I have a confession to make. I have been collecting stamps for around five years. This obsession began when I randomly bought a 1kg bag of randomly mixed stamps from E-Bay. Stamps bought in this fashion are called “kiloware”, and getting some seemed like a great idea at the time. I’m still sorting through the last of that bag (cataloguing kiloware is an arduous process), but I’ve been gathering stamps, usually better quality, from various other sources in the meantime.
Unless you are The Queen (whose family have collected stamps from The Commonwealth for generations), it would be folly to try to collect everything. I’m not one who is usually dissuaded by that which might be considered folly, but in the interests of my bank balance, I stick to collecting Canadian and British stamps. But if something turns up from somewhere else, I’ll surely find a spot for it.
When I come across an interesting stamp (or postcard, as I acquire these, too) I will blog about it.
The oldest stamp that I currently own is the famous Beaver stamp. There are actually a few varieties of beaver stamp. The earliest are from 1851 and were issued by “The Province of Canada” (the merger of Upper Canada and Lower Canada), preceding Canadian Confederation in 1867. They had a face value of 3d (three old pence), were the first stamps considered Canadian (despite being before confederation) and were the first stamps anywhere to have an animal on them. They were printed onto laid paper, which is paper that has a ribbed texture as a result of the manufacturing process. This made them less than ideal for sticking to mail/post.
The 1859 stamp that I own (pictured above) is “used” and far from perfect. It has a face value of 5 cents (cents were introduced as currency in 1858). It has perforated edges, unlike older issues. The stamp was printed by the American Bank Note Company and it is the last stamp ever issued for The Province of Canada.
The Province of Canada (essentially Ontario and Quebec), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia stopped producing their own stamps at the formation of The Dominion of Canada, and the first stamps issued by The Dominion were in 1868.
Prince Edward Island issued its last stamps in 1872 (joined Canada in 1873)
British Columbia issued its last stamps in 1869 (joined Canada in 1871)
Newfoundland issued its last stamps in 1947 (joined Canada in 1949)