Stories and news. Choose your philatelic category

What are philatelic novelties?

Every year, the different postal administrations of various countries (Post Office, Italian Post, Singapore Post, Correios…) issue the annual stamps of their country. These issues are called “philatelic novelties” and they cover all the stamps issued in the current year. There are two different ways to collect them, by country or by theme.

Philatelic subscription to countries

News by countryThe stamps are a reflection of the country of issue. Their observation provides us with data about their origin, the peculiarities of the country that issues them and many other aspects of interest. Collecting stamps from a given country helps us to learn more about its culture, history and events. A subscription to the philatelic world news allows us to receive all the stamps that a certain country (Spain, France, Vatican…) issues.

Thematic philatelic subscription

Thematic newsOn the other hand, the themes give the opportunity to know a lot of information about a specific content. It doesn’t matter if you are an architecture forum, you love mycology or you are passionate about cinema. Fauna, comics, Walt Disney… the thematic stamps open up a world full of knowledge. A subscription to philatelic thematic news gives you the opportunity to receive all the stamps of your favorite theme, regardless of the country that issues them. If, on the other hand, you are interested in a particular theme, but you only want stamps from certain countries, you can also request them.

How to subscribe to philatelic news?

If you want to know more about a country (Spain, Hungary, USA…etc.) or about a subject (Felines, Castles, Costumes…etc.) we give you the opportunity to do it through the philatelic world news, that month by month the different postal administrations around the world offer us. To get it, you only have to send us the form below and we will contact you. Tell us what you like and we will take care of the rest. Once agreed, you only have to make a payment of 50 ?, we will give order to the corresponding postal administrations and you will begin to receive your favorite stamps. Periodically we will send them to your home without any shipping costs and we will give you a direct debit receipt for the amount delivered. In the case of most countries and in the case of some subjects, you will also be able to receive, if you request it, the annual sheets to keep them. If at any time you do not wish to receive any more issues, just let us know one month in advance, as there may be “ready” stamps that the administration has not yet sent us. Once the subscription is cancelled, your initial deposit of 50 ? will be returned.

Learn more about the philatelic collections

Philatelic collections are very varied, with different purposes, conservation methodologies and classification. It can be said that each personal collection has its own characteristics. However, the collections that participate in competitions organized by the different associations must comply with the regulations that classify them in well-defined areas.

Traditional Collection

This denomination defines a collection of stamps ordered by country and by historical period and, therefore, without a specific theme. In general, it is the initial form through which one approaches philately. Some collections may be specialized in elements such as indentations, color variations, watermarks and different types of printing, or in the variety and errors caused by the printing machine.

Postal History Collection


This is a collection of philatelic material (stamps, postcards, cancellations and others) that aims to illustrate the history of the mail. Due to the large amount of collectable material, collections generally specialize within precise limits of space and time, or by specific topic of interest (among which the most common are postal rates or different postal services, or military mail).

First Day Envelope Collection

It is a collection formed by franked envelopes with stamps that carry a cancellation with the date of the day of issue. A widespread collection in the United States, the First Day Cover (FDC) collection has been gradually established in Italy after World War II. These envelopes can also be prepared with illustrations referring to the theme of the issue; in Italy, the oldest company is the “Venetia Club”, founded in 1948 , followed by Capitolium, Filagrano, Chimera, AICFDC, Roma and Rodia.

Aerofilia Collection

L ‘ aerophilic or aerophilic, is in charge of collecting the philatelic material related to the air trips of the postal service. Airphilatelic collections can be further specialized, both by subject and by type of mailing material. In addition, the collection may also include material that is not strictly philatelic, such as cartoons, labels, posters, postcards.

Interphilic Collection

The collection consists of stationery and postal documents in which the price of the mail is printed directly. It can be further specialized according to the categories of documents, such as postcards, postcards, aerograms, etc. In addition, the collected materials can be new and already used.

Theme collection

The collection aims to collect all the stamps representing a specific theme, which can be a character (e.g. Giuseppe Garibaldi) or a plant or an animal (e.g. orchids or butterflies), an object (e.g. the bicycle), a party (e.g. Christmas). Within the collection, the stamps are ordered in series and divided by country and year of issue.

Thematic collection

The collection covers all philatelic documents and materials related to a subject. The themes that can be developed are the most varied, ranging from music to history, from sports to technology, from nature to art, according to the interest of the collector. The theme is developed according to a well-defined program, reported in an introduction with index, and the collected material should be ordered in such a way that it allows an organic development of the chosen theme.

Thematic collections have been developed since the late 1940s. Their international codification took place in 1958, with the presentation of the first competition of thematic classes regulated by the IFJ. They are mainly found in North America and in North and Eastern Europe.

Open Class Collection

This definition includes collections in which philatelic material is accompanied by other objects (but to a lesser extent than 50% of the total), such as telephone cards , postcards, stickers, photos, dry sheets, newspaper clippings, and anything else that can be pasted. a sheet The theme and development methods are free.

Astrophilatelic collection

The collection consists of philatelic materials related to space travel, space research and the precursors of these, such as rockets and balloons. The collection can be divided into different themes: the pioneer era, rocket mail, special programs (USA, USSR, Europe), possibly with or without men on board. In addition, the collection may also include material that is not strictly philatelic.

Maximafilia Collection

The collection consists of a maximum number of cards that meet the requirements, in terms of the card itself, the postage stamp, which must have been placed on the front and not on the back, and its cancellation. Of particular interest is the presence of the same theme, or related themes, on all three elements. The collection can be organized by theme or country.

Tax collection

The collection of state or local (municipal and regional) tax stamps. Tax collection is numerous and aesthetically interesting, also recently the result of in-depth studies and evaluations. The marks, especially, have all the characteristics of the stamps, including the various types of watermarks .

For some time now in the United States, the Scott Catalog has been reporting U.S. tax rates through the 1950s in a comprehensive catalog. In Italy, both the Sassone Catalog and the Unified Catalog have reported taxes used by mail, but recently special catalogs have been created for all brands and taxes.

Various uses and types of taxes make this collection a kind of curiosity of mine.

Marcophilia Collection

The collection refers to cancellations or other signs attached to postal documents. Generally, signs placed on the stamp are collected by geographic area, by subject, or by function.

Mechanical franking collection

Mechanical franking

Red mechanical postage, commonly called in postal documents, has been used to replace postage stamps since the early 20th century by post offices themselves, or by companies and organizations. They consist of a print with the value, another with the place and date and a possible advertising plate, all printed with the characteristic color red. Generally, the collection can be specialized by place or date of issue, by theme (e.g., bank postage), by subject of drawings (state symbols, coats of arms, industrial products), by technical characteristics (presence of cancellations in terms of postage stamps, different types or different forms of use).

Military mail collection

Military mail is the postal service that benefits military personnel working outside the national area in both peacetime and wartime; mobile post offices are assigned to departments and postage has special rates or exemptions from regular rates. For military prisoners of war, there are postcards delivered by the Red Cross, which refer not to the unit to which they belong but to the detention camp. Normally the object of interest for collection is not the postage stamp used for mailing, since it belongs to the series usually used, but the complete letter.

Christmas stamp


Christmas stamps, or Christmarks, are special adhesive labels that are placed on envelopes during the Christmas period to raise funds and spread awareness of TB research.

In 1904, Einar Holboell, an official at the Danish Post Office, developed the idea of adding a postage stamp to envelopes during the Christmas season to raise funds for tuberculosis. The idea was approved by the post office and the King of Denmark, and the first stamp had the effigy of the Queen and the words “Merry Christmas. More than four million were sold the first year.

They were introduced to the United States by Emily Bissell in 1907, after reading news of the project in an article by Jacob Riis, a Danish journalist and photographer. Bissell hoped to raise money for a sanitarium on the Brandywine River in Delaware.

Over time, the initiative grew into a national program of the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis (NASPT) and the Red Cross in 1908. The stamp was sold at post offices, initially in Delaware, for 1 cent each. The net income was divided equally between the two associations. In 1920, the Red Cross withdrew from the project and sales were made exclusively by NASPT, then known as the National Tuberculosis Association (NTA). The NTA took its current name as the American Lung Association in 1973.

Today, the Christmas stamp supports the American Lung Association and other lung-related projects. Tuberculosis has gradually declined, but has recently begun to spread again (tuberculosis remains the most common serious infectious disease).

In Italy, this use has spread since the 1920s, thanks to the Red Cross and other charities. However, the use of Christmas letter closures has spread mainly in English-speaking countries, particularly in Great Britain , Australia , South Africa and New Zealand , as well as in many states in the USA .

However, these types of stamps should not be considered official and are not valid as postage. The postal uses of these erinophiles should be considered fraud if they are not accompanied by a regular postal delivery. They are often stamped because they are placed near the stamps, and these specimens have some interest, especially if they are stamped with a non-philatelic hand stamp. However, their potential value may not be particularly noticeable, except in the case of mail fraud.

Many states issue Christmas postage stamps, particularly Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, also combined in Christmas brochures or leaflets that are widely used during the vacations. The Nordic countries accompany classic themes like Santa Claus or the Christmas tree with Nordic symbols, snowy landscapes, small animals. Even the Soviet Union in the 1980s started to make specific Christmas stamps and finally the Asian countries are also slowly considering some theme related to Western Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations and traditions. There is a large production of postage stamps which by now is a splendid subject that concerns hundreds and hundreds of copies from all over the world.

A little bit of curiosity, in the 80’s Great Britain issued some Christmas stamps with the blue stars printed on the front, contained in brochures. They are a type of their own in the English collection and are hardly an achievement repeated in other countries.



On April 27, 1859, the President of the Granada Confederation, Mariano Ospina Rodríguez, signed the Organic Law of the National Post Office that reorganized this service and established the use of stamps as of September 1, 1859, when the first issue circulated, with 5 values and a total of 258,465 stamps valid for circulation until August 31, 1860.

This same law, in article 23, established the services of a P.O. Box and a Mailman at a monthly cost of $1.00 and $0.80 respectively. At that time, correspondence was not delivered to the home but had to be claimed by the interested parties at the post office. As shown in the following images, these services substantially reduced their cost in the 1860/70 decade to $ 1.20 quarterly and $ 0.40 monthly, respectively.

In each of the issues of 1866/68 and 1868/1872 there was a 2.5c. triangular stamp that served to pay the home delivery service of the letters. In 1917 a stamp with a value of 5c. was issued, whose motive was a child letter carrier and served for urgent home deliveries. This stamp, which was issued in only 72,000 copies, was rarely used.

On July 18, 1861, with the capture of Bogotá by General Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, four times President, the civil and military chiefs signed a union pact and declared the formation of the United States of New Granada. With this name a series of 5 values circulated with a total of 52,380 stamps.

The Rionegro Convention officially declared the creation of the United States of Colombia (EUC) on February 3, 1863, a very innovative period in the provision of mail services and therefore of great philatelic wealth. The first United States of Colombia stamps are printed by contract on July 26, 1862, still technically under the United States administration of New Granada.

On July 1, 1865, large size (13 x 6.5 cm.) “Value Declared” or “cover” stamps, as they were also called, were given to the service and were the first five colored stamps in the world. They were used for sending values, up to $100, documents, coins and bills. They were not sold to the public and were placed on the back of envelopes once the office employee verified the contents. The receiving office had to return them, duly signed by the recipient as proof of receipt. They were in use until 1912 and in 1924 they were replaced with the “Declared Value Envelopes” used until 1967, when the last design was launched.

Also in 1865 the “Recommended” service was started with the issue of two “A” and “R” stamps, for the “Annotation” and “Registration” service. Annotation consisted in writing down the receipt of the letter in the post office books, and the Registry a commitment of the mail to maintain a supervision during the whole journey. A “registered” letter had to be stamped with a “notation” stamp, not the other way around. With UPU admission, the notation service is eliminated and only the “Recommended” stamp is required. These were issued until 1925, when the stamp was replaced by the official UPU label indicating that the letter was “recommended”.

At the beginning of 1881 the whole EUC postcards came out to the public and were quickly, in July 1881, relegated to national service only and replaced by the UPU card which could be used at home and abroad. Its design changed over the years and the last issue was in 1903. It is worth mentioning the cards of Ernesto Pehlke from 1899, who with government authorization engraved ten striking tourist motifs in color.

In July of the same year, the country commemorated the adhesion to the UPU with an issue of five values, which simplified the handling of foreign correspondence and implied national rates according to the determinations of this organism.

Before this adhesion, the stamps called “Sobreporte” or “maritime mail” had to be used, since this was the only means of transport abroad. From that moment on they were not necessary for this purpose and their use was authorized for internal mail.

The EUC Constitution allowed sovereign states to have their own postal service to serve those routes not covered by the national post office and they were authorized to issue their own stamps, if required. This privilege continued with the Republic of Colombia, now called departments. In 1863 Bolivar was the first to issue stamps, the smallest in the world, followed by Antioquia (1868), Cundinamarca (1870), Tolima (1871), Panama (1878), Cauca (1879), Santander (1884) and finally Boyacá (1899). The use of departmental stamps ceased in 1909.

In 1878 in the Sovereign State of Cauca, province of Chocó, Prefect Demetrio Toral requested the State Secretary of Finance to issue a stamp to carry the mail between Quibdó, capital of the province, and the city of Riosucio, seat of the provincial courts. The request was approved and Toral used an old stamp from the provinces of the Republic of New Granada to print these stamps, called “Camisa del Cauca”. This is perhaps the most controversial stamp that exists and because of the small quantity issued (100 copies) and the poor survival due to the humidity and heat of the area, it is one of the most valuable in Colombia. In this same vein, in 1883/85, the then Prefect of Chocó, Salomón Posso, issued stamps using the monogram of his initials. These are of three types. No value, with a value of 5 cents and no value framed in pencil. It is also likely that the same Posso issued a stamp in 1890 called “mail to Carmen”, which Posso signed the act granting the title of municipality to Carmen de Atrato.

During the existence of the EUC were issued 15 sets of stamps. The last issue, in 1882, used for the first time the perforation in the sheets to separate the stamps.

On August 5, 1886 a new Constitution was adopted that lasted until 1991, and changed the name of the country to Republic of Colombia, the name it currently holds. In order to exhaust stocks, the use of stamps with the name EUC was allowed until July 31, 1889. As a result of the change of name, stamps were issued to cover the needs until 1890. Given the multiple impressions, an infinite variety of paper and tonalities are produced. Also this year a stamp was issued to cover the penalty (2.5c.) to ensure the dispatch of letters that were delivered outside the hours of reception, called “Delay”. This service lasted until 1914.

The most curious thing about this issue is that it breaks the custom of honoring only deceased persons and includes a 10c. stamp with the image of Rafael Núñez, four times President, a true example of presidential egocentricity or flattery of the postal administration? A similar case is the stamps issued with the portrait of President José Manuel Marroquín in 1904. I must mention a beautiful stamp issued in 1959 to honor in life a deserving person, Luz Marina Zuluaga, who won the title of Miss Universe for Colombia. Only 20,000 copies of the $5 stamp were issued, making it very scarce and sought after by philatelists.

In 1889 the city of Bogota issued a 1/2c. stamp to collect local mail deliveries. Medellín, Manizales and Palmira also issue Urban Mail stamps.

When the postal species of the EUC were demonetized on July 31, 1889, a large inventory was left that was to be incinerated in Bogotá. Faced with this situation Gustavo Michelsen Uribe proposed to the government the purchase of this material, and contrary to the law, they sold him 222,380 postal species for a value of $ 1,230. Not content with this enormous loot, Michelsen in complicity with employees of the post office administration, obtained the original stones of several issues from 1868 and in an obscure manner negotiated with the original printer Demetrio Paredes, the printing of these stamps in enormous quantities. Because of his international recognition as a diplomat and philatelist, Michelsen sells a huge amount of his fakes, causing great damage to Colombian philately once his fraud is discovered. Even today, Michelsen’s forged copies are offered.

The issues are spaced in time: 1890, 1895 and 1899. Interesting during this period was the printing of whole postal envelopes of Correo Fluvial and Correo Férreo, to circulate correspondence by these means of transport. Telegraph cards were also issued to serve as payment receipts and to claim in case the telegrams did not arrive within the promised time.

In 1893 a new service was inaugurated, Acknowledgement or Acknowledgement of Receipt, by which the post office was obliged to return a document duly signed by the addressee. A stamp was issued with the letters AR in the center and with a value of 5c. The last stamps issued for this service were in 1917.

On October 17, 1899, the Thousand Days War broke out, which ended on November 21, 1902. This contest was chaotic for the country but a bonanza for Colombian philately. Resolution 456 of October 24, 1899, suspended service on the routes affected by the conflict and required the delivery of open letters to be censored.

The liberal rebels cut communication routes between Bogotá and the provinces, making it impossible to supply postal species to Antioquia, Cauca and the Caribbean coast. Faced with this situation, the government authorized the issue and local printing of stamps in Medellín, Popayán, Barranquilla and Crtagena, in addition to those printed in Bogotá.

For their part, the rebels issued stamps in Cúcuta and Tumaco.

During the conflict, with the excuse of not having stamps, some postal agents printed labels to be used as stamps, mainly in Tumaco and Cauca. The illegality of this action in Tumaco is not in doubt, but the letters circulated without any problem in UPU countries. The correct procedure was to place on the envelope the notation “no stamps. He paid … cents” and the signature of the postal agent.

At the end of the war the country was bankrupt and could not invest in printing new stamps, so it decided to continue using locally printed stamps. Curiously, and perhaps due to lack of funds, he authorizes the use of the stamps issued by the rebel government in Cúcuta.

The monetary situation reached such a disaster that on October 1, 1903, by means of Law 33, the government created the Peso Oro with a conversion of 100 “old pesos” for one gold peso. By decree 1197 of December 15, 1903, it authorized the carrying of postage stamps denominated in old pesos at the same exchange rate as bills, starting January 2, 1904. This generated the first “inflation envelopes” in the world, pieces very appreciated for their rarity and scarcity. It is estimated that some 200 have survived.

In 1904, stamps denominated in gold pesos were issued on thin paper, which were used at the same time as the old peso stamps. Curiously, there is no mention that they are in gold weights. An oversight?

In 1910, to commemorate the centenary of independence, a series of eight securities was issued and printed abroad for the first time by the American Bank Note Co. of New York, which was put into circulation on July 20. Interestingly, the stamp of Recommended, whose motif is “the Cartagena firing squad by order of the Spanish Government” was removed 17 days later and later incinerated by the protest of the Spanish Government. Due to their short life of circulation they are very difficult to find in envelopes.

Foreign printers are hired for the following issues. Due to the logistical problems caused by the First World War and in order to solve the lack of stamps, local printing is again used at the National Printing House and several “provisional” issues are made until 1926.

In 1919, two national aviation companies were created, the Compañía Colombiana de Navegación Aérea (CCNA) in Medellín (September 16) and the Sociedad Colombo-Alemana de Transportes Aéreos (SCADTA), in Barranquilla (December 5). With this event, Colombian air mail was initiated on February 22, 1920 by CCNA and in September of the same year by SCADTA. Each society is authorized to issue its own stamps to cover the cost of its postage, but all correspondence must also bear the corresponding national postage stamps.

CCNA had a short life while SCADTA lasted until 1939 when it merged with Pan American and formed the society Aerolíneas de Colombia AVIANCA. SACO (1933-1935), TACA (1944-1947), LANSA (1945-1951) and TAXADER (1948-1965) were involved in the transport of mail by air but had a short life and were absorbed by SCADTA or AVIANCA.

Decree 192 of February 2, 1926, authorizes the ground transportation of mail by private companies other than SCADTA, through a surcharge and the use of their own stamps. The permission to use one’s own stamps was revoked as of October 1933. There were some 64 companies that offered the service, but few printed their own stamps. The main ones were the Land Transport Company, the Ribon Express and the Tobon Express.

COSADA is an example of cooperation between the public and private sectors. Founded in Bucaramanga on March 5, 1923, by SCADTA and the department of Santander. Its objective was to connect by air to Bucaramanga with Puerto Wilches and from there connect to the SCADTA system. To handle the correspondence from the cities and towns of Santander and Norte de Santander each department formed a company, Correo Rápido de Santander and Correo Rápido de Norte de Santander respectively, which carried the correspondence to the COSADA offices in Bucaramanga. COSADA was liquidated on July 29, 1930.

Until 1959 different stamps were required for letters going through the National Post Office and those going through air mail. From this year onwards these two types of services were unified and the stamps served to pay for both.

In 1937, the Government introduced the use of specially resealed stamps with the word OFFICIAL to be used by government entities.

Since the fifties and until today the production of Colombian stamps has been a parade of beautiful pieces, in quantity of topics like anniversaries of historical events, historical and current personages, autochthonous mythology, archaeological patrimony, nature, fauna, cartography, transport, architecture, landscapes, art, customs festivities, communications, post office, religion, civility, etc., that have served to make known our beautiful country and to enlarge our philately.