Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Overprinted stamps from Romania

I have already mentioned several times, here on my blog, my interest for overprinted stamps. I have shown stamps from Lesotho (overprinted due to change of name of the country) and stamps from North Borneo (War Tax stamps). Another common reason for overprinting a stamp is to change the face value. This is the case when a country is experiencing an important inflation. The overprinted stamps from Romania are an interesting example.
After the fall of the communism in Romania, at the end of 1989, the country has started a long period of reconstruction. Unfortunately, as often, during this difficult reconstruction a heavy inflation has been experienced. This inflation has become stronger and stronger over the years : for instance between 1998 and 1999 the official inflation rate was 55% ! In 1982 the standard fee for domestic letter was 0.55 Lei, and it was 1700 Lei in 2000 ! Due to this, a set of stamps have been overprinted with this new rate. Here are some examples.

Those stamps have been issued in 1993, 1996 and 1997 and have been overprinted in 2000/2001. What is interesting is that in all cases, the former face value has been cancelled with a pictorial overprint : one can see here a snake, a snake on a branch, a snake and a cup or also a crown. I have also in my collection some stamps picturing insects and overprinted with silhouettes of prehistoric animals ! Of course, all sort of varieties exist, as for almost all overprinted stamps…
I think I have already seen such pictorial overprints on recent stamps from Austria. If you know other examples, I would be happy to hear about them.

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