Collectible Irish Stamps
Ireland’s story is one of adversity, conflict and, ultimately, perseverance. This grand narrative is not unlike the country’s philatelic history, which in many ways echoes these values. Ireland also has a reputation for producing beautiful and innovative stamps, which makes it a great choice for collectors — even if you don’t have family ties to the Emerald Isle.
Ireland’s Philatelic History
Ireland was part of the British Empire when the Penny Black was produced, making it one of the first regions in the world to use a modern postage stamp. When Ireland gained independence in 1922, it founded the Oifig an Phoist (Irish Post Office) to oversee all mail delivery and stamp production.
Since then, a total of seven definitive stamp series have been released, as well as other commemorative additions typically marking a notable Irish statesman or cultural figure, or some of the island’s unique flora and fauna. Nearly all stamps are issued with exclusively Gaelic text. A 1981 ruling by the Department of the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) forbade stamps from referring to the country as anything other than Éire, its Gaelic name, on the grounds that it would lead to “political repercussions.”
The Two Pence Coil Stamp
One of the rarest Ireland stamps is the 1935 2d coil stamp, which was produced using an experimental method leading to perforated edges on the top and bottom and imperforated edges on the sides. Otherwise identical to the definitive two pence stamp first issued in 1922, a small but ultimately unknown number were produced using the new coil method.
To date, 20 mint examples have been identified, along with others that have been cancelled. The presence of forgeries requires expert examination to confirm a coil stamp’s authenticity — genuine issues have been known to fetch upwards of $13,000 in mint condition.
Why Collect Irish Stamps?
Philatelists of any experience level should consider starting an Irish stamp collection. First of all, because it’s a young country with a recovering economy and high levels of education, Ireland’s stamps can be expected to rise in value in the years to come. The relatively small size of its catalogue also makes it possible to collect a complete set of Irish stamps on a modest budget, with the exception of a 2d coil.
Whatever your budget or your reasons for collecting, Irish stamps make a worthwhile investment and a fascinating study of a country with history that touches individuals at home and abroad.
Start Your Collection With Apfelbaum, Inc.
Since 1910, Apfelbaum, Inc. has been a recognized philatelic authority serving collectors around the world. Our expert appraisers can help you get the best value for your Irish stamps. We offer exceptional customer service and will even travel to your home to assess your collection.
When it’s time to grow your collection, we also offer several convenient ways to do so online, including our public auctions, our online store and our “buy it now” sales. Browse our website to see what’s available now, or contact our office directly if you’re looking for a specific stamp.