New South Wales, today an Australian state and a former British Colony is known to have issued the first Semi-Postal Stamps of the World.
New South Wales lies on the east coast of Australia, south of Queensland, north of Victoria and east of South Australia. The colony was founded by the First Fleet, which arrived from Great Britain in 1788. New South Wales issued its first stamp Jan. 1, 1850. After Australian federation in 1901, New South Wales continued to issue its own stamps through 1907, and they remained in use until 1913.
While still a colony, New South Wales issued the world’s first semi-postal stamps in June 1897. Sometimes called charity stamps, semi-postal stamps sell for more than their postage value with the difference between the postage value and the sale price usually being donated to a charity or other public concern.
The 1897 New South Wales semi-postals commemorated the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria and raised money to support a home for people with tuberculosis. These semi-postals have some of the most ornate designs of any stamps ever issued. The design of the 1-penny+1-shilling stamp depicts a winged angel ministering to a patient. The design of the 2½d+2sh6d stamp shows an allegory of charity with two female figures dressed in white.
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