London 2012 Olympics Stamps Blog: Part Two

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imports_CCGB_yog-personalised-stamp_98576.jpg London 2012 Olympics Stamps Blog: Part Two
In the second part of his exclusive Stamp & Coin Mart blog, Bob Farley of the Society of Olympic Collectors, ...

The 62 cent Youth Olympic Games stamp that appears on the Millstatt torch relay cover last month is actually a personalised stamp (a premium service offered by Austria Post for many years). The design was originally prepared and proposed by the local philatelic society with the intention of ordering 100 copies for use on souvenir covers. The intention being to sell souvenir covers at a local philatelic exhibition staged to coincide with the Youth Olympic Games.
 
Others became aware of the proposed stamps and as a result of demand the print quantity was increased (revised quantity not known). The stamp is proving a popular item to produce commemorative covers.
 
A second personalised stamp design showing the Innsbruck YOG pictograms has also appeared, and a special cancel was available in Innsbruck. 

In March, IMOS the German Olympic and Sport collectors group will co-host a fair at the German Sport and Olympic Museum, Cologne on the 31 March. An annual event, this fair at a venue on the Rhine offers the opportunity to browse material and socialise with fellow collectors with a coffee, drink or meal or take in the sights of the city. A cruise is available from the jetty immediately outside the museum. The Chocolate museum 100m away provides a distraction for non-collecting partners. Cologne is less than a five-hour drive from Calais. Deutsche Post attend the fair with a temporary Post Office, and the special cancel will almost certainly promote London 2012. For information [email protected].

On 10 May the flame for the London Olympic torch relay will be lit in Olympia. A relay around Greece traditionally accompanied by special cancellations will reach Athens on the 17 May where the handover ceremony to London will take place. An Olympic World Collectors Fair will coincide with the handover ceremony, and will be staged in the Zappeion from 17-19 May. Attendees registering for the Fair will be invited to attend the handover ceremony.  For information: www.hoc.gr
 
It has been an interesting month for receiving 'free' London 2012 postal items.
 
The opportunity to collect PPI (Postal Paid Impressions) on envelopes and cards with Olympic subject matter really came of age for Sydney 2000 because the use of PPI envelopes by corporations is common.
 
For London 2012, these items have in effect replaced franking meter marks, so if you are lucky enough to be a customer of the sponsors, partners or suppliers of LOCOG, there is every chance that mail will arrive in PPI envelopes. BT and EDF appear to be the most enthusiastic in using envelopes for specific campaigns or mailings - not always using Royal Mail.
 
An interesting collection of these items can be assembled. If you are a recipient without any interest in collecting these items, there are plenty of collectors seeking surplus or duplicate items. Far better that they find a good home rather than end up in the waste bin!

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Bob's monthly blog coninues next month. Read more about stamps and coins relating to the Olympics in every issue of Stamp & Coin Mart.

Find out more about the Society of Olympic Collectors at: www.societyofolympiccollectors.org