Signs of the Zodiac: Gemini, the twins

Posted on May 20, 2011 by CPO in Latest Stamps

In the months of April, May and June, Canada Post will launch three more Signs of the Zodiac stamp issues, each one on the day in which each particular constellation takes its place of prominence in the zodiac calendar.

Signs of the Zodiac: Gemini, the twins
Named for the stars Castor and Polydeuces (also known as Pollux--and the two stars together are known as the Dioscuri), Gemini means twins in Latin. The third astrological sign in the Zodiac, Gemini is considered an air sign, and is closely associated with the planet Mercury. The sun is in Gemini from approximately May 21 to June 20. However, some astrologists claim that the end of the constellation’s rule is at the very moment the Solstice begins on June 21.

The very symbol of duality and complexity, the twins of Gemini are ruled by Mercury, the planet of childhood and youth. Like children, those born under this air sign tend to either be very, very good or charmingly bad.

Lively, happy and ever-youthful, the “evil” twin traits of this dualistic sign are egocentricity and restlessness, and a limitless need for attention. Geminis love new challenges, but lose interest quickly. Disdainful of routine, they yearn for constant change and continuous stimulation. Decisions are difficult to make and hard to stick with, a condition compounded by the lack of conscientiousness and the high degree of self-interest often demonstrated by those born under this sign.

In these three stamp issues, Paprika Design of Montreal continues the multi faceted design themes they first revealed in the Signs of the Zodiac: Aries issue, which became available this past March. According to Paprika Design’s Creative Director and Associate Louis Gagnon, “as more stamps in the series are released, the layering of the various thematic elements becomes more and more apparent. For example, when we add the OFDCs of these stamps to the one issued in March for the Aries stamp—we see the wheel of the zodiac begin to emerge. One gets a stronger understanding of the totality of the design.”

Getting creative with the cancel locations

With a dozen stamps in this series—and a highly integrated overall design with a strong thematic influence—Stamp Program Manager Elia Anoia and Stamp Services Writer/Researcher Joy Parks wanted to ensure that the cancel locations would add yet another layer of “theme,” one that was sufficiently broad that it could be adapted to the entire series. By combing list after list of the country’s post offices, the two assembled a dozen locations that provided one more element of wit to the issue.

Signs of the Zodiac: Gemini
Twin Butte, Alberta, calls to mind the twin stars (and moods!) of Gemini

Stamp Specifications

  • Product #: 413793111
  • Layout: Booklet of 10 stamps
  • Date of Issue: May 20, 2011
  • Price: $5.90
  • Denomination: PERMANENT™ domestic rate
  • Design/Illustration: Paprika
  • Dimensions: 32 mm x 32 mm (square)
  • Gum Type: Pressure sensitive
  • Paper Type: Tullis Russell
  • Perforations: Simulated perforation
  • Printer: Lowe-Martin
  • Printing Process: Lithography in 7 colours
  • Tagging: General, 4 sides
  • Quantity: 4,000,000 per booklet
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  • Product #: 403794145
  • Layout: Souvenir sheet of 4 stamps
  • Price: $2.36
  • Dimensions: 128 mm x 128 mm (square)
  • Gum Type: P.V.A.
  • Perforations: 13+
  • Quantity: 205,000
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  • Product #: 403794108
  • Layout: Gutter Product (set of 2)
  • Price: $14.16
  • Gum Type: Pressure sensitive
  • Perforations: Simulated perforation
  • Quantity: 4,500
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