The Kingdom of Belgium has had one of the longest postage stamp histories in the world, issuing its first stamps in 1849 during the reign of King Leopold I. These very first Belgian stamps didn’t show the name of the country, merely the word “POSTES” and the value and a portrait of the king. Other early stamps also featured a coat-of-arms; several times in Belgium’s subsequent history, the coat-of-arms would appear on various postage stamps. Belgian stamps use the name of the country in both Dutch and French — “België” and “Belgique”, respectively.
In 1865, King Leopold II took over and many stamps were issued during his reign, which lasted until 1909. Leopold II’s successor, King Albert I, was in power during a period of some turmoil in Belgium.
World War I erupted in 1914, and Belgium was occupied by German forces from 1914 to 1918, virtually the length of the entire war. Postally, during this time Germany used German stamps in occupied Belgium with overprints reading “BELGIEN”.
In 1934, King Leopold III took power, and reigned until 1951, when he abdicated the throne after a period of significant unrest and controversy regarding his reign. King Baudouin took over, ruling Belgium until 1993. Each monarch released several stamps during his reign; Baudouin, in particular, happened to be in power when postage stamp technology all over the world improved, and Belgium’s stamps became more colorful, with an array of diverse designs. During these years, too, the collectors’ market grew greatly, and many, many commemorative and special stamps and philatelic items were released for buyers worldwide.
Belgium’s current king is Albert II, and modern Belgian postage stamps continue to feature a large variety of interesting subjects. In addition to certain collectibles such as the Belgium railway (chemin de fer) stamps, there are Belgian stamp maxicards, joint issues, souvenir sheets and minisheets, airmails, cinderellas, and many other fascinating collectibles. Add to your Belgian stamp collectibles — check the subcategories here to find specific kinds of Belgian stamps for sale from a wide variety of worldwide sellers, and come back daily to see new listings.
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