The Stamps and Postal History

A Danish colony formed from early missionary stations established in the 18th century. By 1900 the population was around 10,000 and, although letters were carried free of charge, parcels were not and Greenland’s first stamps were the Parcel Post stamps issued in 1905. These Parcel Post stamps inscribed “Pakke – Porto” depicting the Arms of Greenland with a central Polar Bear continued to be used until 1st December 1938 when the first postage stamps were issued. These stamps are amongst the most popular amongst philatelists as they were printed by three different printers with different perf gauges over a considerable period of time with different types and constant plate flaws.

During World War II Greenland became a US protectorate while Denmark was occupied by the Germans. Following liberation, one set for Greenland was printed by the American Bank Note Co. but it was quickly replaced by the new definitive issue when it became available from Denmark. On 9th June 1953 Greenland became part of the Danish kingdom and has remained so ever since.

We recommend the excellent stamp listings in the Stanley Gibbons Part 11 “Scandinavia” catalogue and the FACIT “Frimarkskatalog Special” which is specialised and bilingual including English.

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Greenland Stamps