The History of Cyprus Stamps

History and Guide

Index Links
History of Cyprus stamps - this page
Watermarks on Cyprus stamps
Plate Numbers on Cyprus stamps
Understanding Philatelic Terms & Descriptions


Cyprus Stamps and their history.

Stamps in Cyprus are issued by the postal services department. 

The postal history of Cyprus is very closely related to the island's political past. Postal services existed during the Venetian and Ottoman periods of occupation and the first printed postage stamps appeared after the start of the British occupation in 1878. It's said that Cyprus' postal history is probably the most interesting of all Commonwealth countries!


The first postage stamps issued were British stamps - but overprinted with CYPRUS.

d370

 

Later issues included local themes, depicting the current reigning British monarch.

42   66
 80  158

The postal services department have issued stamps in several series per year since 1960. The illegally occupied areas in the North of Cyprus issue their own stamps and are separate to the Republic of Cyprus (South Cyprus). More recently the total stamps produced per issue range between 50,000 - 80,000 for each stamp.

All mail dispatched out of Cyprus must carry the Refugee Fund stamp (current value €0,02cents) in order to be posted officially. The very first Refugee Fund stamp was issued in October 1974 (originally a 1971 commemorative issue overprinted 5m to 10m Refugee Fund). New issues have been released on a fairly regular basis and since 10th January 1977 all have been of the same design depicting a person squatting in front of a stretch of coiled barbed wire. Only the colour has changed over time, most recently changing from a greyish purple colour to the recent bisque colour issued in 2010.

1977 481
1984 634a
 2009  2010 Refugee Tax Fund Stamp

  

Please look out for our own unofficial or private first day covers - they are very unique and collectable. Since the postal services started to produce official covers, the private covers are very quickly becoming a thing of the past. So, if you are looking for individual cachets or a hand produced & personally designed fdc - look no further...

For the latest issues of all stamps, visit our pages regularly and keep a close eye on our "News" page and also our "Latest Issues" information.

Some photos below taken from our visit on Friday 25th November 2011 to the Cyprus Postal Museum in Nicosia.