Finland’s first stamps were issued in 1856, when the country was ruled as a grand duchy under the Russian tsar. That’s why many early stamps of Finland look similar to Russia stamps. They even have inscriptions in Cyrillic – the same script used in the Russian language. Like Russia stamps, denominations were in kopecks and rubles. In 1875, the word “Suomi” began appearing on Finland’s stamps, which is the country’s name in Finnish. Finland became part of Russia from 1899 until 1917. After the first Russian revolution, and the abdication of Nicholas II, it declared independence. The new republic also added the name “Finland” to its stamps with the Helsinki Issue of 1917.