Like many British colonies, early Bahamas stamps depict Queen Victoria, monarch of this Atlantic island group. First issued in 1859, stamps of Bahamas continue to picture the country’s rulers. The Bahamas became self-governing in 1964, and a 1954 stamp was overprinted “New constitution/1964” to commemorate the event. The country gained full independence in 1973 as a state in the British Commonwealth. That milestone was celebrated with an Independence issue showing the new Bahamas flag and coat of arms. One fun thing about collecting Bahamas and other British colonies is the “common design” stamps. Each colony’s stamps has the same design. They’re beautifully engraved, and celebrate coronations, weddings and anniversaries of the ruling monarch. (Fascinating fact: Columbus made his landfall in the New World in the Bahamas!)