Celebrating New Zealand’s marine diversity

15 April 2015

Seashells are a familiar sight on New Zealand shorelines, so for its next stamp issue, New Zealand Post is taking a look at five species of seashells found in our oceans. New Zealand’s diversity of seashell fauna can be attributed to our isolation and geological history, allowing for over 2,000 native seashell species to thrive in our waters.

“This stamp issue follows on from our very popular New Zealand Native Ferns stamp issue,” said Simon Allison, Head of Stamps and Coins at New Zealand Post. “We were lucky enough to work with some real seashell experts and enthusiasts in bringing this issue together.

“Two of the shells that feature on the stamps hold a special place in New Zealand history. The fan shell that appears on the $2.50 stamp was collected from the wreckage of the Wahine perfectly intact, which is remarkable as the shell is quite fragile. The opal top shell on the $3.00 stamp was the first New Zealand animal to be scientifically recorded and illustrated.”

The stamp issue features imagery of each of the stamps alongside their scientific names. The species featured on the stamps are silver paua (Haliotis australis), Scott’s murex (Rolandiella scotti), golden volute (Provocator mirabilis), fan shell (Talochlamys gemmulata) and opal top shell (Cantharidus opalus). Each of these species are endemic to New Zealand waters.

Included in the issue is a Limited Edition, containing further information on these gorgeous seashells. The Limited Edition contains exclusive products and has been produced in limited numbers. Each one is individually numbered and contains a booklet written by Kerry Walton, who is completing his Master of Science at Victoria University and has been doing research on shells and other molluscs in association with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa for a number of years.

The stamps were designed by New Zealand Post Stamps and Coins team. The issue consists of five gummed stamps (80c, $1.40, $2.00, $2.50, $3.00), a miniature sheet, a first day cover, a miniature sheet first day cover, a presentation pack and a Limited Edition.

This issue is available for purchase from 6 May 2015 at all New Zealand PostShops and REAL Aotearoa stores. Pre-orders are being taken now through the Whanganui Collectables and Solutions Centre or online at www.nzpost.co.nz/stamps.

For more information:

Libby Greatbatch

Copywriting and Direct Marketing Specialist

Stamps and Coins

New Zealand Post

Tel: +64 4 496 4916

Email: libby.greatbatch@nzpost.co.nz