Who was the second?

Who was the second?

We all know that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland issued the first stamp on 1 May 1840. But which country was the second one?


Black, Red, and Blue

In the previous two articles, we found out more about the first stamp ever issued as well two its’ successors. All three of them have one thing in common and that is that they were issued in the UK. Now we’ll find out which country was the first to follow the UK.


And the answer is…

If I say it’s the country that is famous for samba, carnival, soccer and famous soccer players, nut and one large river that would help. If I tell you that the carnival is the Rio Carnival, that some of the famous players are Garrincha, Pelé, Ronaldinho, (real) Ronaldo, Romário, that the famous river is the Amazon River and that the nut is the Brazil nut, it becomes pretty obvious that the country was Brasil.



Bullseyes - Brazil

Bullseyes - Brazil

 Bullseyes - Brazil



Stamps were issued on 1 August 1843 and they could be used in the entire country. It’s important to point to that because, after UK stamps, there were few others stamps issued in other countries, but none of them were valid in the whole country.

The whole series included 3 stamps with a denomination of 30, 60 and 90 réis and as you can see they had no perforation.

The design is pretty simple and it’s believed it originated from the Imperial Bank of Brazil bank note design. That design is also responsible for their nickname, because of the resemblance with the bulls eyes.

We also know quantities for each of these three stamps and they are:

  • 1.148.994 for 30 réis
  • 1.502.142 for 60 réis
  • 349.182 for 90 réis.

These stamps are almost as old as any stamp can be, so it’s pretty obvious that they are rare today. One thing also helped them become even rarer than they could be. On 30 March 1846 around half million of these stamps were burned due to the replacement with a new issue.


The stamps we have seen today are those from the second country in the World that issued stamps that could be use on whole its’ territory. We’ll talk more about “regional” issues of that time soon.


Continue reading: Celebrities on Stamps: Pink Floyd

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