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Friday, June 18, 2021

Stamp Update: So Iceland has Become a "Dead Country?"

Not so long ago, I came across an announcement that Iceland is no longer going to be issuing new stamps, technically speaking becoming a "dead country," in stamp collecting speak.

As I understand it, it's not that Iceland will no longer be using stamps, they just won't be issuing new stamps. Not entirely sure how that's going to work, given that postal rates change.

Times are definitely changing.

Reading the announcement reminded me of a few years back reading that Denmark soon will no longer have post offices. In fact, the last post office stopped selling stamps in 2018... now only serves as a parcel drop off and pickup. 

I remember that particular Copenhagen post office; went in there to mail things from Denmark to the US when I was younger and traveling back and forth.

I started collecting Icelandic stamps in my teens, as part of my general Scandinavia collection. I actually had a pretty good supply, as my friend Henrik's older brother worked in the fishing industry in Iceland, and would periodically send me Icelandic stamps clipped from his — and his family's — mail. This was in the mid-1970's, when Icelandic stamps were very popular.

In a way, I suppose this is just part of the ongoing trend of many "analog" aspects of our world moving from being "current" collectibles to "nostalgic" and "retro" collectibles.

Whereas I recognize that such things as stamps are increasingly obsolete — the the functional sense — the announcement still makes me sad.

It makes me sad because philately is gradually losing one of its historically primary "access points" to the hobby... the idea of collecting stamps that come from your inbound mail. It was how I got started, myself, as a 6-7 year old.

I suppose that makes me "obsolete," as well!

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