Postage Stamps History



Postage stamps in Hawaii were first issued in 1851.

5˘ blue Missionary stamp, Hawaii Scott 2


These stamps where issued in the following denominations: 2, 5 and 13 Cents.

Hawaii First stamps are referred to as the “Missionary Issues”, because they were primarily found on the correspondence of missionaries working in the Hawaiian Islands. Only a handful of these stamps remain today, and are amongst the greatest rarities of philately.

In 1853, a stamps with a portrait King Kamehameha III were issued.

1853 Kamehameha III Issue Scott. 5

1853,Thick White Wove 13˘ dark red King Kamehameha III stamp, Hawaii Scott 6

1859, 5˘ blue on blue paper Numeral stamp, Scott 21

Until 1859, domestic mail delivery in Hawaii was free. The stamps issued up to that time were intended to pay only the Hawaiian part of international delivery. When domestic mail fees initially went into effect, new stamps were required, resulting in what is called the Numeral issue.

Hawaii 1861 2c Pale Rose Scott 27 Mint

On Aug 1, 1859, Hawaii initiated rates for local and inter-island mail, and numeral design stamps were issued for this purpose.
Previously, mail sent within the kingdom was carried free of charge. In 1861, an additional set of stamps were issued, featuring King Kamehameha IV.


Hawai’i issued a series of stamps beginning in 1864 featuring portraits of various members of the royal family.

Stamp Hawaii 1886 Kamamalu

The 19th century saw a massive influx of immigrants to Hawaii. American missionaries and whalers were followed by American sugar growers and pineapple plantation operators.

In 1891, Queen Liliuokalani ascended the throne and revoked an earlier constitution that had given most of the political power in the islands to the American plantation owners.

In 1893 with the backing of the U.S. minister, American plantation owners led a coup against Queen Liliuokalani and deposed her.

Several series of differing portraits were issued until 1891, and were in use until Queen Liliuokalani was deposed in 1893.

These stamps were overprinted “Provisional GOVT. 1893″ after the plot to overthrow the Hawaii Monarchy.

Stamps overprinted “Provisional GOVT in1893
after plot to overthrow the Hawaii Monarchy











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