Double Geneva Stamp

27 Jun 2018  Wed

The Double Geneva is a rare Swiss stamp that was issued by the City of Geneva in 1843, making it the third-oldest stamp of the European continent.

Great Britain was the first nation to introduce postage stamps for prepayment followed by Zurich, which introduced similar measures for essentially the same purposes. Geneva, the most important city in Switzerland, did not wish to lag behind. Hence, Less than three months after Zurich, Geneva spoke about postal reform, postage stamps, and prepayment of postage.

On Oct. 1, 1843, Geneva became the fourth nation-state in the world to issue postage stamps, after Great Britain, Zurich, and Brazil. The first stamp issued by the canton was peculiar. It can be described as a 10-centime stamp that could be split to be used as two 5c stamps, or it can be described as two 5c stamps joined together so they could be readily used as a 10c stamp.

The double function of the stamps is reflected in the design. Each stamp bears the value “5.C,” and the pair is crowned by a cartouche with the inscription “10 PORT CANTONAL Cent.” Each stamp has in the centre the city’s shield divided into two halves. At right is the “key,” a symbol of the independence and security of the city; and at left is a large part of a crowned eagle.

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