11 September 2012

Esperanto stamps…





L. L. Zamenhof  who published the first book detailing Esperanto


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Esperanto – a nice theme for Stamp collectors

Many people might not know the meaning of Esperanto . Esperanto is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language.Its name derives from Doktoro Esperanto ("Esperanto" translates as "one who hopes"), the pseudonym under which L. L. Zamenhof published the first book detailing Esperanto, the Unua Libro, on July 26, 1887. Zamenhof's goal was to create an easy-to-learn and politically neutral language that transcends nationality and would foster peace and international understanding between people with different regional and/or national languages.

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'Esperanto' was (and still is) a bold attempt by a single human being to promote world peace through an artificially created international language. Estimates of Esperanto speakers range from 10,000 to 2,000,000 active or fluent speakers, as well as perhaps a thousand native speakers. that is, people who learned Esperanto from birth as one of their native languages. Esperanto has a notable presence in over a hundred countries. Usage is highest in Europe, East Asia, and South America. The first World Congress of Esperanto was organized in France in 1905.


For the interest of philatelists, Russia was the first country to use Esperanto on a stamp.

Appropriateiy enough, a commemorative stamp in honor of Dr. A. S. Popov a pioneer of wireless telegraphy was chosen. The stamp was issued in October 1925, and has a portrait of Popov with a background of aerials of the type common in Russia. There were two denominations, the 7k. blue, for inland postage on a simple letter or foreign postage on a postcard, and the 14k. green for foreign postage on a letter.

It is well known that Esperanto is entirely non—poIiticaI and nonsectarian. Anyone may use it to further whatever ends he may wish. The Russians have been quick to see its usefulness for propaganda on their stamps.

Seeing that their own language is difficult for foreigners to understand, with the great disadvantage of having an alphabet of its own, Esperanto was most useful. Even when the Russian letters are the same as the English alphabet, they o1'ten have entirely different sounds. for example,sounds like and "P" like Esperanto, of course, uses the ordinary Roman alphabet.

Esperanto words which have appeared on the stamps have been chosen deliberately so that any intelligent foreigner can understand; even if he has no knowledge of Esperanto. Later many countries issued stamps on this theme.

Many countries have issued stamps on Esperanto and it is a good theme for Topical stamp collectors. One can form a good exhibit using a variety of philatelic items on this theme.

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The first one was issued in 1949 to mark the Esperanto Congress in Vienna. It depicts the usual green star, the most potent of the Esperanto symbols.

The second stamp was issued by Bulgaria in 1963 to mark the 48th World Esperanto Congress, which was held in Sofia.

The third stamp issued by Brazil on 19 January 1937 (!) to mark the 9th Brazilian Esperanto Congress in Rio in November 1936 .The design shows the inevitable green star, surrounded by the flags of all the participating nations.

- Jeevan Jyoti

Philatelic knowledge


The India Post has introduced Remotely Managed Franking Machines (RMFMs) in place of existing Electronic Franking Machines with effect from 16.8.2010. Meter Marks or the frankings of the new machines are in Blue colour instead of the usual red and indicate class of article, pin code, authentication code, date of frank, mail item number, license identifier number,

frank value and a 2D bar code.

These are printed on the articles using the Inkjet technology, unlike the older machines fitted with impact printing/technique of franks. These are duplex marks having two parts, first details part on the left and second denomination part, on the right. Different components of these marks are explained hereunder :


1. Class of Article

P for Postcard, ILC for Inland Latter Card, L for Letter, BP for Book Post, RL for Registered Letter, SP for Speed post and so on.

2. Pin Code of the Originating Post Office

3. Date of Meter Franking

4. Authentication Code

The authentication code is seen in three settings in these meter marks. First is all numbers, the second is all alphabets and the third is a hybrid, having an alpha-numerical setting. It uses Hexa-decimal format i.e. formation with A to F alphabets and 0 to 9 numbers. The code contains an info-mix of License Identifier, Item Number, Frank Value, Date, Time of frank, Pincode and authenticates the frank. It is considered virtually unbreakable.

5. Mail Item Number

6. 2D Barcode

2D bar code contains important information encoded therein viz ascending and descending meter readings, class of article, number of items, pin code number, value of frank and license identifier number. 2D bar code can also be scanned to check the genuineness of the frank impression.

7. Sovereign Mark

8. Denomination (Value) of the Meter Mark

9. Users' License Identification Number

This number also has two parts, first a letter (9a), which denotes the initials of the original Equipment Manufacturer i.e. 'F' for Francotyp Postalia, 'N' for Neopost and 'P' for Pitney Bowes and after that (9b), six numeric digits which indicate serial number of the machine, which has made the mark.

- Madan Middha email : madan_middha@yahoo.co.in


R.M.F.M. METER MARK on Envelope


- Kasinath R. Thanjavur, Tamilnadu
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Bill Chapman said...

There were a few stamps issued earlier this year to celebrate the 125th anniversary of esperanto. For example, see one from Japan at http://www.ipernity.com/doc/m.vochin/12955060

Far more common than real postage stamps are the cinderellas or stickers used for attaching to envelopes to draw attention to forthcoming international events. Your illustration shows one produced for the World Esperanto Conmgress which took place in Washington in 1910.

Arden R. Smith said...

Being a collector of Esperanto stamps myself, I would be pleased to see that some countries out there have honored the 125th anniversary of Esperanto with a postage stamp, but unfortunately, the Japanese stamp mentioned by Bill Chapman is not an example of this. The stamp in the picture is one of a number of Japanese stamps that can be personalized for an additional fee (this one is Scott #3010A or 3010B). So the frame was issued by the Japan Post, but the image in the middle was put there by an Esperanto organization or private individual.

The Universala Esperanto-Asocio has a stamp from the Netherlands with a similar design available for sale on its website, but that too is a personalized stamp (Scott #1385).

The most recent Esperanto stamps issued by actual postal authorities that I've seen are Bosnia #620 (from 2008), honoring the centenary of the Universala Esperanto-Asocio, and a 2009 postal card from Poland, honoring the 150th birthday of L.L. Zamenhof.

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