Stamp detective: Queensland semi-postal stamps

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29 January 2020
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We take a look at stamps from one of the first countries in the world to issue semi-postal stamps

Queensland in Australia was one of the very first countries in the world to issue semi-postal stamps. Two stamps released in 1900 had a surcharge going to a patriotic fund. The colony had sent soldiers to South Africa to assist the British forces in the Boer war (1899-1902). Britain wanted to gain control of all of South Africa, where gold had recently been discovered in the independent republic of Transvaal.

After some initial setbacks the British eventually gained control of both Transvaal and the Orange Free State.

In order to support the British campaign in South Africa, Queensland issued two stamps with denominations of 1d and 2d but they sold for 1/- and 2/- respectively with the difference going to the fund. 10,000 copies were printed of the 1d stamp and only 4,020 of the 2d stamp, making it quite scarce. 

Stamp value

The set has a mint catalogue value of £490 and current retail starts at around £200 for a mint set. Finding well centred stamps with good perforations can be a challenge. The stamps fit nicely into a variety of thematic collections.

The current selling price seems rather modest considering the rarity of this set. The colonial era is very popular with collectors in Australia.

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