The first stamps of Venezuela, a former Spanish colony, appeared in 1859. They illustrated the country’s coat of arms. Many of Venezuela’s stamps carry the likeness of Venezuela’s national hero – its great liberator – Simon Bolivar. An interesting Venezuela stamp is the 1893 25c magenta commemorative honoring the landing of Columbus. Its design bears a striking resemblance to stamps of the U.S. Columbian series. It was issued for the 1893 Columbian International Exhibition, celebrating the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyages to the New World. In the 1950s, Venezuela issued a series of 168 varieties illustrating the coats of arms of various districts of the country. Venezuela has the distinction of having issued over 1000 airmail stamps.