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1985 St. Vincent Herbs & Spices Nutmegs          1985 St. Vincent Herbs and Spice Stamp series nutmeg

"Nutmeg Myristica Fragrans"
   1985  ~ "Herbs & Spices"
Saint Vincent  ~ Postal Stamps

SERIES: Herbs & Spices ~ Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans).

STAMP SIZE: 28mm by 43mm.
PERFORATION: 20 by 30.
PAPER: Unwatermaked.
PRINTING PROCESS: Offset Lithography.
SHEET CONTENT: 50 stamps per sheet.
DESIGNER: G. Drummond
PRINTER/DESIGNER:  Formate International Security Printers Ltd. ,
         London, England.  [This company was liquidated in the mid~1990's.]

HISTORY:  Between 1969 to 1988, Formate International Security Printers Ltd. was the designated Public Postal Licensee for Saint Vincent. In 1985, the St. Vincent's Postal System released a stamp set illustrating key herbs and spices from the island.  In addition to the commercial stamp format pictured here, Formate International Security Printers Ltd. created and saved additional formats for this series, including: progressive color proofs, "specimen" overprints, imperforates, and "error" formats.  All of these became available to stamp collectors when the company went bankrupt and their properties were liquidated. Controversy remains regarding two intertwined companies: Formate International Security Printers Ltd. and The House of Questas were both printers of stamps and were located at the same address.... and, in light of the bankruptcy, remaining concerns are reported as "under investigation". 

Saint Vincent is a Caribbean island located northeast of Venezuela, South America. Beginning May 8, 1861, Saint Vincent initiated production of postal stamps. Being a British colony, Saint Vincent postal stamps continually featured the British monarch or a crown symbol until 1970, after which their stamp designs became more imaginative and aesthetically attractive. In 1985, a four stamp series commemorated Saint Vincent's herbs and spices, depicting them in attractive botanical illustrations.  This series is marked St. Vincent ~ an indication of production prior to1992, when subsequent printings used the full name St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the island's postage stamps. 

Between December 1801 to June 1802, nutmeg trees from Cayenne were introduced to Saint Vincent, the first of the Caribbean Islands to possess these plants.  About 1806, additional nutmeg trees were brought to the island.  By 1821, the nutmeg trees reached production maturity and have flourished in Saint Vincent ever since. While neighboring Grenada dominates the Caribbean nutmeg and mace trade, to a lessor extent the other main CARICOM {Caribbean-Community} producers of this spice are Trinidad and Tobago, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This beautiful postal stamp, Nutmeg Myristica Fragrans, pays tribute to nutmeg's important historical role for the people of St. Vincent. 

                                                                                                                                                                                [KLOPFER article © September 2014]