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The United States Accomplishments in Space Commemorative Issue of 1967

A stamp album with sleeve
Philately is the study of revenue or postage stamps. This includes the design, production, and uses of stamps after they are issued. A postage stamp is evidence of pre-paying a fee for postal services. Postal history is the study of postal systems of the past. It includes the study of rates charged, routes followed, and special handling of letters.

Stamp collecting is the collecting of postage stamps and related objects, such as covers (envelopes, postcards or parcels with stamps affixed). It is one of the world's most popular hobbies, with estimates of the number of collectors ranging up to 20 million in the United States alone.

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The 5/- value from Malta's first revenue issue of 1899

Revenue stamps of Malta were first issued in 1899, when the islands were a British colony. From that year to 1912, all revenue issues were postage stamps overprinted accordingly, that was either done locally or by De La Rue in London. Postage stamps also became valid for fiscal use in 1913, so no new revenues were issued until 1926–30, when a series of key type stamps depicting King George V were issued. These exist unappropriated for use as general-duty revenues, or with additional inscriptions indicating a specific use; Applications, Contracts, Registers or Stocks & Shares. The only other revenues after this series were £1 stamps depicting George VI and Elizabeth II. Postage stamps remained valid for fiscal use until at least the 1980s.

Malta also used impressed duty stamps from the 1920s until these were replaced by pre-printed revenues in the 1970s. The latter were discontinued in the early 1990s. Malta also had specific stamps for Workmen's Compensation (1929–56), passport fees (1933–72), National Insurance (1956–78) and Airport Charge (1975–88). Excise stamps have been used to pay the tax on cigarettes since the 1930s, the tax on spirits since the 2000s, and the tax on wine since 2015. Excise imprints were also used on cinema, theatre and football match tickets from around the 1950s to the 1980s. (Full article...)

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Pigeons with messages attached.
Pigeon post is the use of homing pigeons to carry messages. Pigeons are effective as messengers due to their natural homing abilities. The pigeons are transported to a destination in cages, where they are attached with messages, then the pigeon naturally flies back to its home where the recipient could read the message. They have been used in many places around the world. Pigeons have also been used to great effect in military situations, and are in this case referred to as war pigeons. (Full article...)
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Scinde Dawk was a postal system of runners that served the Indus Valley of Sindh, an area of present-day Pakistan. The term also refers to the first adhesive postage stamps in Asia, the forerunners of the adhesive stamps used throughout India, Burma, the Straits Settlements and other areas controlled by the British East India Company. The name derives from the words "Scinde", the British spelling of the name of the province of Sindh, and "Dawk", the anglicised spelling of the Hindustani word "Dak" or Post. (Full article...)
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WikiProjects WikiProject Philately organizes the development of articles relating to philately. For those who want to skip ahead to the smaller articles, the WikiProject also maintains a list of articles in need of improvement or that need to be started. There are also many red inked topics that need to be started on the list of philatelic topics page.

Selected works

  • Williams, Louis N., & Williams, Maurice (1990). Fundamentals of Philately {revised ed.). American Philatelic Society. ISBN 0-9335-8013-4.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Hornung, Otto (1970). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Stamp Collecting. Hamlyn. ISBN 0-600-01797-4.
  • Stuart Rossiter & John Fowler (1991). World History Stamp Atlas (reprint ed.). pub: Black Cat. ISBN 0-7481-0309-0.


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  1. ^ "Philatelic Collections: General Collections". British Library. 2003-11-30. Archived from the original on 30 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-16.

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