St. Vincent was a British colony from 1763 until 1969. It became an independent state within the British Commonwealth in 1979. A small group of islands called the Grenadines are administered by St. Vincent and many topical stamps have been issued for them since 1973. The first stamps of St. Vincent itself were issued in 1861, bearing the portrait of Queen Victoria. The third design of the island was unusual for an early colonial stamp. The 5 shilling rose issue was larger in size than the Victorian stamps, and bearing the Seal of the Colony, tow figures representing peace and justice. In 1880 and ’81, two issues were bisects, that is, cut in half, and overprinted with a surcharge.
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