To my cover-exchanging friends, please try as much as possible to
as these give a more personal touch to the cover
the Philippine postal service damages the cover with scribbling that highly devalues the aesthetic value of the cover, which is what I am after
or at least same themes when sending covers, but it is okay if this is not possible or if this would be expensive, and
not too small, but maybe around 4"x6" or something like that; big envelopes are not very attractive unless they have many stamps.
Thank you!



Here is a cover that I like very much because it integrates two of my favorite themes: EU-related material and money on stamps.

The block on the left, issued on 10 July 09, commemorates the tenth anniversary of the launch of the Euro in 1999. A little more on the Euro currency from the Correos de Espana website:

On the 1st of January 1999 the Euro was born as the new European currency though it wasn’t until three years later, in 2002, when it was made effective. The Euro was a decisive step for European integration since it became the currency of the Euro zone countries. It is now the sole and official currency of 16 of the 27 member states of the European Union and of over some 325 million people in total.

The use of the Euro in the different member countries was gradual. Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland began to use it 1999; Greece in 2001, Slovenia in 2007, Cyprus and Malta in 2008 and Slovakia in 2009.

The € symbol is inspired by the Greek epsilon (ε)- a reference to the first letter of the word Europe, crossed by two parallel lines to ‘certify’ the stability of the Euro. Euro zone countries use the same designs in their banknotes, which were chosen from 44 proposals in a design competition, launched by the Council of the European Monetary Institute (EMI) in 1996 and in which the winning entry was created by Austrian born Robert Kalina. The designs have a common theme of European architecture in various artistic periods, from classic to modern XX century architecture. The front of the note features windows or gateways while the back has bridges. Both sides bear the 12 stars characteristic of the European Union. Every banknote has more than 30 security features which include: The paper used which is 100% pure cotton fibre, the watermark depicting a special design observed by holding the note up to the light and the holographic band imprinted with the note's denomination. In the case of the €50 notes and higher, the band is replaced with a holographic decal.

Coins have a common reverse for all countries in the Euro zone chosen by the European Commission but each country has its own design on the obverse besides the twelve stars.

Unfortunately, the block was not cancelled as the cover was put through a machine canceller. Only the stamp on the upper right was franked with a rather clear slogan postmark. This cancelled stamp was issued on 06 Apr 09 and celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Council of Europe. More on the Council from the Correos de Espana website:

In 1949, ten countries signed the Treaty of London establishing the Council of Europe. In article 1 of its Statute it states its aim to “achieve a greater unity between its members and to promote awareness and encourage the development of Europe's cultural identity and diversity and to favour its economic and social progress.”

Sixty years after its foundation, The Council of Europe has a genuine pan-European dimension with 47 members, representing 800 million citizens and 5 observer countries: the Holy See, the United States, Canada, Japan, and Mexico. Its headquarters are in Strasbourg and its aims are to protect human rights, pluralist democracy and the rule of law, to promote awareness and encourage the development of Europe's cultural identity and diversity, to find common solutions to the challenges facing European society: such as discrimination against minorities, xenophobia, intolerance, terrorism, trafficking in human beings, organised crime and to consolidate democratic stability in Europe by backing political, legislative and constitutional reform.

The logo is the Council of Europe's own distinctive sign and was adopted in May 1999. The Council shares the flag, twelve golden stars on a blue background, with the European Union and the prelude to the Ode to Joy from Beethoven's 9th Symphony as the European anthem.

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