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Denmark: Specialized Stamps: Cold War Emergency Stamp  
Scott numbers have been used unless otherwise indicated. All items are available for viewing on approval.
In 1963, at the height of the Cold War, the Danish Post Office, working with civil defense authorities, created a secret "Emergency Stamp" (Nødfrimærke) that was for use in the event of a major crisis, such as a nuclear war. Approximately 200,000,000 of the stamps were crudely printed in secret and placed in sealed packages at 8 post offices (and perhaps also in secret civil defense caches) around the country where their nature and purpose remained a secret, even from the postmasters. With the stamps, printing plates were stored so that more stamps could eventually be locally printed.

In 1991 it was decided that these stamps were no longer needed. The stamps were made available to Danmarks Filatelist Forbund (DFF), the Danish Philatelic Federation, for sale to support DFF work and the Danish Postal Museum. The stamps were only sold between 14 March and 31 December 1991. Only 150,000 of the stamps were sold; all remaining supplies were destroyed. The stamps were supplied to the DFF only in blocks of 10 (2 rows of 5 stamps) -- this is the largest size unit that can theoretically exist in private hands. [But it seems that even these blocks have since mostly been broken down into smaller blocks and singles.] When sold, the stamps were accompanied by a small folder illustrating a 4-block on the cover and providing background information. Versions of the folders exist with (at least) text in Danish, German, and English. [The non-Danish folders are now scarce.]

Because the stamps were printed secretly and thus it was not possible to use all the usual printing facilities and equipment, the stamps were crudely printed by letterpress (typography). The paper has invisible gum (to reduce the possibility of sticking while in storage under poor conditions). They usually have rough perforations (this is not a defect). The centering is highly variable; Fine or F-VF is normal, whereas VF or Superb is quite scarce! Within a 10-block the centering will vary; I cannot recall ever having a 10-block in which all 10 stamps were VF.

UPDATE July 10, 2011:I have just discovered a NEW PAPER TYPE and two new plate varieties. The new paper type has so far only been observed in a single stamp and a 4-block. They have come from very different sources, but both items are centered far to the right. Normally the paper is very white, is bright white under long-wave UV light, and the paper surface is not particularly smooth or shiny. The new paper type is on a slightly yellowish, extremely smooth and shiny (front side) paper, and is much yellowish and darker under long-wave UV light. The gum appears to be the same, but the backside is distinctly yellowish. The red ink is also a slightly different shade.

The two new plate varieties are (#2) "white dent in top frameline above NØ" and (#3) "white line connecting ØD". The sheet positions are not known, but some minor deductions (exclusions) can be made because: #2 has so far only been observed as the right stamp in horizontal pairs and as the lower right stamp in a 4-block; #3 has so far only been observed as the right or left stamp in horizontal pairs. Multiple examples of both have been observed. Curiously, the three plate varieties I have so far recorded have been mutually exclusive in terms of the groups of stamps from which I have obtained them. This suggests, along with the new paper discovery, that the 150,000 stamps supplied to the DFF have likely come from at least three or four different production runs (plates, paper supplies) of the stamps. With 200,000,000 originally printed, multiple production runs would be anticipated, but I have not previously seen anything in the literature supporting it.

Cold War Emergency Stamp  Shopping Cart: Review or Check Out   Top 
Item #
Quality & Description
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US$
230722
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Cold War Emergency Stamp White Fluorescent NH Superb single.
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22.00

230723
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Cold War Emergency Stamp White Fluorescent NH VF single.
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16.00

230724
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Cold War Emergency Stamp White Fluorescent NH F-VF single.
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13.00

232224
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Cold War Emergency Stamp White Fluorescent NH Fine single.
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10.00

230725
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Cold War Emergency Stamp White Fluorescent NH Superb 4-block.
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85.00

230726
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Cold War Emergency Stamp White Fluorescent NH VF 4-block.
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64.00

230727
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Cold War Emergency Stamp White Fluorescent NH F-VF 4-block.
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52.00

232225
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Cold War Emergency Stamp White Fluorescent NH Fine 4-block.
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39.00

238928
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Cold War Emergency Stamp NH VF/VF+ 10-block. The largest size block in private hands. 10-blocks with such consistently nice centering are quite scarce.
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190.00

230728
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Cold War Emergency Stamp White Fluorescent NH VF/F-VF 10-block. The largest size block in private hands.
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160.00

Cold War Emergency Stamp continued ...   Shopping Cart: Review or Check Out   Top 
Item #
Quality & Description
IMAGES: Hover mouse pointer over image to determine if ACTUAL image of item OR a REPRESENTATIVE sample image of item.
Click for more information
US$
232134
View REPRESENTATIVE Image
Cold War Emergency Stamp White Fluorescent NH F-VF/Fine 10-block. The largest size block in private hands.
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120.00

232850
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Cold War Emergency Stamp White Fluorescent NH F-VF 3-strip with PLATE VARIETY #1 "large cut in bottom" on middle stamp. To my knowledge, this is the first (6/2009) report of this newly discovered plate variety. I have recorded two identical examples which seem to be obvious major plate damage.
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Reference
For reference only. NOT for sale.

235380
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Cold War Emergency Stamp White Fluorescent NH VF/Superb horizontal pair with PLATE VARIETY #2 "white notch in top frame line between NØ" on one stamp. To my knowledge, this is the first (7/2011) report of this plate variety. This is a constant variety observed in several examples.
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Reference
For reference only. NOT for sale.
This item has sold. If you are seeking this flight (or any others), please send your want list.

235381
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Cold War Emergency Stamp White Fluorescent NH VF/Superb 4-block with PLATE VARIETY #2 "white notch in top frame line between NØ" on lower right stamp. To my knowledge, this is the first (7/2011) report of this plate variety. This is a constant variety observed in several examples.
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75.00

235382
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Cold War Emergency Stamp White Fluorescent NH VF/Superb horizontal pair with PLATE VARIETY #3 "white line connecting ØD" on one stamp. To my knowledge, this is the first (7/2011) report of this plate variety. This is a constant variety observed in several examples.
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Reference
For reference only. NOT for sale.
This item has sold. If you are seeking this flight (or any others), please send your want list.

235378
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Cold War Emergency Stamp SHINY YELLOWISH PAPER (not white fluorescent) NH Fine single. One of two discovery items (the other is an Average centered 4-block). I have not recorded any others.
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Reference
For reference only. NOT for sale.
If you wish to be informed if another example becomes available, please let me know.

230729
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Cold War Emergency Stamp NH Folder (no stamps) with Danish text.
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15.00

230730
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Cold War Emergency Stamp NH Folder (no stamps) with German text. Very scarce!
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WANTED
Need one or several. Please make offer.

232135
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Cold War Emergency Stamp NH Folder (no stamps) with English text. Very scarce!
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WANTED
Need one or several. Please make offer.

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