Stamp Collecting Month 2014: Things that Sting

From wasps to stingrays, bull ants to tiger snakes, let’s take sensible precautions to protect ourselves, and them, from harm.

About the ‘Things That Sting’ SCM stamps

Stamp Collecting Month (SCM) is especially for kids (or the inner child in all of us). It's about encouraging budding philatelists, and sharing some educational facts on an interesting topic. Our 2014 SCM stamp release features six creatures (insects, reptiles or fish) that can pack a painful punch if disturbed or threatened.
European Wasp

European Wasp

Vespula germanica

The European Wasp can be identified by its bright yellow and black striped abdomen…

Bull Ant

Bull Ant

genus Myrmecia

The Bull Ant can be identified by its large eyes, long slender mandibles...

Tiger Snake

Tiger Snake

genus Noteschis

The Tiger Snake can be identified by distinctive black and yellow cross bands…



Common Lionfish - Pterois volitans

The Common Lionfish can be identified by red and black bands...



Reef Stonefish - Synanceia verrucosa

The Stonefish is an unattractive fish that can be identified by its rough, warty, mottled skin...



Bluespotted Fantail Ray - Taeniura lymna

The Bluespotted Fantail Ray can be identified by it colouration of electric blue spots on yellow...

Want some more advice on stamp collecting?

Read our tips on starting a collection.

All about stamp collecting

If you’re new to stamp collecting, we’ve got some tips to get you going. If you want to, you can buy the SCM stamps to start off.


Stamps: behind the scenes

Find out why stamp collecting is such a popular hobby, and watch how stamps get made.

Why Collect Stamps video transcript

Australians have been collecting stamps for over 150 years, a couple of decades after stamps were first issued in 1840.

Kids would collect stamps as a hobby, asking their family and friends to save stamps from letters and envelopes they received.

News about valuable stamps, like the famous American stamp called the US Inverted Jenny from 1918, which sold in 2016 for over one and a half million dollars! and the world’s most valuable stamp, the 1856 one cent British Guiana Stamp, worth over 12 million dollars! has led to a huge interest in stamp collecting.

The value of stamps is determined by their age, their scarcity and their condition. But collecting is not just about a stamp’s value - it’s fun to collect colourful, interesting or unusual stamps, sort them into an album, and trade them with your friends!

Each year Australia Post dedicates a whole month to stamp collecting and every year a different theme is chosen for a series of exciting new stamps and products like the endangered species series which featured some Australia native animals including the Orange-bellied parrot and the Southern Corroboree Frog, as well as some exotic species like the Asian Elephant, and the Western Lowland Gorilla.

We’ve also explored the depths of our solar system where we took a thrilling ride through space and visiting all 8 planets; from the inhospitable heat of Mercury and Venus through to the eerie, cold gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn.

And we travelled way back in time with some beautifully illustrated drawings of some weird and wonderful and sometimes scary! dinosaurs.

All you need to start your own collection is a stamp album and some stamps! You can buy stamps from your local Australia Post shop, swap them with your friends, or ask your family to save stamps for you.

Stamp collecting is a lot of fun. And who knows, you may even find a rare stamp worth a lot of money!


Production of the Australia Post Wildflowers Definitive Stamps transcript

Male inspecting printing plates
[Slate]: Plate production using a plating system from Du Pont
Male placing paper rolls onto printing machine
Paper rolls running through printing machine
Printing machine running
[Slate]: Four Colour printing on a flexographic printing press
Printing machine running, printing stamps
[Slate]: Stamps are then coated with phosphor and die cut
Printing machine running, printing stamps
[Slate]: The printing machine contains UV lamps to cure the ink through each stage
Printed stamps being passed through the machine and collected onto large rolls
Rolls of stamps going through Quality Control (QC)
[Slate]: Stamps go through inspection using cameras to detect abnormalities
Vision of QC process and inspection
[Slate]: During inspection imperfect stamps are replaced
Stamps passing through QC machine
Male inspecting printed stamp sheets by hand
Australia Post van driving out of production facility
[Slate]: Stamps are then transported to the Australia Post Production Facility
Printed stamps going through cutting machine to produce smaller rolls
Smaller stamp rolls produced, going through conveyor belt
[Slate]: Stamps are cut into smaller rolls of 200 stamps and placed in packaging
Smaller stamp rolls going through conveyor belt to packing
Stamp rolls packaged into boxes
[Slate]: Rolls are picked and boxed and made ready for delivery
Boxes being processed through convey belt
Australia Post van driving out of production facility

Australia Post Logo