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Vancouver 2010 Winter Games (Olympics) (P/54c era)
Updated Nov 28/09

Coils (100 / 50):
Coils (5000):
Souvenir sheet:
Postal cards (see below)


Initial release date: Jan 12/09 and Feb 12/09 ($1.18 and souvenir sheet)


  • P [Permanent(tm)]: Emblems (2 designs) - Canada's first se-tenant coil issue
  • 98c Miga (sea bear who transforms from orca whale to white Kermode bear; ski tricks)
  • $1.18 Sumi (animal guardian spirit; curling)
  • $1.65 Quatchi (shy, adventurous sasquatch; hockey)

Scott/Unitrade numbers:

  • 2305( souvenir sheet)
  • 2306-2307 (Permanent coils, rolls of 5,000)
  • 2307A-2307B (Permanent coils, rolls of 100)
  • 2308-2310 (rolls of 50)
  • 2311-2313 (booklet singles)
  • BK397-BK399 (booklets)

Printer: Lowe-Martin (Ottawa, ON)
Printing method: Lithography (5 colours)
Paper: self-adhesive, TRC

Designers: VANOC

Postage rates (Jan 12/09- current ):

  • P = 54c - domestic lettermail (0-30g)
  • 98c -USA (0-30g)
  • $1.18 - USA oversize (30-50g)
  • $1.65 - International (0-30g)


  • coil rolls of 50 (98c, $1.18 and $1.65) or 100 (P) with a 'gutter' every 10 stamps that contains an inscription. Gutters are collected in strips of 4 with 2 stamps on either side of the gutter. Single stamps are serpentine die cut on the top and bottom.

    It is known that the coils are printed with 10 rolls across the printing sleeve.


  • the Permanent stamp (Vancouver emblem design) was also released in very large rolls for commercial users (rolls of 5,000)


  • booklet 'panels' of 6 (98c, $1.18 and $1.65). Single stamps are serpentine die cut on the top and bottom.


Souvenir Sheet

Water-activated stamps, issued Feb 12/09.



Additional logos have been included on the tagging plate.

(image to come)

(Each value in the coil, booklet, and souvenir sheet formats share the same groupings of logos.)




Coil Checklist

  Self-adhesive Water-activated gum
  Coil Booklet Souvenir sheet
  Die cut 8.1 – 9.6
(4 nibs)
Die cut 7.85 – 8.85
(3 nibs)
3 nibs / 4 nibs* Die cut 9.2
Rounded peaks
Die cut 9.2
Rounded peaks
Die cut 9.2
Rounded peaks
Perf 13.4x13.1
  C paper C paper C paper Roll of 5,000
["Valley" at UL]
Quarterly Pack Single
["Peak" at UL]
Pane of 6
["Valley" at UL]
C paper
Domestic First-class rate:
P Vancouver 2010 emblem Jan 12/09 Apr /09 Jul /09 Jan 12/09 May /09   Feb 12/09
P Paralympic emblem Jan 12/09 May /09   Feb 12/09
USA rate:
98c Miga Jan 12/09 Apr /09     May /09 Jan 12/09 Feb 12/09
USA Oversize rate (30-50g):
$1.18 Sumi Feb 12/09   Sep /09   May /09 Feb 12/09 Feb 12/09
International rate:
$1.65 Quatchi Jan 12/09       May /09 Jan 12/09 Feb 12/09

The date shown is the date of issue of that specific variety. A "blank" means the item does not exist.

* The third row of die cutting above the gutter from these rolls is the 4-nib variety (die cut 9.30 to 9.60) while the other ten die cutting rows are the 3-nib variety (die cut 7.85 to 8.85), producing a very nice "compound perf" variety.


Coil Distribution

The coils were distributed to post offices in boxes, with 10 rolls per box. Self-adhesive labels were applied to one end of these boxes that contained several pieces of information:

  • quantity of rolls per box
  • Canada Post product number
  • printing roll number, date, and time
  • internal barcode and number
Permanent   98c
$1.18 $1.65

The rolls were wrapped around a thick inner core or cardboard. A clear, self-adhesive sticker was applied on the end of the roll to keep it rolled. This 'wrapper' had a UPC barcode which would be scanned at the post office checkout. Each wrapper was colour-coded to match the corresponding stamp.

Denomination UPC barcode on wrapper



Coil Start/End Cutting

All of the Olympic coils in this series have the "wavy die cut" at the start and end of the rolls. All rolls are affixed to the inner cardboard tube. Illustrated at the starter strips of 4 (the generally accepted method of collecting these items).


Coil Serpentine Die Cutting

To date, one die cutting pattern has appeared on these stamps (all are approximate or average measurements):

  • 8.1 – 9.6 horizontally (P, 98c, $1.18 and $1.65)

We say “approximately” because the serpentine die cutting is not consistent across the full printing press. In fact, even across a single stamp the peaks and valleys will vary both in depth and width. It is as if a piece of metal were made into an accordion and then stretched by hand with no apparent effort to precision.


Coil - Roll of 5,000

Both of the Permanent coil designs were released in separate rolls of 5,000 stamps on January 12, 2009. The die cutting is a consistent 9.2 across the top and bottom of the stamp.

Due to the consistent, and different die cut gauge, this stamp is different compared to that from rolls of 100. It may prove to be difficult to find on commercial mailings used in period.

The stamps are rolled in a horizontal format (compared to vertical for the same design in rolls of 100 issued to post offices). There is a gap between the stamps and extra backing paper above and below the stamps. Illustrated below is a strip of 10, as received from the philatelic sales branch. These stamps could only be ordered in strips of 4 or 10; full rolls are only available to business clients.

There are no additional markings on the roll - either front or back.




The 98c, $1.18 and $1.65 designs were issued in booklet "panels" of 6 stamps.

Booklet Checklist

Booklet panes
  C paper

back cover:

98c Miga Jan 12/09
$1.18 Sumi Feb 12/09
$1.65 Quatchi Jan 12/09


Booklet Cover

The original printings of these booklets provided a "biography" of the corresponding mascot.



Quarterly Pack

The 2009/01 Quarterly Pack offered some surprises with the Olympic stamps that were supplied.

Included were the following 10 stamps and 1 souvenir sheet:

  1. souvenir sheet
  2. booklet singles (98¢, $1.18, $1.65)
  3. coil singles from rolls of 5,000 (2 x Permanent)
  4. coil singles from rolls of 100 (2 x Permanent)
  5. coil singles from rolls of 50 (98¢, $1.18, $1.65)

The first three items all match the items that were issued previously through postal outlets. The booklet singles are die-cut to shape and this is the only source to get the stamp and backing paper in this manner.

The last two items, however, differ quite a bit from the stamps that are found in the full rolls of 100 or 50. A new die cutting mat was employed that is very similar to that used on the booklet singles and rolls of 5,000. That is, the die cutting is "perfect" (a consistent shape and gauge).

These stamps can be easily differentiated from the full-roll and booklet counterparts, as illustrated below:



Postal Cards

The 98c, $1.18 and $1.65 designs were issued in postage paid postal cards. All three were released January 12, 2009. Note that the $1.18 design in postal card format appeared before the postage stamp (the latter was issued Feb 12/09)!




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