New Zealand Post - official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins

Christmas 1996

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The Christmas 1996 stamp issue continued the New Zealand Post tradition which has spanned nearly four decades.

Issue information

Each of the stamps in this multi-stamp issue depicted a 'close-up' of a scene from the Christmas story. Inspiring each of these scenes was a passage chosen by the designer, Lindy Fisher of Auckland, from the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. Each passage conveys a key message in the 'Christmas Spirit'.

The stamps were designed in a style similar in appearance to stained glass church windows.

Product Listing for Christmas 1996

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single  40c 'The Leading of the Star' gummed stamp.

.... the star, which they saw in the east, went before them ... - Matthew 2:0

Hope and encouragement. Making the way easy for others.

Single Stamp

Single 70c 'The Shepherds' Discovery' gummed stamp.

They went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger - Luke 2:16.

Peace and fulfilment. Having failth in the word of another.

Single Stamp

Single 80c 'The Angel's Announcement' gummed stamp.

"The angel said to them. "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy ..." - Luke 2:10.

Joy and awe. The wonder and supremacy of God.

Single Stamp

Single $1.00 'The Nativity' gummed stamp.

She gave birth to her first-born son ... - Luke 2:7.

Love and contentment. A family that cares for each other.

Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'The Journey to Bethlehem' gummed stamp.

Joseph also went up from Galilee ... with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child - Luke 2:4 and 5.

Patience and protection. People caring for and helping each other.

Single Stamp

Single $1.80 'The Annunciation' gummed stamp.

Mary said, "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be me according to your word" - Luke 1:38.

Single Stamp

Single 40c 'The Adoration of the Magiself-adhesive stamp.

... they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh - Matthew 2:11.

Generosity. The wealth of freely giving to another.

Single Stamp

Single 40c 'The Heavenly Host Praised God' self-adhesive stamp.

"Suddenly there was ... a multitude of the heavenly host praising God ... - Luke 2:13.

Rejoicing and thankfulness, Giving thanks for all the good around us.

First Day Cover First day cover with six gummed stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $6.45
First Day Cover First day cover with two self-adhesive stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $1.05
Self-adhesive Dispenser Dispenser box containing 100 x 40c self-adhesive stamps. $40.00
Self-adhesive Booklet Booklet containing 10 x 40c self-adhesive stamps. $4.00

Technical information

Date of issue: 4 September 1996
Stamps and first day covers designed by: Lindy Fisher, Auckland
Number of stamps: Eight
Denominations and designs: 40c The Leading of the star; 70c The Shepherds Discovery; 80c The Angel's Announcement; $1.00 The Nativity; $1.50 The Journey to Bethlehem; $1.80 The Annunciation.  Self-adhesive booklet 10 x 40c  Adoration of the Magi. Self-adhesive coil 100 x 40c The heavenly host praised god.  Lindy Fisher, Auckland, NZ
Printer and process: Sheet stamps: House of Questa, England by lithography; Self-adhesive Booklet and Coil Stamps: Australia Post Sprintpak, Melbourne by lithography with stochastic screening
Stamp size and format: Sheet stamps: 35mm x 35mm; Booklet and Coil Self-adhesive stamps: 30mm x 25mm (horizontal)
Perforation gauge: 14 x 14
Paper type: 102 gsm Red phosphor coated. Self-adhesive Booklet and Coil Stamps JAC Self-adhesive stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 50
Number of stamps per booklet: 10
Special blocks: Colour blocks, also known as traffic lights were included in plate block; Plate/imprint, positional or value blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet.  Barcode blocks were available in A and B formats.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 4 September 1997.