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Collins FDC Catalog


O3604 / Scott 3694D

Hawaiian Missionary Stamps

Below the Sea

Cover Announcement 

The MissionariesThere are a few fabulous stamps in United States postal history which are the glamour issues that virtually every coilector knows about. The inverted Jenny Airmail. The Zeppelins. The Trans-Mississippi set. The Pan-American Inverts. And the four Hawaiian Missionaries. It is with great pleasure that I now offer my four individually hand painted First Day Covers which pay tribute to the first four stamps issued by the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1851-52.

The first Hawaiian post office was officially opened in December of 1850. Postrnaster Henry M. Whitney had stamps printed locally in three denominations. Philatelists now call these extremely rare stamps "Hawaiian Missionaries" because virtually all of them were used on the mail of Christian Missionaries serving in the Islands. The 2c variety paid the postage rate for newspapers sent to the mainland. The 5c rate paid for mail sent locally within the Islands. The 13c stamps paid the rate to send a letter to the United States. The breakdown of the rate is interesting and pertinent for collectors. From the thirteen-cent cost, five cents paid Hawaiian postage, the ship's fee was two cents, and six cents paid the United States transcontinental postage cost. This unusual rate structure means that the two thirteen-cent stamps were viewed as both Hawaiian and United States postage stamps.

The souvenir sheet paying tribute to these "Hawaiian Missionaries" was issued in New York City on October 24, 2002, and that is the First Day postmark that ties each stamp to the cover. 

The fourth and final cover depicts a scene from beneath the surface of the sea. This beautiful part of Hawaii's natural splendor is something that most visitors miss. In my cachet, you will observe the big spotted triggerfisll, the yellow tang, the flame dwarf angel fish, the whitetip reef shark, the tube worm (lower right) and the coral pennant fish swimming among the various colorful coral formations. The various shades of blue used for the water make the colors of the fish and coral appear to jump off the envelope. Truly incredible! The stamp on this final cover is entitled "H.I. and US." - referring to its unique stature as being considered a stamp of both Hawaii and America.

This is a set you will love having in your collection - the Collins cachets for the historic and legendary "Hawaiian Missionaries."

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