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New Gold Rush Stamp Reveals Hidden Nuggets

4 September 2006

Here's The Rub - New Gold Rush Stamp Reveals Hidden Nuggets

New Zealand Post's latest - and interactive - stamp issue commemorates the gold rush years that proved crucial to the development of New Zealand as a nation in the 19th century.

Prospectors in their thousands flocked to New Zealand from around the world after gold was discovered by Gabriel Read in Otago in 1861. Successive 'rushes' on the West Coast and in the Coromandel further raised international interest in New Zealand and attracted further waves of people seeking their fortune.

And purchasers of the 45-cent stamp in the new series may experience a gold rush of their own - if they give it a rub.

For the first time New Zealand Post has produced a stamp using heat-sensitive thermographic ink - which means that if you rub the 45-cent stamp, the heat from your finger will magically reveal gleaming nuggets in the pan of the 1880s prospector depicted in the photograph.

New Zealand Post Stamps Manager Ivor Masters says the new interactive stamp is "a fun way of appreciating our history. The gold rushes had a dramatic impact on this small, young and geographically remote country - for example the population of Dunedin alone almost trebled in less than two years. It was a fascinating time in our history - and some of New Zealand's best-known businesses got their start during the rushes."

Apart from the 45-cent stamp, the rest of the Gold Rush series comprises stamps carrying historical photographs from around the country:
* 90 cent - an image of the settlement at Kuranui Creek, Thames, a year after gold was first discovered in the area.
* $1.35 - Chinese prospectors at Tuapeka, Otago
* $1.50 - the last Otago gold escort at Roxburgh in 1901 - complete with driver, Bank of New Zealand staff, and Police escorts.
* $2.00 - an image of the bustling Dunedin waterfront.

Three collectable coins, depicting images from Otago, Coromandel and the West Coast, will also be on sale.

Mr Masters says the coin designs are themed around something of each area. The Brilliant Uncirculated coin depicts gold miners on the West Coast. The Silver Proof coin shows alluvial gold being washed in a pan by hand. Finally, the Gold Proof coin depicts the picks and shovels used to mine gold in Otago.

The products will be available from PostShops, New Zealand Post Collectables in Auckland and Christchurch, selected retailers, the Wanganui Stamps Centre and the stamps website - www.nzpost.co.nz/stamps - from Wednesday 6 September.

ENDS

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