Postage stamp from Ceylon

Collecting postage stamps from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) provides a rich exploration into the country’s colonial history, cultural heritage, and natural beauty. The philatelic history of Ceylon is extensive, beginning with British colonial rule and extending through to the modern era of Sri Lanka. Here’s a guide to help you collect and appreciate postage stamps from Ceylon:

### Key Periods and Notable Stamps

#### 1. **Early Colonial Period (1857-1902)**
– **First Issues**:
– **Design**: The first stamps of Ceylon were issued in 1857, featuring a profile of Queen Victoria.
– **Notable Stamps**: The 1857 6d purple brown and the 1859 1d blue.

– **Subsequent Victorian Issues**:
– **Design**: Various designs featuring Queen Victoria, including different denominations and watermarks.
– **Notable Stamps**: The 1872-1880 issues with different watermark variations.

#### 2. **Edwardian and Georgian Period (1902-1952)**
– **King Edward VII**:
– **Design**: Stamps featuring King Edward VII were introduced in 1903.
– **Notable Stamps**: The 1903-1911 definitive series with values ranging from 1 cent to 1 rupee.

– **King George V**:
– **Design**: Stamps depicting King George V were issued starting in 1912.
– **Notable Stamps**: The 1912-1925 series, including the high-value 5 rupee and 10 rupee stamps.

– **King George VI**:
– **Design**: Stamps featuring King George VI were issued starting in 1938.
– **Notable Stamps**: The 1938-1949 series with various denominations and local imagery.

#### 3. **Post-War and Early Independence Period (1952-1972)**
– **Queen Elizabeth II**:
– **Design**: Stamps featuring Queen Elizabeth II were issued from 1952, reflecting the transition from colony to independence.
– **Notable Stamps**: The 1954 definitive series featuring local scenes and wildlife.

– **Independence**:
– **Design**: Stamps commemorating Ceylon’s journey to independence in 1948 and subsequent national themes.
– **Notable Stamps**: The 1949 series celebrating the first anniversary of independence.

#### 4. **Modern Sri Lanka (1972-Present)**
– **Cultural and National Themes**:
– **Design**: Stamps feature a wide range of themes, including cultural heritage, national events, flora and fauna, and significant anniversaries.
– **Notable Stamps**: The 1972 series marking the declaration of the Republic of Sri Lanka, and the various issues celebrating cultural and natural heritage in the 21st century.

### Collecting Focus Areas

#### **Thematic Collections**
1. **Royal Portraits**:
– Stamps featuring the portraits of British monarchs, including Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V, and King George VI.
– **Notable Issues**: The 1857 Queen Victoria first issues, the 1903 King Edward VII series, and the 1912 King George V series.

2. **Cultural Heritage**:
– Stamps depicting traditional Ceylonese culture, including dances, festivals, and local artifacts.
– **Notable Series**: The 1954 definitive series featuring local scenes and cultural elements.

3. **Flora and Fauna**:
– Stamps illustrating the diverse wildlife and plant species of Ceylon/Sri Lanka.
– **Notable Series**: The 1965 “Flora and Fauna” series and the modern issues focusing on wildlife conservation.

4. **Historical Events**:
– Stamps commemorating significant historical events, such as independence and national milestones.
– **Notable Series**: The 1949 independence anniversary series and the 1998 50th anniversary of independence issue.

#### **Period-Specific Collections**
1. **Colonial Era**:
– Focus on stamps from the British colonial period, which often feature British monarchs and early local scenes.
– **Notable Issues**: The 1857-1949 issues featuring various British monarchs and colonial themes.

2. **Post-Independence Era**:
– Modern stamps reflecting the nation’s sovereignty and development.
– **Notable Issues**: The 1972 Republic declaration series and subsequent issues celebrating national achievements.

### Collecting Tips

1. **Condition and Authenticity**:
– **Quality**: Ensure stamps are in good condition, free from damage such as tears, creases, or heavy cancellations.
– **Authentication**: Be cautious of forgeries and reproductions. Purchase from reputable dealers or obtain certificates of authenticity for high-value stamps.

2. **Storage and Display**:
– **Albums and Mounts**: Use high-quality, acid-free albums and mounts to protect your stamps from damage.
– **Climate Control**: Store stamps in a cool, dry place to avoid humidity and temperature fluctuations, which can affect their condition.

3. **Sources and Research**:
– **Catalogs and Guides**: Utilize stamp catalogs like Stanley Gibbons or Scott catalogs to identify and value stamps from Ceylon/Sri Lanka.
– **Online Communities**: Join philatelic societies and online forums to connect with other collectors and stay updated on new issues and discoveries.

### Conclusion

Whether focusing on thematic collections like royal portraits, cultural heritage, and flora and fauna, or period-specific issues from the colonial era to modern commemoratives, Ceylonese stamps provide a diverse and enriching collecting experience. By focusing on quality, authenticity, and careful preservation, you can build a valuable and enjoyable collection of stamps from Ceylon.