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The Smiling Beluga Whale, Delphinapterus leucas


Stamp Info

Name Value
Date of Issue October 2, 2000
Year 2000
Quantity 2,000,000
Perforation or Dimension 12.5 x 13
Series Whales
Series Time Span 2000
Printer Ashton-Potter Canada Limited.
Postal Administration Canada

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Stamp Price Values

Condition Name Avg Value
Mint - Never Hinged - Very Fine Only available to paid users
Used - Very Fine Only available to paid users
* Notes about these prices:
  • They are not based on catalogue values but on current dealer and auction listings. The reason for this is that catalogues tend to over-value stamps.
  • They are average prices. The actual value of your stamp may be slightly above or below the listed value, depending on the overall condition of your stamp. Use these prices as a guide to determine the approximate value of your stamps.

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Pane of 16 Stamps

Quantity Produced - 500,000
Original Price: $7.36
Perforation: 13+
Dimension: 56 mm x 27.5 mm (horizontal)
Printing Process: Lithography (eight colours)
Gum Type: P.V.A.
Tagging: General, four sides
Paper: Tullis Russell

Official First Day Cover

Quantity Produced - Unknown
Cancellation Location: TADOUSSAC (QUEBEC)
Original Price: $2.14
Perforation: 13+
Dimension: 56 mm x 27.5 mm (horizontal)
Printing Process: Lithography (eight colours)
Gum Type: P.V.A.
Tagging: General, four sides
Paper: Tullis Russell

About Stamp

Each day off the coasts of various parts of Canada, hopeful passengers embark on tours that take them on a unique search that of spotting whales at rest or play. Passengers are often rewarded with a glimpse of these majestic creatures; the luckiest disembark with a photo or two. On October 2, 2000, Canada Post will issue four domestic-rate ($0.46) commemorative stamps featuring whales that inhabit Canadian waters. Of the 35 species recorded in these waters, 21 are "common" or "regular." From these 21, two baleen (not-toothed) and two toothed whales have been selected for Canada Posts Whales issue.

The Smiling Beluga

Of the two toothed whales featured in this issue, the beluga is noted for its seemingly "fixed pleasant smile." Measuring (approximately) a metre and a half long at birth, the beluga can grow to nearly three metres long, with its birth-colour of dark brownish-grey fading to an adult white. The beluga uses its lips and forehead to make a variety of facial expressions, from smiles to frowns. It also emits a variety of sounds, from "moos" and clicks to squeaks and twitters. Living in the shallow coastal waters of the eastern and western Arctic and in the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, the beluga spends almost all of its time near the surface, rarely breaching.

About the Artist

When Vancouver designer and illustrator Keith Martin began researching the subject matter for the Whales issue, scale became one of the most compelling aspects. His challenge in designing the stamps lay in using the space afforded by a postage stamp to accurately portray the majesty of the largest living animal ever. Resolution came by way of arranging the species into a single scene over the entire stamp pane, with each stamp focusing on a single whale and also carrying a fragment of the blue whale. By this arrangement, all whales are accurately portrayed in their range of relative size and physical characteristics. To carry the scene of this ethereal environment, metallic ink was used to mimic the play of light and current underwater.


Designed by Keith Martin.

Similar Stamps


Canada Post Corporation, Canada's Stamp Details, Vol. 9, No. 5 , 2000, p. 10-12.

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