How a find ends on a postage stamp...

New : the same image has been reproduced recently also on a Guinean stamp. More on this later !

North-Korean postage stamp... Annabergite crystals from "Km 3", between Lavrion and Kamariza, Attika, Greece. Collected in 1978. North-Korean postage stamp.

This story is just anecdotic, but it really happened. In 1978 my wife Ria and I enjoyed holidays in Greece, but we spent much more time on the old mine dumps than on the Acropolis. In the extreme summer heat I collected several beautiful specimens of annabergite crystals in de vicinity of kilometer-marker 3 between Lavrion and Kamariza. One year later I wrote an article on our trip, that was published jointly by "Gea", a Dutch mineralogical magazine, and "Geonieuws" (Belgium). Piet Stemvers, the editor of Gea, made a beautiful picture of an annabergite specimen for the front cover.

A few months later Rupert Hochleitner, author of the German book "Fotoatlas der Mineralien und Gesteine" asked permission to publish Piet Stemvers' photo in his book. This was granted with a certain feeling of proud, of course.

Several years later images of a North-Korean postage stamp series appeared in The Mineralogical Record, with european mineral specimens as subject. One of them was... my own annabergite specimen from Lavrion !

The North-Koreans, who never subscribed the Bern Convention on copyright issues, just copied 3 images from Hochleitner's book, including the annabergite that is still in my collection today.

I bear no malice for this infringement of the copyright act... I'm rather proud ! I would however have preferred that they would have asked : we would have given them a perfect original for reproduction instead of the 3rd generation rastered and printed copy they used. That is indeed why the graphical quality of this stamp is so bad. A pity, isn't it ?

Locality km 3 Locality km 3 - bis

Left: Looking for annabergite in the neighbourhood of the famous locality "km 3" between Lavrion and Kamariza. Photo Ria Dillen, june 1978
Right: The locality "km 3" is well indicated along the road between Lavrion and Kamariza. Photo Rik Dillen, june 1978

This is the original sample in its original "Jousi"-box just as it is still in my collection

The original image as it appeared in Hochleitner's book. Photo Piet Stemvers.

And this is the first day cover ("F.D.C.") with the 3 stamps copied from Hochleitner's book

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