Collectible New Zealand Stamps
New Zealand’s stamps celebrate the island nation’s unique culture, history and contribution to the world. Whether you have a specific attachment to the country or are simply looking for a fun collecting project to take on, building a New Zealand stamp collection can be extremely rewarding. Comprising over 150 years of philatelic tradition, New Zealand’s collectible stamps include many attractive options.
At Apfelbaum, Inc., our public auctions and direct sales are a great way to build your collection of stamps from New Zealand. Since 1910, we have been a leading supplier of philatelic expertise to customers with a range of different interests. Call or email our office directly for more information about how we can help you.
New Zealand’s Postal History
The history of postage in New Zealand dates back to 1831, when the country was still a part of Australia’s New South Wales colony. Then, a rudimentary mail delivery system overseen by the British was established on the main islands. In 1856, the Local Posts Act was passed by the newly formed New Zealand Parliament, which granted individual provinces the authority to establish their own local offices. Two years later, the Post Office Act created the office of Postmaster-General, which was responsible for coordinating mail delivery throughout the country.
Stamps in New Zealand
New Zealand was one of several British colonies to use the famous Chalon Head stamp design. These stamps, initially printed in London and featuring a design inspired by a portrait of Queen Victoria by Alfred Edward Chalon, were first introduced to New Zealand in 1855. They were the country’s first national stamp and remained in circulation until 1873.
The first run of Chalon Heads, available in carmine (one penny), blue (two pence) and green (one shilling), remain rare and desirable today. Chalon Heads were originally cut by hand, with perforations being introduced later in the stamp’s run.
New Zealand Postage Facts
One interesting area of New Zealand’s postal history is the 1901 introduction of one cent universal postage, good for sending a letter anywhere in the world — with the exception of the United States, France and Germany. The program was wildly popular, despite fears by some that it would lead to significant losses.
Private New Zealand couriers also issued stamps for their “pigeon post” services — the original airmail — between Great Barrier Island and the mainland. The country was also the first to introduce stamp vending machines, an innovation that is now enjoyed by people worldwide.
New Zealand is a unique country with plenty of opportunities for collectors interested in diving into its philatelic history. You can get started by checking out an Apfelbaum, Inc. public auction today. You’re welcome to bid on our lots, which frequently include rare, collectible stamps from New Zealand and beyond. You also have the options of buying now in our online store.
Sell or Appraise Your Existing Collection
Looking to sell or appraise your New Zealand stamp collection? Apfelbaum, Inc. can help with that, too. Contact our office and get started today.