Australia Post is showing off Australian gemstones in a new stamp issue. The four gemstones featured in the designs are held in the mineral collection of the Australian Museum, Sydney.
Australia Post Philatelic Manager Michael Zsolt said: "Australian gemstones are admired and valued worldwide. We trust these beautiful and striking stamp designs will appeal to everyone, especially collectors and gemstone enthusiasts."
Two of the gemstones featured – the golden sapphire and the pink diamond – represent precious gemstones that are cut and polished as possible centrepieces for exquisite jewellery. The rhodonite and the fluorite exemplify stones that are valued as "collector stones", rarities that are transformed by lapidaries into singular specimens for the pleasure of gem specialists.
Designed by Gary Domoney of Visua, a Melbourne-based visual communication and brand strategy agency, the two domestic base rate ($1) and two large letter rate ($2) stamps, feature:
- The golden sapphire shown in the stamp design entered the Australian Museum collection in 1984. It came from Tomahawk Creek, a sapphire field near Anakie, Queensland. At more than seven carats, it is a sizeable stone and an example of the best golden sapphires from this part of Australia.
- The rhodonite shown in the stamp design is a faceted gemstone that entered the Australian Museum collection in 2002 and weighs more than two carats. This stone is a rarity because of its rich red colour, its transparent gem quality and its regal pedigree. The material from which it was cut came from Broken Hill, New South Wales.
- The pink diamond owes its colour to the extreme pressure it endured since formation, creating slight irregularities in its structure. The world's largest supplier of pink diamonds is the Argyle mine in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia.
- Fluorite is an unusual gemstone for collectors and museums. The stone in the stamp design is a large, clear, perfectly cut stone of 147 carats. It was faceted in 2001 from material that entered the Australian Museum collection in 1918 and came from Rumbsy's Mine, The Gulf, New England, New South Wales.
The products associated with this stamp issue are a minisheet, first day cover, stamp pack, prestige booklet, booklet of 10 x $1 self-adhesive stamps, roll of 200 x $1 self-adhesive stamps, postal and numismatic cover, medallion cover and a set of four maxicards.
The Rare Beauties: Extraordinary Gemstones stamp issue is available from 30 March 2017 at participating Post Offices, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at auspost.com.au/stamps while stocks last. Special products associated with this stamp issue are available at the 2017 Melbourne International Stamp Exhibition, Caulfield Racecourse, Melbourne, from 30 March to 2 April 2017. Stay up-to-date with all the news on the 2017 Melbourne International Stamp Exhibition and the latest stamp releases at the Australia Post Collectables website auspostcollectables.com.au.