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Mariana Islands



FIRST STAMPS ISSUED German Colonial type overprinted 18 November 1899.


CURRENCY

Up to 1899, Spanish (peseta)
1899 - 1914, German (mark).
1914 - 1944, Japanese (yen).
1944 to date, American (dollar).



Group of islands in the north Pacific, also known as the Ladrone. They were discovered by Magellan in his first crossing of the Pacific in 1519. The name Ladrone, or Thief, Islands was given because the inhabitants stole some of Magellan's goods, but they were renamed after the Spanish queen in the 17th century. Islands were administered by the Spaniards as part of the Philippine Islands until they were occupied by the USA during the Spanish- American War in 1898. The largest and most southerly island - Guam (q.v.) - was ceded to the USA after that and the remainder were occupied by the Americans until the islands were sold to Germany in 1899. They remained German until occupied by the Japanese in 1914, and they were then a Japanese mandate until 1944, when they were re-occupied by the USA. Since World War II they have been administered by the USA as a trusteeship territory of the United Nations..


Postal History
All mail of the Spanish period is rare but there was a Spanish P0 on Guam (q.v.). After the US occupation in 1898 some values of the stamps of the Spanish Philippines were overprinted MARIANAS ESPANOLAS. Germany introduced stamps on the day it took over administration and these are known cancelled with Spanish seals.


German stamps continued to be used until 1914, and two of the later issues (3 pfennig and 5 mark) are known on watermarked paper. These were never used in the islands but were sold in Berlin, after the Japanese had occupied. The Jaluit Company established mail lines throughout the northern Pacific in the early years of the 20th century and one of these, opened in 1904, was routed via Saipan in the Marianas. Service operated until July 1914. Adhesives of the Marianas are known cancelled with postmarks of the Sydney-Hong Kong Line and the Jaluit Line.


Japanese stamps were used from 1914 to 1944 and American stamps from 1945 until the present day.




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    CANADA - NEWFOUNDLAND - 1857 2d scarlet vermilion, SG 2, used. just cut into at top left, light cancel and good colour. Rare stamp, cat SG £6500.

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    SWAZILAND - 1938 -54 Geo VI pictorial set complete, perforated "Specimen", SG28s/38s, very fine mint. (11 stamps)

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