Cinderella Stamps, Faux Stamps and Artistamps

I know that I am dancing with the devil right now, but I really would love to know your opinion on this topic :slight_smile:

Generaly I hate the idea behind cindarellas. I don´t like cindarellas, but this fact cannot stop me from collecting them :man_shrugging: Well, the word “collecting” is maybe to strong, but it happend somehow, that I have a few hundrets of them. Why? Because I was naive and stupid and I didn´n knew that they exist :man_facepalming:

I know that some of them are kinda authorized by the country that they supposed to represent, but has no value. Some of them are simply not and they are completely “illegal” .

In my wildest phylatelist dreams, I would not imagine that cindarellas can be a real thing. WHY !? WHY would anybody wanted to collect worthless pieces of papers? But the true is, that I was always suspicious when I saw dozens of new and sometimes really primitive stamps using fonts from “Windows 95 word art” (It was my “blue pill moment” - matrix reference :smiley: )

I also have the answer… Sometimes, they are really cool and nice and with beautiful paintings on them. :smiley: I just want to raise the awareness for those who didn´t knew or didn´t wanted to knew. But most of all I want to know your opinion on that. I would like to post pictures from my collection, so maybe you can find some “stowaways” in your collection.

Please, feel free to post yours also and show us what you have. We can than chose if we want the red or the blue pill :smiley:

I will start with this one - one of the really ugly ones :smiley: … much more will come later


What’s a “Cinderella”?


It is a “stamp” that looks like a stamp, but has absolutely no value. It is not issued by the postal service. You cannot use it to send a mail. I will send more pictures a little bit later.


I also like cinderella stamps! I also have a small collection and tend to buy some every so often. And then: I love to make my own cinderella stamps :slight_smile:

Of course I always use them as an extra on my Mail Art, more like a decorative sticker.
Cinderella stamps must not be used instead of real stamps! In some countries it’s even forbidden to use stickers resembling stamps close to the real stamps.

For those who don’t know what Cinderella stamps are, you can find out more on Wikipedia…

… or in the video that was posted by @princeofasturias the other day:


Can you tell us how to identify this is a cinderella? It looks so much like real stamps!


I am not an expert, so I believe in what says. You can also check the “cindarella maker” store. I will post links little bit later.

For example these stamps :

I will cite the colnect:

Although this issue was authorized by the postal administration of Mozambique, the issue was not placed on sale in Mozambique, and was only distributed to the new issue trade by Mozambique’s philatelic agent.”

These were somehow authorized, but some were not. They are just “illegal” or “cindarellas” :slight_smile:

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A couple of observations here. It is pretty well-known that Cinderella Stamps form an important component in the collections of many Topical collectors. Besides actual stamps and related covers, they can add spice to any collection.

The other thing is that the stamp-issuing policies of many nations is atrocious. Although the stamps may be legally issued, stamps featuring Olympic skiers on issues from Jamaica or Renaissance art on stamps from Congo. Quite dubious in my book.

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One of the Cinderella stamps I have came from an important day for a democracy: Election Day! Since 1989 all Chilean ballot papers must be closed by the voters with a stamp that have the Electoral Service logo on it. These stamps were printed by the Chilean Mint (Casa de Moneda de Chile), which also issues the official Chilean post stamps.

In 2016 the stamps were replaced by stickers, but the procedure for closing the ballot paper is still the same.

It’s interesting all the Cinderella stamps world. Maybe I’ll have to expand this collection too.


I can see the difference between these stamps and for example stamps from these sites

I really like the designs and some of them are really pieces of art. The issue that I have is that they are being issued so quickly without a connection to the country of “origin”

I understand commemorative stamps are sometimes a global celebration. But some of them are just “made up” to be commemorative. What is commemorative about the stamps that are up the page? “SATELITES” … technicaly yes, it is “a satellite” but in fact what does Mozambiq in common with random pictures of the International space station ?

:scream: i never heard about it before! Thanks for introducing this topic!!
(I came to hear about Cinderella (thinking it was literally a Cinderella’s stamp :joy::joy: but ended up learning something really interesting :+1::clap::clap::clap:)


Do collectors consider seals (for example, Easter Seals in the U.S. and other charity sheets often sold around Christmas) to be a subset of Cinderella Stamps or something different? Just curious.

I’ve started sending out more cards in envelopes and I’m not against using a Cinderella or sticker on the actual card since the real postage will be on the envelope. It makes the card look a little more complete and adds a little more interest. I never mix these with actual postage though.


Good point, I also considered to use them just like a decoration. But the problem is that I want to keep them also :smiley:

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I don’t like it when someone produces cinderellas to trick people, but as long as I know what they are I enjoy them a lot. The first picture you posted is so funny to me! I love it!

Some people only consider a stamp a cinderella if it’s pretending to be a real stamp, but others think the definition is more broad. I’ve just decided to start collecting zippies. This is Mr. Zip. He was printed in the margins of nearly every sheet of stamps in the US for most of the 60s and 70s. He comes in various colors depending on the colors of ink used on the sheet, and I believe there are four different poses you can find.



I have Cinderellas too, they came with a Mickey Mouse magazine ages ago and I have them on the page after the (hopefully real) Disney stamps from Grenada, Anguilla, Maldives and Commonwealth of Dominica in my stamp album.
Never ever would I have thought of using them - first as they are not real stamps and second I wanted to keep the set complete.

Now I use washi-tape stamps on handmade postcards to give them an “authentic” look. I have to mail them in an envelope (for protection purpose) with of course a real stamp.


Christmas seals are definitely a type of Cinderella stamp, collectable in their own right.

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An interesting type of Cinderella stamp is the private postal label. An example would be one issued by a heritage railway line, attached to mail posted on board their train, nice souvenir of the trip and a good way to raise funds for the railway.

A private postal service was introduced on Lord Howe Island years ago - it has one post office run by Australia Post, but no actual mail delivery service. It was called Zemail (zero emissions mail), as an electric vehicle was used. When Australia Post found out about it they had it closed down! The stamps used are still available on the island as souvenirs, you can even get them with a special postmark, on postcards. If you want to mail them, Australian stamps have to be added of course.

I enjoy decorating with them, but I use them just like i use stickers.

Some even come in washi tape format which I really like:


I have quite a few cinderellas, some issued by rock bands, but most made by artists. The sheet of cinderellas pictured here are of my neighbor’s dog and were made for me by a guy who has both a printing press and a perforating machine.


not a stamp collector but I have heard of a service in Japan Postal service a while back where you can make your own stamps. The way they promoted it was you can send a “couple” photo and they will make it into a stamp. At first I was so confused why I would want to make a stamp i can’t actually use for sending out mail but now that I know about cinderellas that actually make more sense. haha.