A BATCH of 230,000 commemorative stamps issued ahead of the upcoming Chinese Year of the Sheep sold out in just over two hours yesterday as people sought to bag an investment bargain.
The zodiac stamps went on sale at 102 post offices across the city at 6:30am, but were all gone by 9am, the Shanghai Post Co said.
Some people queued overnight so as not to miss out on the issue. An unspecified number of the 1.20 yuan (19 US cents) stamp went on sale nationwide.
The image was created by Wu Guanying, a professor at Tsinghua University’s academy of art and design, who also helped to create the mascots for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
In traditional Chinese culture, the sheep is said to have many positive characteristics, such as generosity, kindness and tenacity.
The commemorative stamp features a golden-horned sheep decorated with peony, lotus, lily and plum blossoms, all of which are considered auspicious in China.
China Post began issuing zodiac stamps in 1980 to mark the Year of the Monkey. The sheep design marks the end of three full rounds of issues since then.
Over the years, some of the stamps have become collectors’ items.
Mint copies of the first monkey stamps, which have a face value of just 0.08 yuan, have been known to sell for up to 10,000 yuan.