Discuss and share the stamps + covers from the remote Pitcairn Islands

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Discuss and share the stamps + covers from the remote Pitcairn Islands

Post by Michael Beharry »

I recently acquired this fine, postally used piece. Any stamp with Kate Middleton looks great in my opinion. I'm leaving it intact, no soaking.

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As it's my first pair of PI stamps on a piece, I looked up Pitcairn Islands and to my amazement, found out the population is less than 100.

Is this the smallest stamp population in the world? I'm also wondering what kind of print runs PI stamps have these days...I'm assuming they only need one post office over there.

Also found out the NZ dollar is used as currency - never knew that before.
Last edited by BigSaint on 05 Jan 2018 23:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Stewie1980 »

The printing run is quite high. 99.99% of the stamps is sold directly to dealers and collectors and has never been on the islands.

There are a lot of Commonwealth and thematic collectors who buy these high face valued items.
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Michael Beharry »

Stewie1980 wrote:The printing run is quite high. 99.99% of the stamps is sold directly to dealers and collectors and has never been on the islands.
Hence my preference for sound, postally used stamps 8) 8)
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Tassie_Stamps »

Good idea sourcing postally used copies - just don't expect to find much! :mrgreen:
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Princestamps »

Its all true

Pitcairn Islands is a dependency of the British Commonwealth, the Queen is the head of state. The population is some 48 to 60 people depending on who you believe.

The stamps show mostly Pitcairn and Royal themes and are entirely printed and marketed in New Zealand, that envelope was almost certainly sent from the Pitcairn High Commission in Wellington or Auckland, New Zealand. Virtually most of the stamps go to dealers and collectors.

But we still like them, I am a big collector of them myself. But from a population of 48 who now have the internet, do not expect too much postal mail.
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Atelli01 »

I was a navigator in the Merchant Navy from 1971 to 1977. We steamed past Pitcairn Island several times en route from Panama to New Zealand.

It's a fascinating sight, a high but small rock sticking out of very deep water, completely in the middle of nowhere, the most isolated population on the planet and said to be the safest refuge in the event of a nuclear war.

From a ship, it is visible from several hours steaming away, and as you get close the inhabitants come out on small boats and try to pass up Mail for ongoing passage to New Zealand or Australia.

I cannot remember if the Mail had stamps, Pitcairn or other, but anyway our captain would not allow us to slow down or accept the mail as it would have caused problems with immigration and health regulations in NZ.

The boats got very close and I seem to remember that the voices calling up to us were speaking old English, having been largely isolated on their island since the days of Fletcher Christian.
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by aethelwulf »

An example of "real mail" from Pitcairn I came across tonight in a seller's listings.

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https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pitcairn-Islands-1966-Pitcairn-Is-Vi ... 1157219023
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by gavin-h »

Princestamps wrote:Pitcairn Islands is a dependency of the British Commonwealth, the Queen is the head of state. The population is some 48 to 60 people depending on who you believe.
And, presumably depending on how many are in jail for interfering with other islanders. :evil:
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Princestamps »

gavin-h wrote:
Princestamps wrote:Pitcairn Islands is a dependency of the British Commonwealth, the Queen is the head of state. The population is some 48 to 60 people depending on who you believe.
And, presumably depending on how many are in jail for interfering with other islanders. :evil:

Gavin, thet were all released after a few weeks after building their own jail. Some real mail was generated by prisoners mailing letters to their wives. Its lamentable that severable of the chief men were doing this, but it was decided the island could not function without their leadership.

The supreme fiddler of all Steve Christian (A 4 greats grandson of Fletcher Christian) was head man at the time, had the longest sentence of 3 months I think it was. There were a few others, all chief men and apparently the molesting had been going on for generations.

Its sad I guess when you live on a desolate island away from society that this nonsense has to take place, and may be the reason why so many Islanders have left and if not that, moved to Norfolk Island.
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by GlenStephens »

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Any postally used mail from there took forever to arrive - these I listed up for sale here for $40 and took 3.5 months to get to Adelaide!

1940s Pitcairn REGISTERED FDC's .. now 73 years old, clean and fresh.

Addressed to Ocean Island (a remote speck on the Gilberts Group back then) and then then re-directed to Woodville South Austalia!

Left Pitcairn October 15 and arrived Adelaide every end JANUARY - "WOODVILLE 29 JAN 41" - so it took 3½ months to get there! Remember we were well into World War 2 at this period.
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Michael Beharry »

Took me forever to get some more genuine used pieces from Pitcairn :|

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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by thecloudwatcher »

Buying honey direct from Pitcairn can be a good (if very expensive!!) way of getting commercially used, recent stamps. Two jars of honey (the minimum order) will cost NZ$27 plus postage ($13.30 to Australia + New Zealand, $24.30 to North America, $26.60 to UK and Europe). If you ask nicely I'm sure they may even be able to use specific stamps to pay the postage.

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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by BigSaint »

These 3 covers were prepared by (& I believe he was the postmaster on Pitcairn):

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I suspect that these covers were sent from Norfolk to Pitcairn under an outer cover:

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Perhaps one cover postmarked on Pitcairn when they were sent & the others postmarked on Pitcairn upon their return.

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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Princestamps »

I would say he was at least an assistant one, at the time Roy. P. Clark was the main Postmaster and teacher on the island.

Interestingly too, back in the 1950s Pitcairn's population was a lot higher around 180 people. They seem to have lost a lot in the 80s, when many went to the UK and New Zealand.

The 5 main island names are Christian, Buffet, McCoy, Warren and Young. An article I read recently said the birth rate was dropping and the island may be abandoned. Stamp sales are no doubt way down since the arrival of the internet and email. Some of these woes could be blamed on the sex trials a few years ago and the fact most of the defendants had such a blase attitude towards it.

This is a link to a documentary about the sex offence trials.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKBddg2WP1c

Not sure if its hot linked, but you should find it by copying and pasting, they actually interview the main defendant - Steve Christian.
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Princestamps »

And in 2009, an issue of coins was issued, as now it seems coins may be more lucrative than stamps, which are generally only issued 6 times a year featuring mostly Royal and local topics (Mostly based around the HMS Bounty).

Crown sized bullion coins started in 2006 with the Queens 80th birthday. However 2009 a set of non circulating legal tender coins was issued at the princely sum of $65 New Zealand dollars (The actual currency there).

Guess what they showed, I will give you two guesses and the first one does not count :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Yes thats right, the Bounty artefacts on the 5 cents to $1 and the ship in her majesty on the $2. The coins have a face value of $3.85 yet cost $65 and are made out of base metals (Stainless steel, aluminium bronze). Somebody is making money here :D
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Michael Beharry »

I'm expecting about 25-30 more on genuinely postally used piece...quite happy about that 8)

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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by passport_collect »

I've only sold one postcard with a Pitcairn stamp, about two years ago:
http://www.delcampe.net/page/item/id,185662108.html
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by phrag99 »

As an aside, I thought I would show this envelope, sent from the Brigantine "Pitcairn" in 1895.

It's not generally known that the Pitcairners converted to the Seventh Day Adventist Church in the 1880s.

To facilitate delivery of supplies and missionaries the brigantine was built for the church in California and made six journeys between 1891 and 1899. This was posted on the fourth trip when she called in at Tonga to drop off a missionary family called Hilliard and a couple of Pitcairn girls who were their "domestic help".

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This is the only example that I am aware of, so I would be interested to learn of others.
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Princestamps »

The official Pitcairn story is that the whole Island converted to 7th day Adventism in 1886, as that year the reverend John I. Tay arrived at Pitcairn in the ship "Pitcairn" and pretty much converted the whole population.

They built the first church for Adventism in 1886, it was replaced in 1907 by a 2 storey structure, which had the top floor lopped in 1957 and a new building erected in the period up to 1986.

This is borne out in a 1986 Pitcairn stamp issue celebrating the centenary. Today they hold strong to this group, making Saturday a day of rest and singing psalms to departing ships.

Before 1886 I believe they were probably Church of England and were using the Bounty Bible, which John Adams used to teach the Pitcairn children to read from 1805 onwards.
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Michael Beharry »

Here's one of several genuinely postally used covers I've gotten, this one has immortalised Dr. Corn.

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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by phrag99 »

Why is this NOT philatelic?

Does it pay the correct postage to Germany?
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Michael Beharry »

phrag99 wrote:Why is this NOT philatelic?

Does it pay the correct postage to Germany?
Didn't it get there? What's your point?

One they are postally used I don't care. They aren't CTO.

I suppose if you come across a 1940s cover with a £1 wedding stamp on it, you toss it away?
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by passport_collect »

I think phrag99 is simply making the point that the cover is philatelic, rather than a commercial "usage" cover.

I suspect that there is very little post from Pitcairn that is wholly non-philatelic in nature. Perhaps the smallest proportion of any country?
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Michael Beharry »

passport_collect wrote:I think phrag99 is simply making the point that the cover is philatelic, rather than a commercial "usage" cover.
Sometimes the only way to get key values from a set are to affix them to an envelope, even if the final value of the stamps used for postage is well above the actual rate.
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by fromdownunder »

Guys (and guyesses), we have a perfectly good thread going discussing Commercial v Philatelic covers going which has been alive and well for 6 years, and has caused a lot of discussion and controversy. We really do not need another one on this thread.

http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=22838

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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by GJ50 »

Michael Beharry wrote:I'm expecting about 25-30 more on genuinely postally used piece...quite happy about that 8)

Image
I think you will find that these are CTO. They are supplied by the PO as the person ordering stamps gets them as the postage paid. This I believe happens with mail orders for NZ stamps as well. That is why all Michael's examples with lovely cds on them are on piece.
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Tassie_Stamps »

Agree with above, NZ certainly do (or did) this. A nice way to give customers some fine used examples of recent issues for their collection, and something I wish Australia Post would take up. 8)

I think with Australia Post Philatelic mail order, if you order online postage is FREE but if you snail mail or telephone your order with credit card details/cheque etc then there is a flat $5 p/h fee for your order.
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Michael Beharry »

Cover...sent by registered post, is this CTO or something actually popped in the post? Has the CDS too.

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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Princestamps »

As it is Registered Post, it may be a real Postal use. They have used a set as a FDC type thing, but my guess is this a set that some one wanted postally used and they got it.

Could you tell me where the cover was addressed to. If its Australia or Samoa its probably phliatelic, but if its somewhere like Burkina Faso or Germany, it may be postal.
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by Michael Beharry »

Princestamps wrote:As it is Registered Post, it may be a real Postal use. They have used a set as a FDC type thing, but my guess is this a set that some one wanted postally used and they got it.

Could you tell me where the cover was addressed to. If its Australia or Samoa its probably phliatelic, but if its somewhere like Burkina Faso or Germany, it may be postal.
It was sent to the USA before being sent to me. I'll have some more scans during the week.
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by BigSaint »

All Photobucket “Ransom” images above have been replaced, and saved forever.

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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by aethelwulf »

GJ50 wrote:I think you will find that these are CTO. They are supplied by the PO as the person ordering stamps gets them as the postage paid. This I believe happens with mail orders for NZ stamps as well. That is why all Michael's examples with lovely cds on them are on piece.
I remember it was said on a thread somewhere that the Pitcairn cancellers used on the island itself (thus 'genuine' postal use) and in the philatelic bureau in NZ ('CTO on piece' :? ) look similar but have a slight difference?
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Re: A question about stamps from Pitcairn Islands

Post by acutipuerilis »

aethelwulf wrote: I remember it was said on a thread somewhere that the Pitcairn cancellers used on the island itself (thus 'genuine' postal use) and in the philatelic bureau in NZ ('CTO on piece' :? ) look similar but have a slight difference?
I suspect it's the font. Serif fonts seem unusual for genuine postal service...
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Re: Discuss and share the stamps + covers from the remote Pitcairn Islands

Post by Global Admin »

I bought a lovely collection of Pitcairn this week from 2009 to 2018, and they all had those same serif letters in the cds.

Owner had ordered them direct from the Bureau. SG cat was about $1,700! Price is $A499.

MINT from this era are near unheard of, and used will be near unique in a long run, hence the vast catalogue. :lol:

https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=104515

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