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January 6, 2010

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Stamp fans rush to hold that tiger

YEAR of the Tiger stamps sold out within one and a half hours yesterday, with many philatelists queuing outside post offices overnight to snap up the coveted commemoratives.

A total 120,000 sets of tiger stamps offered by China Post went on sale at 6:30am at 78 post offices across the city, 40,000 more than last year's zodiac-themed stamp, said Wu Caihong, general manager of the Shanghai Philatelic Corp.

Yan Xueping, the first buyer of the tiger stamps at the Shanghai Post Museum in Hongkou District, came to queue about 8pm on Sunday.

"Both my husband and I were born in the Year of the Tiger, so it's meaningful to buy the stamps first," she said.

Having collected stamps for more than 10 years, Yan said that yesterday was also the 10th wedding anniversary for her and her husband. She bought various tiger post products with a value of 1,500 yuan (US$220).

At the post museum, more than 400 residents lined up overnight, some waiting outside in darkness because the building can only hold 400 inside.

The stamps depict a cartoon tiger, the symbol of the Lunar New Year which falls on February 14, standing in front of the Chinese character fu, or blessing, which carries wishes of happiness and a better life. They carry a face value of 1.20 yuan.

China Post has offered zodiac stamps annually since 1980, the Year of the Monkey. Tiger is the third of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac.

The zodiac stamps are now in appreciation.

The value of a single 1980 monkey stamp, the first offered by China Post, has risen to 5,100 yuan, 63,000 times the original price and the highest of its kind.


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