Philatelic and
Numismatic programmes

Olympic philatelic programme

The partnership between the Olympic Games and philately is as old as the Games themselves.

In 1895, the Organising Committee was faced with a lack of funds to complete the construction of the last venues. Two Greek philatelists/numismatists proposed that the Greek government issue a series of commemorative stamps, the proceeds (or part of the proceeds) from which would go to the Organising Committee of the Games to finance these last venues. Fifty percent of the estimated revenue (200,000 drachmas) was released before the issue date and the remainder was guaranteed with a seven percent bank loan. The series of 12 stamps was issued on the inaugural day of the first Games of the Olympiad, 25 March 1896.

The Olympic stamps issued that day were the harbingers of the revival of the Olympic Games. They were sent from the Games all over the world on letters and packages.

Olympic numismatic programme

The Olympic coin - often described as a collectible, an investment, and a hedge against inflation - has been one of the most important sources of revenue for the Olympic family for decades. Few know that revenue from Olympic coins was surpassed only by television rights in 1984, and, even then, coin royalties from the Los Angeles Games provided the OCOG and the United States Olympic Committee with US$ 73.5 million to help towards staging the Games.

Olympic Collectibles
Official IOC Catalogue of Olympic Stamps

In cooperation with Phildom, the IOC can announce that the new Official IOC Catalogue of Olympic Stamps is now available. Five volumes of work document show over 26300 stamps issued for Olympic events dating back to the Athens 1896 Olympic Games. More information here: Olympic collectibles


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