General Information

  • The world's first adhesive postage stamp was the Penny Black of Great Britain, which went on sale on May 1, 1840 and became valid for postage on May 6, 1840.
  • The Penny Black did not have the name of Great Britain printed on it, and do this day stamps of Great Britain do not have the country's name on them.
  • The Oldest postal service in the world, existed in china about 4000 BC for the use of the imperial court and their civil servants and it operated from Peking to every corner of the empire with over 25.000 relay stations.
  • The oldest writing materials consisted of baked clay from 3000 BC till about 1000 BC used in cappadocia (Asia minor).
  • Paper was first used as writing material by the Chinese in 2nd century BC
  • The first country to join the General Postal Union after the founder members was British Indian in July 1876. The name Universal Postal Union was adopted at the second conference held in Paris in 1878.
  • The only countries to grant their citizens free postage have been Andorra and Greenland
  • The highest post office in the world is at Cerre de Pasca, Peru, at an altitude of 14.385 ft (4355m).
  • Bicycles were first used for the transmission of mail in Britain on August 1883.
  • The first stamps in Asia were issued in the Indian district of Scinde (Sind) on July 1. 1852.
  • The first triangular stamps were issued by The Cape of Good Hope in September 1853.
  • The first person portrayed on a stamp was Queen Victoria whose profile was used for the Penny Black and two pence Blue of 1840.
  • Stamps have been used as money during shortage of coinage.
  • The most prolific stamp designer is Gordon Drummond who had designed 1227 stamps for the Crown Agents up to the end of 1981.
  • The most expensive stamps ever produced, relative to their actual value were the 1d and 2d "post Office" stamps of Mauritius,1847.
  • The earliest stamps were issued imperforate and had to be torn apart or cut with scissors.