thailand as they are relatively inexpensive and most become available at my local post office almost immediately upon release. However, there are occasionally limited-edition miniature sheets (usually of four stamps) that are available only in certain locations on the date of issue that I don’t tend to collect as they can be difficult to find and expensive when encountered on eBay, etc. Also, I do not collect the various personalized sheets that appear throughout the year (although I may be tempted if it is a theme related to my home province of Phuket).

Screenshot of a Thailand Post stamp schedule, posted on Facebook in mid-January 2019
Screenshot of a Thailand Post stamp schedule, posted on Facebook in mid-January 2019

This past Friday, Thailand Post announced — complete with design images — its first stamp for 2019 marking the Year of the Pig, due for release on January 1. This served as a reminder to me that it had been a while since I’d written about Thailand’s stamps released over the past few months. In fact, the last time I posted an article about Thai new issues was way back at the beginning of April!

Unfortunately, due to my work schedule, I haven’t been able to buy any stamps at the post office since mid-May (shortly after the issuance of the Thai-Turkish joint issue and they’d already sold out of the first day cover by that time!). Thus, most of the images in this article were sourced from eBay, Thailand Post, Siam Stamp Catalog, and the Facebook page of the Thailand Stamp Museum. My next day off that also is not a post office holiday won’t be until late December so I may just have to wait until the annual yearbook is released in February to obtain all of the stamps I’ve missed this year!

I won’t provide much commentary on the stamps in this article other than date of issue and a few other details. I have included the Thailand Post issue numbers for reference; it usually takes a few years (!) before I can track down Scott or Michel catalogue numbers….

Continue reading “Thailand’s Stamp Issues, May 2018 to January 2019”

Today is the Thai holiday of Wan Khao Phansa (วันเข้าพรรษา) marking the beginning of Vassa, the three-month rains’ retreat also known as Buddhist Lent, following yesterday’s holiday of Wan Asanhabucha (วันอาสาฬหบูชา) commemorating the Buddha’s first discourse. This year, however, the twin Buddhist holidays coincide with another important holiday, that of Wan Chaloem Phra Chonmaphansa Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua Maha Wachiralongkon Bodinthrathepphayawarangkun (วันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาสมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัวมหาวชิราลงกรณ บดินทรเทพยวรางกูร), which in English is simply the Birthday of King Rama X, incorporating his title and a small part of his full name. His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn (Rama X) was born on July 28, 1952, and ascended to the Thai throne upon the death of his father, King Bhumiphol Adulyajej (Rama IX), on October 13, 2016. For more on King Rama X, please see my post on Asian Meanderings.

Continue reading “Happy Birthday, King Rama X”

Sueng Bung Fai with traditional Isan dressing and local long drum show. Photo taken in Suwannaphum District, Roi Et, Thailand on June 6, 2015.

After nearly two months without any new stamps, Thailand Post is set to release two sets within the next four days for a total of eight stamps and one souvenir sheet.

Thailand TH-1144 Thai Heritage Conservation Day 2018 commemorative stamp set, release date April 2, 2018 Thailand TH-1144 Thai Heritage Conservation Day 2018 souvenir sheet, release date April 2, 2018Thailand TH-1144 Thai Heritage Conservation Day 2018 First Day Cover, release date April 2, 2018

Thailand TH-1144 Thai Heritage Conservation Day 2018 pictorial postmarks, release date April 2, 2018
Thailand TH-1144 Thai Heritage Conservation Day 2018 commemorative stamp set with souvenir sheet, release date April 2, 2018

Due tomorrow, April 2, 2018, is the annual set marking Thai Heritage Conservation Day (วันอนุรักษ์มรดกไทย — Wan Anurak Moradok Thai). Marking the birthday of the popular Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (มหาจักรีสิรินธร), a stamp collector and designer herself, the special day has been observed since 1995. Unfortunately, I don’t have any information about the murals portrayed on this year’s stamp set. Four 3-baht stamps plus a souvenir sheet which will be sold for 15 baht are scheduled to be issued under the Thailand Post catalogue number of TH-1144.

Thailand TH-1144 Thai Traditional Festivals 2018 commemorative stamp set, release date April 4, 2018 Thailand TH-1144 Thai Traditional Festivals 2018 First Day Cover, release date April 4, 2018

Thailand TH-1144 Thai Traditional Festivals 2018 pictorial postmarks, release date April 4, 2018
Thailand TH-1144 Thai Traditional Festivals 2018 commemorative stamp set, release date April 4, 2018

On April 4, the annual set of four Thai Traditional Festivals set will be released under the Thailand Post number TH-1145. This year’s subject is the spectacular Sky Rocket Festival (ประเพณีบุญบั้งไฟ — Prapheni Bun Bang Fai), a merit-making ceremony traditionally practiced by ethnic Lao people throughout much of the Isan region of northeastern Thailand and Laos near the beginning of the wet season. Celebrations typically include preliminary music and dance performances, competitive processions of floats, dancers and musicians on the second day, and culminating on the third day in competitive firings of home-made rockets.

Rocket Festival, Yasothon ประเพณีบุญบั้งไฟ จังหวัดยโสธร
Rocket launch at Yasothon, Thailand ประเพณีบุญบั้งไฟ จังหวัดยโสธร
Sueng Bung Fai with traditional Isan dressing and local long drum show. Photo taken in Suwannaphum District, Roi Et, Thailand on June 6, 2015.
Sueng Bung Fai with traditional Isan dressing and local long drum show. Photo taken in Suwannaphum District, Roi Et, Thailand on June 6, 2015.

Local participants and sponsors use the occasion to enhance their social prestige, as is customary in traditional Buddhist folk festivals throughout Southeast Asia. The most famous celebrations are those held in Yasothon’s provincial capital staged annually over the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday that falls in the middle of May. In 2018, I believe this is May 18-20 but haven’t been able to confirm those dates yet. It appears that the photographs used for Thailand’s new stamps were taken at Yasathon. The festival is one I’ve long wanted to attend and will make an extra effort this year (it can be difficult to take more than two days off from work). At the very least, I will put together an article about the Skyrocket Festival for my A Stamp A Day blog next month.

In the meantime, here’s some video from the 2016 Rocket Festival at Kut Wa in Kalasin Province, Thailand:

The next stamps on the Thailand Post calendar is a 2-stamp set marking the 60th anniversary of diplomatic releations between Thailand and Turkey (TH-1146), scheduled for release on May 12. There is also a four-stamp set (TH-1147) scheduled for May 14 to mark Vesak Buja Day (วันวิสาขบูชา — Wan Wisakhabucha). This is a Buddhist observance commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha, traditionally at the full moon of the sixth Thai lunar month (May). In Thailand, it is also observed as National Tree Day.

April 6 in Thailand is observed as Chakri Memorial Day (วันจักรี — Wan Chakkri), which commemorates the establishment of the Chakri Dynasty and the founding of Bangkok by King Phutthayotfa Chulalok in 1782. Officially known as King Phutthayotfa Chulalok the Great Day and Chakri Dynasty Memorial Day (วันพระบาทสมเด็จพระพุทธยอดฟ้าจุฬาโลกมหาราชและวันที่ระลึกมหาจักรีบรมราชวงศ์), this year the date will see the release of the first new banknotes and coins bearing the likeness of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (มหาวชิราลงกรณ บดินทรเทพยวรางกูร). In the West, he is called simply King Rama X. Banknotes in the denominations of 20, 50 and 100 baht will be released on April 6 as well as coins denominated 10, 5, 2, and 1 baht plus 50, 25, 10, 5, and 1 satang (all of the satang coinage is basically useless, retailers usually will round up or give customers 25- or 50-satang coins in change but refuse to accept them as payment; the lowest values are so that banks can balance their account books and probably won’t reach circulation).

Thailand King Rama X Definitive Stamps (Series I), scheduled for release July 28, 2018.
Pre-Order announcement for Thailand King Rama X Definitive Stamps (Series I), scheduled for release July 28, 2018.

The first Rama X definitive stamps were originally scheduled to have been released on April 6 as well but are now delayed until July 28. That date is known in English as King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s Birthday but in Thai it is วันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาสมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัวมหาวชิราลงกรณ บดินทรเทพยวรางกูร — Wan Chaloem Phra Chonmaphansa Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua Maha Wachiralongkon Bodinthrathepphayawarangkun. Have I mentioned that I have given up trying to learn the language due to mouthfuls such as this? There will be twelve stamps released that date bearing Rama X’s portrait in denominations of 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 15, 50, and 100 baht. The total face value is 220 baht, plus it appears that there will also be a souvenir sheet containing all 12 stamps to be sold for 250 baht. The stamps are now available for pre-order, as evidenced by the pictured advertisement I found on Facebook.

Although King Maha Vajiralongkorn accepted the throne on the night of December 1, 2016, and King Bhumibol Adulyadej was cremated on October 26, 2017, a coronation for the new king has yet to be held.

It’s been nearly four months since I’ve last posted anything to Philatelic Pursuits; most of my free-time energies have been dedicated to putting together material for A Stamp A Day. That being said, I do have a few items in the works for this blog so please stay tuned. The first is a periodic overview of new stamp issues for a few of the countries that I’m interested in philatelicly such as Thailand (where I live and try to keep up with new releases) and the United States (which puts out so much material each year that I often don’t pay much attention). I may add other countries at times to serve as reminders to myself to seek out certain stamps that catch my eye.

Thailand has only released two stamps in 2018 and I have yet to get to the post office to buy either of them. Unusually, Thailand Post has only announced new releases only up until the end of May rather than the full year as it has previously. These include the regular annual issues such as “Symbol of Love”, “Thai Heritage Conservation”, “Thai Traditional Festival”, and “Visak Day” as well as a new entry in its long list of “Diplomatic Relations” stamps (Turkey this time) and a joint issue with Romania. Just announced is the first set of definitive portraying the as-yet-coronated King Maha Vajiralongkhorn (Rama X), due to be released on April 6. New coinage bearing his portrait has also been recently revealed but still no word on the new reign’s paper currency with the new series of King Bhumibol Adulyadej banknotes having been released at the time of his cremation last October.

Thailand - 2018-01-01: Zodiac 2018 (Year of the Dog) 3 baht single stamp
Thailand – 2018-01-01: Zodiac 2018 (Year of the Dog) 3 baht single stamp

As usual, January 1 saw the release of the annual Zodiac issue with a single 3-baht stamp marking the Year of the Dog (Thailand Post issue number 1141). Once again, the stamp features a painting by Her Majesty Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

Thailand - 2018-01-13: National Children's Day 2018, 4x3 baht stamps
Thailand – 2018-01-13: National Children’s Day 2018, 4×3 baht stamps

  The second Saturday in January is celebrated in Thailand as National Children’s Day and a set of four 3-baht stamps featuring traditional Thai crafts including kites and parasols was released on January 13 (Thailand Post issue number 1142). A number of post offices in the Bangkok area had Children’s Day activities and featured the usual myriad of individual first day of issue postmarks. Most of the handstamp devices are also available in the large atrium at Bangkok’s old General Post Office in Chinatown and many collectors go there and apply the various chops to their own covers rather than try to travel throughout the capitol, visiting each post office in turn.

Thailand - 2018-02-07: Symbol of Love 2018, 5 baht single stamp
Thailand – 2018-02-07: Symbol of Love 2018, 5 baht single stamp

The only upcoming stamp announced (so far) to be released in February is the annual “Symbol of Love” 5-baht emission due to be issued on February 7, just a week before Valentine’s Day (Thailand Post 1143). The design appears to be a crocheted heart. The next issues on the calendar are set for April 2 — a four-stamp Thai Heritage and Conservation set (Thailand Post 1144) — and April 4 — four designs for the Thai Traditional Festival set (Thailand Post 1145), which annually is released just prior to Thai New Year (Songkran, April 13). No images for either of these two set have been revealed yet and I suspect that we will also see releases soon for the annual Chinese New Year and Red Cross stamps.

Thailand - 2018-04-06 King Rama X Definitive Series I - 12 stamps in various denominations
Thailand – 2018-04-06 King Rama X Definitive Series I – 12 stamps in various denominations

The Thai-language Stamp magazine is the source for the image above — the first set of definitives depicting His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn who took the throne following the October 13, 2016, death of his father, the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej (King Rama IX). These range from 1 baht to 100 baht and will be used on the majority of stamped mail within Thailand for the next few years. While these have yet to appear on Thailand Post’s website or on the official release schedule, a Facebook post by a well-connected Thai collector mentions that they will be issued on April 6. I will attempt to create some unofficial first day covers as I doubt Thailand Post will sell official ones.

There are a number of very interesting stamps on the early release calendar of the United States Postal Service. Five stamps and one stamped envelope have been released in January so far and one more is due tomorrow (January 30). One of the reasons I long ago gave up trying to purchase one of each new stamp from the United States is the expense. The stamps released thus far this year have a total face value of US $39.60 (which is 1240.17 Thai baht, making it sound even worse!). While the designs are striking for the Priority Mail rate issues, I doubt I will ever purchase any. However, some of the U.S. stamps slated for later this year are ones I definitely want to pick up featuring such subjects as the end of World War I, scenes inspired by “America, The Beautiful” and British music legend John Lennon. I’m not excited by the Mister Rodgers stamp but to each, their own.

United States - 2018-01-11: Year of the Dog - (49 cent) Forever single stamp
United States – 2018-01-11: Year of the Dog – (49 cent) Forever commemorative stamp

The United States’ Zodiac 2018 stamp was released on January 11 in Honolulu, Hawaii 96820, in a PSA pane of 12 printed by the Banknote Corporation of America. The Year of the Dog stamp is the 11th of 12 stamps in the current Celebrating Lunar New Year cycle. The artwork focuses on some of the common ways the Lunar New Year holiday is celebrated. It depicts an arrangement of lucky bamboo. On the red paper to the right, the Chinese character fu — meaning good fortune, rendered in calligraphy — is a common decoration on doors and entryways during Lunar New Year festivities.

United States - 2018-01-18: Love Flourishes - (49 cent) Forever special stamp
United States – 2018-01-18: Love Flourishes – (49 cent) Forever special stamp

Love Flourishes, the latest stamp in a series that goes back to 1973, was released on January 18 in Phoenix, Arizona 85026 in a PSA pane printed by the Banknote Corporation of America in panes of 20. It features a fanciful garden of colorful flowers surrounding the word “Love” in cursive script. The First Day of Issue site is Creativation, the annual Craft & Hobby Association convention that brings together the global creative products community from designers to manufacturers, some of whom may want to incorporate postage stamps in their designs. The flowers on the stamp include stylized roses, peonies, and dahlias in pink, coral, and yellow, with pale blue-green berries and gold fronds and leaves.

United States - 2018-01-19: Meyer Lemons - 2 cent definitive stamp
United States – 2018-01-19: Meyer Lemons – 2 cent definitive coil stamp

The 2¢ Meyer Lemons stamp is the latest in the current Fruits low-denomination definitive series. It was issued on January 19 in Kenner, Louisiana 70062, printed in coils of 10,000 by the Banknote Corporation of America. The Meyer lemon is native to China, and is thought to be a cross between a true lemon and either a mandarin or common orange. It was introduced to the U.S. in 1908, but in the 1940s it was discovered that a majority of the Meyer lemon trees being cloned were symptomless carriers of a virus that had killed or rendered useless millions of citrus trees all over the world. Most of the Meyer lemon trees in the U.S. were then destroyed, after which a virus-free selection was developed in the 1950s and certified and released in 1975 by the University of California as the ‘Improved Meyer lemon’.”

United States - 2018-01-21 Bydo-In Temple - $6.70 Priority Mail Rate stamp and stamped envelope
United States – 2018-01-21 Bydo-In Temple – $6.70 Priority Mail Rate stamp and stamped envelope

The Byodo-In Temple — a popular tourist attraction in Hawaii, is featured on a $6.70 Priority Mail flat-rate envelope as well as a $6.70 stamp released in panes of four released on January 21 in Kansas City, Missouri 64108. These, and the following stamp, are the latest entries in the long-running American Landmarks series.

United States - 2018-01-21 Sleeping Bear Dunes - $24.70 Priority Mail Express rate stamp
United States – 2018-01-21 Sleeping Bear Dunes – $24.70 Priority Mail Express rate stamp

With this Priority Mail Express stamp in the American Landmarks series, the Postal Service celebrates the Sleeping Bear Dunes, a national park in Michigan that takes its name from a Native American legend. It was released in panes of four on January 21 in Kansas City, Missouri 64108.

United States - January 30, 2018: Lena Horne - (50 cent) Forever commemorative stamp
United States – January 30, 2018: Lena Horne – (50 cent) Forever commemorative stamp

Due for release on January 30 is a single stamp portraying Lena Horne in New York, New York. Horne is included in the USPS Black Heritage series as a trailblazer in Hollywood for women of color when in fact, her fame and her contributions were much broader. As a performer her 70-year career was capped by a one-woman show, “Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music,” which ran for more than three hundred performances on Broadway and then on tour across the United States. And as an activist, her defense of the civil rights of all Americans led to her being blacklisted during the infamous era of McCarthyism and the Red Scare. Released in panes of 20 printed by the Banknote Corporation of America, the stamp features a photograph of Lena Horne taken by Christian Steiner in the 1980s, with an added background reminiscent of Horne’s “Stormy Weather” album.

Next to be released by the United States are four Forever definitive stamps (currently 50 cents) in two double-sided panes of 20 and two coils of 100 scheduled for issue at Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33310 on February 9. I will provide images of that release, as well as more new stamps, next month.