- Rare New Zealand stamps hold significant historical and cultural value
- Some of the most notable rarities include the 1855 Full Face Queens, the 1906 Christchurch Exhibition set, and the 1935-36 Pictorials
- Investing in rare New Zealand stamps can be a rewarding hobby and offer potential financial returns
A Brief History of New Zealand Stamps
New Zealand has a rich philatelic history dating back to the mid-19th century. The first postage stamps were issued in 1855, featuring a portrait of Queen Victoria, known as the “Full Face Queen” or “Chalon Head” stamps. These early stamps were initially printed in London, but production eventually moved to New Zealand in 1864. Since then, the country has issued a wide variety of stamps, showcasing its history, culture, flora, fauna, and significant events.
The 1855 Full Face Queens: The Birth of New Zealand Philately
The 1855 Full Face Queens are considered the crown jewels of New Zealand philately. These imperforate stamps, which were printed on bluish paper, are highly sought after by collectors due to their age, rarity, and historical significance. They were available in three denominations: one penny (orange-red), two pence (blue), and one shilling (green). Their name comes from the large portrait of Queen Victoria featured on the stamp, which takes up most of the design.
These stamps are not only valuable because of their age and rarity but also because they represent the birth of New Zealand’s postal system. Many collectors consider these stamps a “must-have” for any serious New Zealand collection.
The 1906 Christchurch Exhibition Set: A Philatelic Showcase
Another highly prized set of rare New Zealand stamps is the 1906 Christchurch Exhibition set, which was issued to commemorate the International Exhibition held in Christchurch. This set features four stamps, each showcasing a different aspect of the exhibition: the Exhibition buildings, New Zealand’s native bird – the Kiwi, the iconic Maori warrior, and the British coat of arms.
The stamps were printed in limited quantities, with only 60,000 sets produced, making them highly sought after by collectors. The 1906 Christchurch Exhibition set is renowned for its intricate designs and vibrant colors, which were considered groundbreaking at the time of issue.
The 1935-36 Pictorials: A Celebration of New Zealand’s Culture and Landscape
The 1935-36 Pictorials are another highly collectible set of rare New Zealand stamps, featuring scenes of New Zealand’s natural beauty, culture, and history. This set of 14 stamps includes depictions of native birds, Maori cultural symbols, and stunning landscapes, such as the iconic Mount Cook.
These stamps hold a special place in the hearts of collectors not only for their beauty but also for their historical significance. They marked a shift in New Zealand’s stamp designs, moving away from traditional portraits of royalty and instead focusing on the country’s unique culture and environment.
Investing in Rare New Zealand Stamps: A Rewarding Hobby
Collecting rare New Zealand stamps can be a fascinating and rewarding hobby. Not only do these stamps provide a tangible connection to the country’s history and culture, but they can also serve as a potential investment. The value of rare stamps often appreciates over time, especially those in excellent condition and with historical significance.
Building a collection of rare New Zealand stamps requires research, patience, and a keen eye for quality. Networking with fellow collectors, attending stamp shows, and joining philatelic clubs can help you learn more about the stamps you’re interested in and find opportunities to acquire them.
Additionally, it’s essential to properly store and care for your rare stamps to ensure they maintain their value. Investing in high-quality stamp albums, protective sleeves, and storage boxes can help preserve your stamps for generations to come.
Final Thoughts: The Enduring Appeal of Rare New Zealand Stamps
Rare New Zealand stamps continue to captivate collectors worldwide, thanks to their historical significance, beautiful designs, and connection to the country’s rich cultural heritage. As you embark on your philatelic journey, remember that collecting these stamps is about more than just their monetary value – it’s also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the fascinating world of New Zealand’s history and appreciate the artistry of its stamps.
Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a newcomer to the world of philately, rare New Zealand stamps offer an exciting and rewarding collecting experience. With careful research, patience, and a passion for preserving history, you can build a collection that tells the story of New Zealand through its most prized postal treasures.