UPU International Reply Coupons with Holograms
There are more than one hundred (100 +) countries in the world that sells International Reply Coupon
I was surprised that my small town post office had some in stock! Below are mint copies of IRC and postmarked ones.
These International Reply Coupons fits perfectly well inside a topical Holograms on Stamps collection. Even though the coupon per say, is not a stamp, it is definitely a philatelic piece of great interest. Notice the UPU emblem in the hologram.
To mark the IRC’s centenary, the International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union has offered UPU member postal administrations a special centenary run of Beijing model 2 coupons.
These special centenary coupons are overprinted with the inscription “100 years”. Since February 2007, only 37 countries have ordered and sold this centenary coupon.
A total of just over 180,000 are available for all these countries, and it will not be reissued. Some countries have ordered only 500 or 1,000, which will reduce the number available to collectors.
This centenary IRC will undoubtedly be highly prized and sought after by collectors because of its small print run.
Source: Universal Postal Union
The UPU International Bureau does not sell IRCs directly to customers; they must buy them from their local post office. Although Posts are not obliged to sell IRCs, it is mandatory for Posts of the UPU member countries to exchange the coupons. If a Post does not sell IRCs, it is possible to purchase them in a post office located in a neighbouring country.
Once they are expired, unused or used coupons are often traded and collected much like postal stamps.
Got the Nairobi and Beijing version coupons in your collection? If not, it’s time to add them to your want list and start your stamp quest. 😉
Janice Dugas | Topical Stamp Collecting Trusted Advisor