Canada Largest Stamp Depicting a Blue Whale Issued
October 7 , 2010

On October 4, 2010 Canada Post issue a new $10 definitive stamp depicting the world's largest creature, the Blue Whale (Balænoptera musculus).

The mammal weighs between 80 and 180 metric tonnes and reaches lengths of more than 30 metres. It can travel at speeds of 33 km/hr, accelerating to 48 km/hr when chased, making it among the fastest of whale species.

In Canada, the blue whale roams the waters along the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence near eastern Nova Scotia, the south coast of Newfoundland, and in the Davis Strait between Baffin Island and Greenland. In the west it habits the coast of British Columbia.

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The stamp is the largest in size and highest denomination Canada Post has ever produced. The stamp measures 128mm x 48mm (approximately 5" x 2").

It was produced using a combination of intaglio (for the whale in the foreground) and offset lithography (for the colours in the background).

Blue Whale stamp
Single stamp

A special printing technique called microtype was used to write the Latin name for blue whale - a feature that is normally impossible to reproduce by any other means than intaglio. Additionally, a large cluster of krill (the whale’s food of choice), along with a diver, were introduced using tagging inks. These can only be seen under an ultraviolet lamp.

Under the UV Lamp

Blue Whale Stamp Sheet
Sheet of 2
Stamp Specifications
  • Layout:
  • Date of Issue: Oct. 4, 2010
  • Price: $20
  • Denomination: 1 x $10
  • Design: Fugazi
  • Dimensions: 128 mm x 49 mm (horizontal)
  • Gum Type: P.V.A.
  • Illustration: Suzanne Duranceau
  • Paper Type: Tullis Russell
  • Perforations: 13+
  • Printer: Canadian Bank Note
  • Printing Process: Lithography in 4 colours, silkscreen and intaglio
  • Quantity: 1,500,000

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