The first stamps of Gambia were issued in 1869. As the first British colony in Africa, it’s no surprise the embossed silhouette or typographed profile of Queen Victoria appeared on its stamps until her death. After King Edward VII’s short reign, his son’s portrait appeared on the colony’s first bi-colored stamps. The central design pictured elephants plus George V’s head and crown shown in a shield. This was the beginning of a run of beautifully engraved stamps, including several Omnibus issues (common designs appearing on the stamps of many countries). These issues celebrated coronations, jubilees, and other events, the most striking for the Universal Postal Union – which consisted of large commemorative stamps.
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