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Dog Year collector's stamps to go on sale
Last Updated: 2018-01-04 08:08 | China Daily
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Collector's stamps for the Year of the Dog on display at a post office in Weifang, Shandong province, on Wednesday. [Zhang Chi/For China Daily]

China Post will begin selling rare Year of the Dog collector's stamps on Friday in preparation for Chinese New Year.

Two designs are to be released, according to Xinhua News Agency. One features a male black-and-white husky standing proud, signaling prosperity and protection; the other is of a female brown Shiba Inu licking her black cub, representing family and parental love.

The dog is a symbol of loyalty, honesty, safety, prosperity and family unity in Chinese culture, Xinhua said.

Zhou Lingzhao, 99, a well-known artist, designed the stamps. He also helped create the second, third and fourth edition of the renminbi, the Chinese currency, as well as the national emblem.

Each set of stamps will include the two designs, but only 7,700 sets are expected to be printed, the fewest in history. Each set will cost 2.4 yuan (35 US cents) and will be available at post offices and selected locations.

This year's stamp is particularly rare because China Post overprinted last year's Year of the Rooster stamps, leading to a drop in prices and stagnated sales, Zhao Aiguo, deputy executive manager of sales for China Post, told Xinhua.

China first began issuing collector's stamps featuring the Chinese zodiac in 1980. It was the monkey stamp designed by 94-year-old Chinese painter Huang Yongyu.

The dog is the 11th animal in the 12-year cycle of the zodiac.

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