This issue celebrates the importance of cork to the economy of Portugal, the world’s largest producer. Cork and its production are environmentally friendly: each cork oak can be harvested every nine years, for around 150 years, making cork a renewable material, besides being easily recyclable.
Cork has a variety of uses due to its elasticity, impermeability, low density, and insulating properties. Cork is used to make, among other things, wine and champagne bottle stoppers, bulletin boards, fishing floats, woodwind instrument joints, spacecraft heat shields, the core of baseballs, and… stamps, this issue being the world’s first stamp made of cork. The stamp depicts a cork oak in its typical Portuguese habitat, the undulating plains of the southern Alentejo region.
The stamp was designed by João Machado, lithographed by Cartor on self-adhesive cork paper sheets of 4×8 stamps with a serpentine die cut of 13×13¾, and issued on 28 November 2007.