Monday, July 21, 2008

Stamp Issuer - Aruba

Aruba, 1986 (Scott #1)
Traditional House

The country of Aruba is a small, beautiful island located in the southern Caribbean, just a few miles north of Venezuela. Being outside of the usual ocean and wind currents that prevail in the Caribbean, the island typically has warm and dry weather, causing it to be a favorite spot for tourism, as the weather is much more predictable than many of the other islands of the area.

Native peoples from South America and the Caribbean initially settled the island. The first Europeans to discover the island were explorers sailing for Spain. Their discovery led to the Spanish colonization of the island in the 1500s. Later, in the 1630s, the Dutch began administering the island.

For years, Aruba was part of the Netherlands Antilles, a collective of islands administered by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. After a long diplomatic struggle, the island of Aruba was granted a level of independence in 1986 as a constituent member of the Kingdom, effectively putting it on an equal par with the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles, the other constituents in the Kingdom. Recent moves toward complete independence were scheduled, but have have been delayed, and it is probably only a matter of time until Aruba gains full independence.

Far and away, tourism is the most dominant source of revenue for the island. Its year-round warm temperatures and beautiful white sand beaches make it a popular destination for tourists heading north from Venezuela and south from the United States.

Aruba, 2000 (Scott #196)
250th Anniv. of Alto Vista Church

From a philatelic standpoint, Aruba is an excellent country to collect. After their separation from the Netherlands Antilles into a constituent state of the kingdom, the island nation began issuing stamps. Because this independence status happened in January, 1986, there are only slightly more than 20 years of stamps to collect for the country. All of the stamps are affordable, with the most expensive stamp cataloging at $7.50 (USD) mint and $7.00 used.

Another benefit of adding Aruba to your stamp collecting focus is that they put out a respectable number of stamps each year. They seem to release between 3 and 7 issues per year, with about 3 stamps per issue. Their stamp issuing policy is much better than some small countries who seem to run the printing presses day and night to flood the market with stamps.

Have a great time collecting the stamps of Aruba.




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