Start Your Collection of Rare Stamps From Monaco

Like a lot of European principalities, Monaco’s history is a rich one. The tiny territory has been protected by French, Spanish, Sardinian, Genoese and other forces over the course of its more than 800 year history — a fact which accounts for the diversity of culture and language among its approximately 36,000 residents.

Monaco gained its independence from France in 1861, though its postal history dates even further back. As a result of these various factors, Monaco is a treasure trove for philatelists, with many fine stamps available from different parts of its history.

Pre-Independence Postage

Prior to independence, Monaco used Sardinian stamps between 1851 and 1860. Later, French postage was used, with a special cancellation mark identifying its origin in either Monaco or Monte Carlo. These stamps have become highly sought-after by collectors interested in “dead country” philately — that is, stamps from places that no longer exist.

Monaco’s First Stamps

Monaco has had a mail delivery system in place since the early 18th century, with some form of postmarking dating back to as early as 1704. It’s no surprise that the country was quick to adopt adhesive stamps, with the first issues being released on July 1, 1885. That stamp, which was available in 5, 15 and 25 centime denominations, featured a profile of the long-reigning Prince Charles III. Other notable Monaco stamps include a 1920 series commemorating the wedding of Princess Charlotte and the 1946 100 Franc Scarlet Air variety double overprint.

One interesting fact that may enamor collectors to Monaco is that Prince Rainier III, who ruled from 1949 to 2005, was himself a noted philatelist. During his reign, he founded the principality’s Museum of Stamps and Coins and established the Club de Monte-Carlo de l’Élite de la Philatélie — its membership is limited to the world’s 100 most prestigious collectors.

Buying Rare Monaco Stamps

While we may not all have the resources of a prince, there are many ways to begin or add to a collection of rare stamps from Monaco. Apfelbaum, Inc. frequently has rare Monaco stamps for sale, both in our public auctions and our online store. Contact our office directly to ask about our selections, or for assistance with shipping, appraisals and more.

Since 1910, Apfelbaum, Inc. has been helping philatelists of all levels grow their collection. If you’re in the market for rare stamps from any period of Monaco’s history, check out our current inventory online today.

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