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

Tokelau Corals

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The warm tropical waters surrounding Tokelau and the three atolls that make up the island are the perfect home for some distinctive looking corals. Learn more about the common mushroom coral and double-star coral which inhabit Tokelau’s temperate waters.  

Issue information

This stamp issue focused on two types of coral that are found in Tokelau’s tropical waters. Diploastrea heliopora is most commonly known as double-star coral and is made up of a number of coralites which gives it a honeycomb-like appearance. Common mushroom corals or Fungia fungites are different from other corals as they are solitary forms. Rather than attaching to the sea floor or building off pre-existing corals, they remain unattached, which leaves them free to roam. Tokelau’s tropical climate provides these corals with the warm waters they need to thrive.

The first day covers provided detailed, close-up images of the corals as well as extra information about the two species featured. The miniature sheet first day cover focused on the double-star coral, while the first day cover had information on the common mushroom coral.

Product Listing for Tokelau Corals

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 45c 'Common mushroom coral Fungia fungites' gummed stamp.

The juveniles of this species matures while attached to a coral reef or surrounding sea floor. The flat rounded top of this coral, along with the elongated stalk that connects it to the chosen surface, gives it a mushroom like appearance. It can take up to eight years for this coral to reach maturity, after which time it detaches from its foothold and moves around freely. 

Single Stamp

Single $1.40 'Common mushroom coral Fungia fungites' gummed stamp.

While this coral is generally widespread it faces many threats to its population. This species is particularly susceptible to bleaching and destruction of habitat. It is also frequently harvested for trade and display in aquariums. As this species is a reef-building coral, it is also threatened by the increasing number of crown-of-thorns starfish which eat reef-building coral.

Single Stamp

Single $2.00 'Double-star coral Diploastrea heliopora' gummed stamp.

This species can be traced through fossil records as far back as 55 million years ago. It is part of the Faviidae family which has 24 genera. However the Diploastrea heliopora is the only species with its particular genus. This distinctive coral forms in colonies that can grow up to two metres in height and five metres in width.

SIngle Stamp

Single $3.00 'Double-star coral Diploastrea heliopora' gummed stamp.

The exact number of corals for this species is unknown, however with around a 20% decrease in the worlds reefs, it is thought that this coral will be following the trend and be declining in numbers also. Non-sustainable harvest for aquarium trade is also having an effect on the number of these corals found in the wild. 

Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled miniature sheet. $6.85
First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $7.35
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $7.35

Technical information

Date of issue: 2 August 2017
Number of stamps:  Four gummed stamps
Denominations: $0.45, $1.40, $2.00, $3.00
Stamps, miniature sheet and first day covers designed by: Hannah Stancliffe-White, New Zealand Post, Wellington, 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: 40mm x 30mm (horizontal)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 16
Perforation gauge: 13.33
Special blocks: Plate and value blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 1 August 2018.