Story of Stamps: 35 Remarkable Facts about their History and Significance

- Sponsored Links -

1Nicaragua's Erupting Volcano Stamp

Nicaragua's Erupting Volcano Stamp

The Panama Canal was supposed to be built in Nicaragua, but a 1¢ mail stamp of an erupting volcano mislead the congressmen into thinking that Nicaragua was too dangerous of a place to building a canal, so they chose to build the canal in Panama instead.

2. There is a special name, "Errors, Freaks, and Oddities," or EFO, for postage stamps that have had some mistake in their creation, and it can increase their value. Some of them are the most expensive stamps in the world.

3. British stamps are the only stamps in the world not to contain the country name as standard. This is because, when the stamp was invented, it was only ever used in the UK.

4. In 1981, the US Post Office issued an anti-alcoholism stamp that said "Alcoholism: You can beat it!" Though well-intentioned, it was a huge flop mainly because it could look like the sender was sending a specific message to the recipient.

5. U.S. stamps may not visibly depict any person who has been dead for less than 10 years, except for ex-Presidents who may appear one year after their demise.

Latest FactRepublic Video:
15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

6Dag Hammarskjöld Invert Stamp

Dag Hammarskjöld Invert Stamp

The Dag Hammarskjöld Invert 4-cent stamp was intentionally reprinted to prevent the stamp from gaining value from a USPS error.

7. In 1954, Warren Buffett tried to corner the market on Blue Eagle stamps. He bought almost 400,000 of them, expecting 2,500% gains from desperate collectors. The demand never materialized and he ended up selling his stamp stash at a loss in 1982. He never bought collectibles again after that.

8. To prevent people from reusing canceled postage stamps by washing off the ink, early stamps were embossed with 'grill' indentations so that the ink would be more readily absorbed by the paper.

9. Until 2005 the only living people to appear on British stamps were the Queen and the drummer of the Queen.

10. Stamps are considered a financial liability until they are used, so buying stamps does not provide the United States Post Office with more revenue. Only after the stamps are used can they be credited for revenue.

- Sponsored Links -

11Cinderella Stamps

Cinderella Stamps

Stamps mimicking postage stamps but printed for promotional use by businesses, churches, and political or non-profit groups are called Cinderella stamps as even though they are attractive, they are still seen as inferior by philatelists, much similar to Cinderella.

12. In 1930, Spain printed a series of postage stamps featuring Goya's "Naked Maja" painting. The United States refused all mail sent with this stamp.

13. Since 1864, the British Royal Family has maintained one of the world's largest postage stamp collections. George V set the record for a single stamp’s price when he paid £1,450 for a “Mauritius Two Pence Blue” in 1904.

14. In 2010, the Royal Mail turned 10 classic British albums into postage stamps, including albums by Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and Blur.

15. The Vatican City has its own post office and it issues its own stamps. The Vatican mail system is widely used by Romans as in most cases it is a lot quicker than Italian mail.

- Sponsored Links -

161938 Delaware Colonization Stamp

1938 Delaware Colonization Stamp

Delaware was founded by Swedes and Finns in the 1630s. Both Sweden and Finland issued stamps in 1938 to commemorate it.

17. Two-thirds of Pitcairn Island's revenue came from stamps in the 1970s. A decrease in sales meant the islands became bankrupt in 2004.

18. A British man named Angus McDonagh designed and printed his own fake postage stamps, with images of himself wearing an eye patch, a beret, and a Father Christmas beard. He successfully used them to post over 100 letters.

19. Every time you lick a stamp, you are consuming one-tenth of a Calorie.

20. Placing a stamp upside down means "I love you." Stamp orientation has conveyed protest and secret messages for decades across the world.

21North Korean Diana Stamps

North Korean Diana Stamps

North Korea issued a series of postage stamps featuring Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1982. There were even celebrations in North Korea when the two married in 1981.

22. Postage stamps weren't always prepaid. Some of the first post offices in the 1840s made recipients pay for their mail, when they came to pick it up. This led to postage going unpaid, a decrease in revenue, and the creation of federal postage stamps.

23. The Treskilling Yellow is a Swedish postage stamp. It is one of the rarest stamps in the whole world and because of how rare it is, it is to be worth more than $3.14 million dollars.

24. Mark Twain was born and died in the same years as the Halley's Comet flew by the earth. He even predicted that he would 'go out with' the comet a year before its arrival. Because of this connection, the American Postal Service created a commemorative stamp with Twain riding Halley's comet.

25. In 1994, Abkhazia released a parody series of stamps celebrating Marxism and Leninism but instead had a picture of Groucho Marx and John Lennon. They did this to assert their independence from Soviet Union.

- Sponsored Links -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here