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Virgin Islands Stamps, Treasured And Uniquely Beautiful

Features and design elements of BVI stamps issued during the past 40 years are quite distinctive and often unique. Most modern BVI stamps include either the Queen's cameo (or alternatively her cipher) and, at the same time, feature a currency expressed in U.S. dollars, while the inscriptions clearly read British Virgin Islands.

These idyllic and unique islands have stamped their presence in philately. Since their inception some 140 years ago, Virgin Islands stamps have fascinated collectors from every corner of the globe and from all walks of life.

As well as having some of the most exquisite designs, which reflect the natural beauty, and rich cultural history of the islands, B.V.I. stamps have steadily appreciated in value. This has been due to very conservative issuing policies. No more than six sets are issued per year. 

From the 1960s stamps were designed with world appeal to help increase sales, and this is reflected in the vast majority of the exhibit. Vibrant stamps on display reflect the islands’ ties to the British Commonwealth, with commemorative sets of stamps celebrating royal birthdays, weddings, coronations and kings and queens through the ages. Recurring local themes include indigenous birds, flowers and marine life, including game fish and coral. One very popular series depicting scenes from Treasure Island was released in 1969 to mark the 75th anniversary of the death of Robert Louis Stevenson. The book, which captured the imagination of readers throughout the world with its tales of buccaneers and buried gold, was inspired by Norman Island.

Topics of international appeal such as the Olympics, World Cup Football and Apollo 11’s first lunar landing in 1969 as well as Sir Francis Drake’s historical circumnavigation around the world have also all graced B.V.I. stamps. This particularly striking series of 12 stamps which was released to mark the 420th anniversary of Drake’s Voyage, is particularly relevant to the B.V.I. as the famous explorer and his fleet visited the British Virgin Islands on several occasions and the channel that runs between the islands was named in his honour.