Postage stamps from Ascension

Postage stamps from Ascension Island are a captivating area of philately, reflecting the unique history, natural beauty, and strategic importance of this remote South Atlantic island. Here’s an overview of the key periods and notable stamps from Ascension Island:

### Historical Context

Ascension Island, part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha, is located in the South Atlantic Ocean. Its strategic position made it an important naval base and communication hub, especially during World War II.

### Key Periods and Notable Stamps

#### 1. **Early Issues (1922-1950s)**
– **First Stamps (1922)**: The first stamps issued specifically for Ascension were British stamps overprinted with “ASCENSION.” These overprints were used until dedicated designs were introduced in the 1930s.
– **Pictorial Series (1934)**: The first pictorial series featured designs showcasing the island’s geography and local scenes. Key designs included the “Green Mountain” and “Long Beach” stamps, which are highly collectible today.

#### 2. **Definitive and Commemorative Issues (1950s-1980s)**
– **Definitive Series**: Post-World War II definitive series often depicted local flora and fauna, landscapes, and significant landmarks. Notable series from the 1950s and 1960s include stamps featuring the island’s unique bird species and volcanic landscapes.
– **Commemorative Stamps**: Ascension Island issued stamps to commemorate significant events such as the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (1953) and various anniversaries of British royalty.

#### 3. **Modern Issues (1990s-Present)**
– **Thematic Issues**: Modern stamps from Ascension Island cover a wide range of themes including wildlife, maritime history, anniversaries of significant events, and notable figures. These stamps often feature vibrant and detailed designs.
– **Joint Issues**: Ascension occasionally issues stamps jointly with other territories, such as Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha, particularly for events of shared significance.

### Collecting Tips

#### **Focus Areas**
– **Specific Periods**: Choose to collect stamps from specific historical periods, such as early overprints or modern thematic issues.
– **Themes**: Focus on particular themes that interest you, such as local wildlife, maritime history, or royal commemorations.
– **Mint vs. Used**: Decide whether to collect mint condition stamps, which are generally more valuable, or used stamps that may have unique postal marks.

#### **Condition and Authenticity**
– **Quality**: Ensure that the stamps are in good condition, free from damage such as tears, creases, or heavy cancellations.
– **Authentication**: Be aware of forgeries and reproductions, especially for rare and valuable issues. Purchasing from reputable dealers or obtaining certificates of authenticity for high-value stamps is advisable.

#### **Storage and Display**
– **Albums and Mounts**: Use high-quality albums and mounts to protect your stamps from damage. Acid-free materials are recommended to prevent deterioration.
– **Climate Control**: Store stamps in a cool, dry place to avoid damage from humidity and temperature fluctuations.

### Notable Stamps and Series

#### **King George VI Definitive Series (1938-1953)**
– **Design**: Featuring local scenes and the portrait of King George VI, this series is notable for its detailed engravings and historical significance.

#### **Queen Elizabeth II Coronation (1953)**
– **Design**: Commemorating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, these stamps are part of a wider commonwealth series and are popular among collectors of royal memorabilia.

#### **Wildlife and Conservation Series**
– **Design**: Modern issues often highlight Ascension Island’s unique wildlife, including endemic bird species and marine life. These stamps are not only beautiful but also raise awareness about conservation efforts.

### Conclusion

Postage stamps from Ascension Island provide a rich and varied collecting experience, reflecting the island’s unique history, strategic importance, and natural beauty. Whether you are interested in early overprinted issues, pictorial series, or modern thematic stamps, Ascension Island’s philatelic offerings have something for every collector. By focusing on quality, authenticity, and careful storage, you can build a valuable and enjoyable collection of Ascension Island stamps.