Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Semi-postal cover from Turkey!

Recently, Turkish Post issued a lovely set of semi-postal stamps featuring two different types of locomotives. Great thanks to our fellow philatelist cum artist friend, Ahmet Demir for sending me this great cover franked with both stamps!
Ahmet also used 5 semi-postal stamps from the 1973 "Export Products" series on the back of cover. It is a pity that they are not postmarked!
What is a semi-postal Stamp?
A semi-postal stamp is a postal stamp issued to raise money for some purpose (such as a charitable cause) and thus sold over and above the cost of postage. Typically the stamp shows two denominations separated by a plus sign, but in many cases the only denomination shown is for the postage rate, and the postal customer simply pays the higher price when purchasing the stamps.

History of semi-postals
The first semi-postal was actually a postal card; to commemorate the Uniform Penny Post in 1890, the United Kingdom issued a card with a face value of one penny, but sold it for sixpence, with the difference given to a fund for postal workers.

The first semi-postal stamps were issued by the Australian colonies of New South Wales and Victoria, who both marked the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897 with stamps denominated in pennies, but sold for shillings, a 12x increase over the face value!

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