Guernsey, a bailiwick of the British Crown, is a group of six islands in the English Channel between the United Kingdom and France. Guernsey uses its own postage stamps today, and its stamp history goes back to 1941.
German occupation Guernsey stamps, 1941 — 1944
The first Guernsey stamps of 1941 were German issues of the Nazis, from a time when Germany occupied the islands. These stamps, issued until 1944 and in use until 1946, bore a simple design and the English phrase GUERNSEY POSTAGE. After World War II ended, the production of these stamps naturally ceased.
Guernsey regional stamps, 1958
The first British Guernsey postage stamps were issued in 1958 as part of the “regional stamp” program — valid for use in all UK regions, these stamps were issued in honor of Guernsey but did not have an inscription identifying them as such, instead showing a Guernsey lily in the corner.
First stamps inscribed “GUERNSEY”, 1969
In 1969, as the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the islands got their own inscribed stamps. The phrase used was GUERNSEY BAILIWICK; the first series included stamps showing a map of Guernsey’s location. Soon, the inscription used on stamps was changed to BAILIWICK OF GUERNSEY, although occasionally the shorter version would be preferred, and (later) the even shorter GUERNSEY.
Stamps of Guernsey have always featured a reference to the British Crown — a silhouette of Elizabeth II, or a royal cypher, for example. Several nice souvenir sheets have been issued, to go along with the various subcategories of collectible Guernsey postal items for sale. See our Guernsey postal covers and air post sections for more special items for sale to collectors. Selection is updated daily.
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