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A Brief History of Newfoundland Stamps

Between 1857 and 1949 Newfoundland issued her own stamps.  In all more than 300 different stamps were printed, and are today still much appreciated for their beauty, historical interest and solid collector value.

The postage stamps of Newfoundland are particularly interesting because nearly every aspect of the early development of the colony of Newfoundland is depicted . A study of Newfoundland postage stamps is a study of Newfoundland history, politics, natural resources and geography.

The first Newfoundland postage stamps were the pence issues of 1857-62, and include rarities ranked among the most sought after stamps in the world. During the early years of stamp collecting, counterfeiters produced excellent copies of these Newfoundland stamps, so that today collectors should look for certificates of authenticity when purchasing such stamps for their collections.

The first individuals to appear on Newfoundland postage stamps were Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert in 1865. The Queen Victoria stamp, in white and pale red brown in a cameo view, is considered particularly beautiful.

In 1897 the first commemorative postage stamps were issued. They marked both the 400th anniversary of John Cabot's discovery of Newfoundland in 1497 and the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria's coronation in 1837. Various themes such as fishing, hunting, logging and mining are depicted on these postage stamps.

In 1919, 12 stamps were issued to recognize the service and sacrifice of Newfoundland soldiers and sailors during World War 1. On each stamp is inscribed the location of an important action which took place during the war.

John Alcock and Arthur Brown made the first non-stop transatlantic airplane flight in June 1919. Their trip from St. John's, Newfoundland to Ireland was made eight years before Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight from Long Island, New York to Paris, France. Newfoundland issued its first airmail stamps in 1919 and they quickly fell into favour with stamp collectors.

On June 23, 1947 the last Newfoundland postage stamp was issued before Newfoundland joined the Dominion of Canada in 1949. Newfoundland postage stamps remain valid for mail posted anywhere in Canada, although they are rarely used for this purpose.


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