Stamps: surcharge

We call surcharge to signs, numbers, inscriptions and motifs reproduced in a second phase on the stamps already printed. The most common reasons for the surcharge is the update of the postage rates. In this way, the initial face value of the stamp, is cancelled and replaced by a new value. So, the new sample becomes "surcharged stamp". In Spain, more typical surcharge examples are those of the Viaje del Caudillo a Canarias, in 1950.

Surcharge creates a "new label". Sometimes, has been used to limit the use of a stamp to a given region or to benefit from remains of stamps and supplementing, at the same time, the sudden lack of any value. They are also a reflection of particular political changes and military occupations.

Types of surcharge

There are two types of surcharge: drawing and lettering. The first shows preferably allegorical figures: half moon, Crown Royal, Arabesque. The inscription shows numbers, initials, dates, idioms and phrases.

First surcharged stamp

The first issue received surcharge was a hallmark of the Spanish West Indies, in 1855. In it, notes overlay an "Y" and only served to mail outside of Havana.

High value on surcharged stamps

Since surcharged stanos are provisional, are pulled low circulation. This causes the copies to reach very high values and that there is the risk of counterfeiting. For this reason, it is advisable, to ensure its authenticity guaranteed by an expert.

Currently, it is not common to issue stamps with surcharge. In general, they come from Third World countries to register the unexpected independence of a territory.


Publicado en Introduction to the philately


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