Monday, June 9, 2008

Stamp Issuer - Anguilla

Anguilla, 1967 (Scott #13)
Overprinted St. Christopher-
Nevis-Anguilla stamp

Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory located in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. It is overseen by a governor appointed by the British monarch, who is mainly involved with foreign affairs. A local legislative body oversees domestic affairs.

Anguilla is a tiny nation, comprised of 102 square kilometers (slightly under 40 square miles). The country is made up of the main island, as well as several smaller, uninhabited islands.

The land is very poor and only marginally arable. Fishing has been a major source of food (and income) for the country. Salt ponds are also prevalent, and salt has been an major export of the island.

The island gets most of its revenue today from the tourism industry. The island is a tropical paradise that is becoming a destination hot-spot for vacationers. Its beautiful scenery makes it the ideal location for travelers.

Anguilla was first settled by Amerindians of South America, probably in the 1300s, although records are notoriously scarce. English settlers started arriving at the island from nearby St. Christopher Island (also known as St. Kitts Island) in the mid 1600s. Europeans and African slaves from other Caribbean islands also settled on Anguilla around that time.

Great Britain administered the island until the early 19th century when it was made a British dependency along with the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. The Anguillans tried several times to secede from this union with St. Kitts and Nevis, in 1967 and 1969, but these attempts were unsuccessful. However, a few years after the last rebellion, Great Britain permitted the country to become an independent colony. This event was formalized in 1980.

Anguilla, 1967 (Scott #15)
Overprinted St. Christopher-
Nevis-Anguilla stamp

From a philatelic standpoint, Anguillan stamps were first issued in 1967. Prior to that St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla stamps were used collectively. The first stamp set is actually based on overprinted stamps of St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla. They are very rare and command a very high premium. Examples are shown nearby.

The Anguillan postal authorities seem to be moderate in the number of stamp sets issued. The nation issues about 5 or 6 issues per year, with a major definitive issue appearing every 5 years or so. While the stamps are a revenue-generator for the country, Anguilla does not seem to be flooding the market with stamp issues.

Stamp themes for the island nation include typical Caribbean island topics such as beautiful fish, tropical seashells, and butterflies and birds of the nation. In the past, Anguilla has also offered annual Easter and Christmas stamps, as well as stamps detailing historical dates, such as Anguilla Day (May 30).

Few collectors can expect to complete a Anguillan stamp collection, as the first series alone, the key set to the entire country, catalogs for over $15,000 (US) in mint condition. However, a few of the stamps from the first set, plus almost all of the rest of the country, can be attained, as they catalog around $3,000 in mint condition for all.

Good luck collecting this beautiful island nation.

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William said...

I like your articles on the countries very much. I would like to copy them and future articles to my website. It is a commercial one. I would give you stamps of the country articles that I post. In opther words, for Anguilla usage, I would give your Anguilla stamps. That is my idea in general. What do you think?

Tony Servies said...


You may use my articles on your site, only if Stamps of Distinction is plainly visible as the source of the information. It is common courtesy on the internet to include a link to the original article, so that the original author is credited. In addition, I would appreciate your offer of stamps to add to my collection.

BTW, what is the address of your website?