Somalia Collectors’ Stamps
Somalia's history in the 19th and 20th centuries is the complex record of a struggle for influence between British, Italian and French colonizing forces. Somalia has issued stamps as far back as 1903, when Italian authorities then present in Benadir printed dedicated issues for use in the region. At that time, mail from British Somaliland was sent with overprinted Egyptian and Indian stamps, with specially printed issues arriving in 1904.
Somalia finally gained its independence in 1960, when the British and Italian territories unified and established themselves as the Somali Republic. The country began issuing its own stamps that same year. A 1969 military coup toppled the ruling government, in the process renaming the country the Somali Democratic Republic. A civil war, which broke out in 1991, threw Somalia into chaos. Mail delivery was suspended and production of Somali stamps soon ceased altogether.
Collecting Rare Somalian Stamps
Since Somalia has such a complex history, it's no surprise starting a collection of rare Somali stamps is a complex task. It is, however, a rewarding one. Many of the British and Italian colonial issues are highly attractive, with the Benadir Lion and Elephant issues attracting considerable attention among international philatelists. Both definitive issues and overprints from Italian Somaliland are highly desirable. Special stamps printed for the Trans-Juba (Oltre Giuba), a briefly existing Italian territory in the south of the region, are also notable.
Clearly, there are many ways to go about beginning a collection of Somali stamps. Wherever your interests lie, Apfelbaum, Inc., is a great place to start your collection. We offer numerous convenient ways to buy stamps, including our online stamp store and Buy It Now sales. Looking for something in particular you can't find anywhere else? We can help. Give our office a call today for more information about the stamps of this fascinating country.
Somalia Philately Today
After decades of civil war and instability, some good news is finally beginning to emerge from Somalia. Just as the country's various stamps reflect its tumultuous history as a colonized territory, with a tentative measure of stability returning to the region, we are seeing a resumption of normal postal delivery. In 2014, regular postal delivery resumed in Somalia. A series of reforms currently underway includes modernizing the country's mail systems, and residents are soon expected to be able to send and receive letters and parcels internationally.
Ultimately, a deep respect for the power of communication to bring people together drives our interest in philately. Whether or not lasting peace and prosperity returns to Somalia anytime soon remains to be seen, though the resumption of mail delivery is good news, both for philatelists internationally, and for those within the country who have suffered far too long.