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Identifying a Stamp's Country of Issue

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Gillian Hutchinson22/02/2020 23:56:12
119 forum posts
4 photos

Can anyone tell me how to identify a stamp's country of issue when that country uses a different writing system to ours? I have a stamp like that, but have no idea which country it is from. I thought there was a guide to this in one of my albums, but I haven't been able to find it.


Fred Sellars23/02/2020 00:28:50
541 forum posts
219 photos

Good evening or is it good morning Gillian,

I was just about to go to bed when I read your plea for help to identify unusual stamps, try this site it may help.

Good luck and goodnight, Fred.

Paul Davey 123/02/2020 08:14:04
492 forum posts
26 photos

or scan & post Gillian - someone will know (or know someone who will!)

Fred Sellars23/02/2020 14:37:38
541 forum posts
219 photos

Hi Gillian,

It's not always easy to identify a stamps origin with some of the older issues that don't use the Latin alphabet, especially for the newcomer to the hobby, even with European stamps the novice may not realise that stamps of Switzerland have the name of Helvetia or that Sverige is the name used for Sweden on it's postage stamps, it's a learning curve gained with practice and experience.

In some cases an identification can be obtained by a symbol such as crossed scimitars with a palm tree over them (Saudi Arabia) or chrysanthemum petals (Japan), fortunately, many stamp producing countries these days now have additional text in the Latin alphabet such as (Nippon) again for stamps of Japan, other characteristics for identification can be the currency used or the person depicted on the stamp .

As Paul has mentioned if in doubt always ask, preferably with a picture of the said item, as a picture is worth more than a 1000 words .

If you still cannot identify its origin send a picture to the forum, it's easy peasy !

TTFN, Fred.


Edited By Fred Sellars on 23/02/2020 14:45:18

Gillian Hutchinson04/04/2020 21:39:40
119 forum posts
4 photos

Thanks for all your replies guys - sorry I didn't respond until now. I checked the link you sent, Fred but couldn't find the stamp. The script would appear to be Asian, but I couldn't find a country to match it. I just wondered if the stamp was from a time of occupation by another country?

I took a photograph of the stamp but have forgotten how to add it to my album and I really don't have time to hunt for the instructions.


Fred Sellars04/04/2020 22:47:01
541 forum posts
219 photos

Good evening Gillian what you like !

Presuming you already have an album for this forum here's what to do.

(1) Log in, then go to albums located between 'friends' and 'magazines' , this should bring up the album you previously created.

(2) Press the edit photos (in blue) , this should bring up 'add more photos', press this link which brings up choose a file options, press one of the 5 options available and this will take you to gallery where I presume your photo is stored.

(3) Press the relevant icon where your photo is stored and select the photo in question, press the ✓ top right this then should bring you back for you to enable upload photo, which should add the photo to your album.

Here's hoping you are successful with my instructions, Fred.

Fred Sellars17/04/2020 17:27:25
541 forum posts
219 photos

Good evening Gillian,

I couldn't help but notice that you have managed to make an update to your forum album today originally created in January 2016.

The stamp appears to be upside down in the photo and in a plastic cover.

Nevermind all is not lost !

From what I can see 👀 , the stamp in question is from the people's Republic of China and is the lower value of a set of 4 airmail stamps issued in 1957 comprising of, 16,28,35 and 52 fen.

Hoping this answers your original query posted on 22/2/20 .

Regards, Fred.

Gillian Hutchinson17/04/2020 21:17:30
119 forum posts
4 photos

Yes indeed Fred. I actually wrote a reply to your post of 04/04, but I mustn't have sent it. I had followed your very helpful instructions on adding photos to my photo album. Result - image of an upside down stamp.

I'm glad you were able to identify the stamp - hope you didn't need to stand on your head! Just wondering, why was the country of origin not mentioned on the stamp?

Many thanks for your help!


Fred Sellars17/04/2020 22:19:48
541 forum posts
219 photos

I don't know, what you like Gillian,

The photo must have been inverted before you entered it into your album (twice !) .

As for the name of China not being on the stamp, how would you know that if you don't understand standard Chinese (Pûtōnghuà (Mandarin)) .

You've got the answer you originally asked for, be satisfied with that !

Goodnight Gillian and stay safe, regards, Fred.

Alex19/04/2020 08:18:17
604 forum posts
13 photos

Love your attitude! The reason that I left my local philatelic society was because of jerks like you..!!

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