Edward VII

The philately of the British Commonwealth is characterized by specialization by reigns. Some collectors attempt it all but most collectors specialize either by country or by the issues of the differing reigning monarchs which is another way of collecting by era. Queen Victoria was on the first postage stamps and reigned (philatelically) from 1840-1901. King Edward VII followed (1901-1910), then George V (1910-1936), Edward VIII (a philatelic nonentity), George VI (1936-1952), and Queen Elizabeth II (1952-current). 2013 will celebrate Elizabeth’s 61st philatelic year matching Queen Victoria. To have had only five monarchs on your stamps in 170 years is a monument of longevity and stability.

 Of all the philatelic reigns, Edward VII is probably the least popular and least collected and Victoria the most collected. Victoria attracts classic collectors. After all, she’s on the first stamp and all of the classic imperfs British Colonies bear her portrait. George V and George VI have attracted numerous specialists because of plate varieties, perforation varieties and innumerable shades that pepper the specialized catalogs with interest. And Elizabeth has the advantage of being on every British new issue during most of our philatelic lifetimes. Most of the readers of this blog will have lived their entire lives with only her as queen. Edward VII has the disadvantage of having the fewest number of stamps issued with his portrait and having few interesting varieties. Still, the wise collector will find that creating an Edward specialized collection offers all the scope of the other reigns at a more modest cost relative to rarity.

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