Official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins

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Niue Christmas

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December 25 is a day to celebrate and relax with friends and family. Often gifts are given, and delicious Christmas feasts are prepared, but for many people the real reason for celebration is the birth of the baby Jesus. Each stamp in the Christmas issue touches on a milestone surrounding this special occasion, and all four stamps adjoined create a charming Nativity scene.

Issue information

The individual stamps in this issue are as follows:

30c - Angel Gabriel visits the Virgin Mary

The Christmas story begins when the angel Gabriel appears before the Virgin Mary as she is praying in Nazareth. The angel tells Mary that she will give birth to the son of God, who she is to name Jesus. This significant moment is captured on the 30c stamp.

$1.40 – Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem

Mary and her husband Joseph travel from their home in Nazareth south to Joseph’s ancestral home in Bethlehem to register for a census. They pack their belongings and begin their journey, which would take several days. The $1.40 stamp depicts the couple on the road.

$2.00 – The birth of baby Jesus

Upon their arrival in Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph find there is no room at the inn. A kind inn-keeper offers them his stable for the night, where the animals help to keep them warm. During the night the baby Jesus is born, and is depicted in the manger on the $2.00 stamp.

$4.00 – The Shepherds

Shepherds nearby hear the news of Jesus’ birth from the angel Gabriel. They leave their flocks and follow a bright light in the night sky to Bethlehem where they find the newly arrived son of God. They are shown on the $4.00 stamp kneeling before the baby Jesus in wonder.

Technical information

Date of issue: October 2010
Number of stamps: Four gummed stamps
Denominations: 30c, $1.40, $2.00, $4.00
Stamps and first day cover designed by: Heather Arnold, Auckland, New Zealand
Printer and process: Collectables and Solutions Centre, New Zealand Post, Whanganui, New Zealand
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: Gummed: 30mm x 40mm (vertictal)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 16
Perforation gauge: Gummed: 13.33
Period of sale: Unless stockas are exhausted earlier, these stamps will remain on sale until close of business 19 October 2011