Linn's Stamp News - November 9, 1998

Lithuania issues its first hologram stamp

By Denise McCarty

Lithuania issued its first hologram stamp Oct. 9.

The stamp is part of a series that highlights the postal history of Lithuania. This series started Oct. 4, 1997, with a stamp showing a 1323 letter from Grand Duke Gediminas (Scott 585).

The first hologram stamp released by Lithuania salutes the 80th anniversary of its postal administration formed in 1918.

On Feb. 16, 1918, Lithuania declared its independence from Russia. The Lithuanian postal administration was founded Nov. 16 of that year. The hologram stamp honors the 80th anniversary of Lithuania's postal administration.

The hologram part of the stamp features the post horn emblem of Lithuania's postal service (Lietuvos Pastas).

The stamp is denominated 13 litas. In addition to the hologram it includes the year dates "1918" and "1998."

The latter year date also appears at the bottom of the design, along with the name of the designer of the stamp, H. Ratkevicius.

The stamp is by itself in a souvenir sheet. The border area of the sheet includes an inscription marking the 80th anniversary and a symbolic dove carrying a letter.

The Hungarian state securities printing office in Budapest printed 60,000 copies of the souvenir sheet by offset. In this printing process, an inked image is transferred from a plate to an intermediate cylinder, which prints it on the paper.

Lietuvos Pastas related some of its early history in the press release announcing the stamp.

According to Lietuvos Pastas, the first Lithuanian stamps were issued Dec. 25, 1918, in Vilnius (the capital).

The announcement says: "They [the stamps] were printed during one night on thick yellowish paper.

"The stamps had neither watermarks nor glue on them. The stamps of the two values -- 10 and 15 skatikai -- were printed in 5,000 copies each."

Lithuania also released another stamp in its Postal History series Oct. 9.

This 70-centai stamp salutes the establishment of centralized postal communications between Lithuania and western Europe in the 16th century.

Lithuania commemorates the establishment in the 1500s of a postal route between the Polish and Lithuanian capitals on this Oct. 9 stamp.

The new-issue announcement provides the reason behind the need for this new postal route: "Sigismund Augustus, the grand duke of Lithuania and the king of Poland, was quite a rare visitor in the [Polish] capital Cracow.

"His love of the beautiful widow Barbora Radvilaite and public affairs did not let him leave Vilnius.

"So it appeared necessary to establish regular and effective post communications between Cracow and Vilnius."

Regular scheduled postal delivery between the capitals started in 1562. It took seven days for a letter to reach Vilnius from Cracow.

The service was so expensive, though, that only the king, feudal lords and rich merchants could use it.

The new stamp depicts a postal rider with his post horn. Buildings of the two cities are pictured in the background.

The post horn emblem of the Lithuanian post office appears in the upper-right corner of the stamp.

Ratkevicius also designed this stamp. The Spindulys printing house in Kaunas, Lithuania, printed 500,000 copies of it in sheets of 50.

The addresses of Lithuania's bureau and its agency in the United States are: Publishing Centre, Pasto Zenklas, Giedraiciu Str., 60a, 2042 Vilnius, Lithuania; Kent Research, Box 86, Hewlett, NY 11557.


Both the Netherlands Antilles and Grenada-Grenadines also released their first hologram stamps this year.

The former stamp was featured in the World of New Issues column in the March 30 Linn's.

The Grenada-Grenadines issued a $1.50 self-adhesive hologram stamp Feb. 10 to honor the Year of the Tiger.

The stamp features a tiger. It was produced in small sheets of four.

A souvenir sheet containing a $3 stamp bearing the same tiger hologram also was issued at the same time.

The address of Grenada-Grenadines' bureau and its agency in the United States are: Postmaster General, GPO, St. George's, Grenada, West Indies; Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corp., 535 Fifth Ave., Suite 300, New York, NY 10017.

Hologram stamps and postal stationery
Issue date
Scott No. and Description
AustriaOct. 18, 1988 1441: made in Austria emblem hologram on stamp
BrazilOct. 14, 1989 2210: emblem for art biennial of Sao Paulo hologram on souvenir sheet
United StatesDec. 13, 1989 U617: space shuttle and space station hologram on postal envelope
FinlandJan. 19, 1900 810-11: postal and telecommunications services emblem hologram on two stamps
United StatesSept. 19, 1990 U618: football players hologram on postal envelope
HungaryNov. 15, 1991 not listed in Scott: souvenir sheet showing coat of arms
PolandNov. 16, 1991 3056: butterfly hologram on souvenir sheet
United StatesJan. 21, 199 U625: same as U617 except with 29 denomination
FinlandMay 8, 1992 886-88: tree holograms on three stamps
CanadaOct. 1, 1992 1442: Earth and space shuttle hologram on stamp
San MarinoMarch 26, 1993 1280: satellite hologram on one stamp in a souvenir sheet with three stamps
FinlandMay 6, 1993 postal cards issued for the Nordic Stamp Exhibition
MongoliaAug. 27, 1993 2139: dirigible over Ulan Bator hologram on stamp
Hong KongFeb. 15, 1994 holograms showing stamps (Hong Kong Scott 23 and 636) on picture side of two picture postal cards. The hologram stamps do not pay postage. An imprinted stamp is on the other side of the cards.
Isle of ManJuly 5, 1994 553C: Queen Elizabeth hologram on stamp
New ZealandJuly 20, 1994 1225: astronaut hologram on stamp
BhutanNov. 11, 1994 1101: astronaut and space satellite holograms on two stamps in a souvenir sheet
TongaDec. 14, 1994 870: satellite hologram on self-adhesive stamp in prestige booklet
FinlandJan. 30, 1995 949-56: eight different cartoon characters holograms in booklet of eight stamps
AustraliaApril 5, 1995 1429-30: opal holograms on two stamps
United StatesSept. 22, 1995 U639: same as U617 and U625 except with 32 denomination
MalaysiaJan. 10, 1996 577: satellite hologram on stamp in souvenir sheet
ChinaMay 10, 1996 2448a: panda hologram overprinted in margin of 1993 souvenir sheet (2448)
ThailandJune 9, 1996 1671: Thailand king hologram on stamp
ChinaJuly 18, 1996 2530a: Universal Postal Union hologram overprinted in margin of 1994 souvenir sheet
ChinaOct. 9, 1996 1987a: panda hologram overprinted in margin of 1985 souvenir sheet
AlandJune 9, 1997 137: ship hologram on souvenir sheet
Grenada-GrenadinesFeb. 10, 1998 2011-12: tiger hologram on stamp and souvenir sheet
Netherlands AntillesFeb. 26, 1998 824: solar eclipse hologram on souvenir sheet
LithuaniaOct. 9, 1998 612: post horn hologram on souvenir sheet

This is an edited version of a Linn's article that appeared in the November 9, 1998, issue of Linn's Stamp News. For the complete story, subscribe to Linn's Stamp News.

Note from Love Indonesia Philately:
The First Indonesian Hologram stamps is Ducks Series, were issued on October 19, 1998
See PHOTOS here!

Updated May 15, 2002