Finding Malaya Straits Settlements Stamps for Your Collection

If you are a stamp collector who is interested in the unique history of postage for the Malaya Straits Settlements, using eBay to search for rare and unusual old stamps and examples of Malaya Straits Settlements postal history offers you the ability to search worldwide listings. Understanding the value and rarity of antique stamps is critical when building your expensive stamp collection. The historic impact of the British Colonies and British Territories on the postal history of the Malaya Straits Settlements makes these stamps cultural artifacts of a bygone era.

Early examples of Malaya Straits Settlements stamps

The Straits Settlements of Malaya have a long and widely varied postal history, including earliest known mailings and correspondence carried solely by ships that visited the islands. in 1837, the East India Company was granted total control of mail to and from British colonies and British territories, thus determining the postage used by the Straits Settlements. Notable early examples of Malaya Straits Settlements postage include:

  • 1854 to 1861: The Settlements were classified as part of the Bengal Circle, using stamps issued by India, a British colony at the time.
  • 1861 to 1867: The Settlements were classified as part of the Burma Circle; mail was processed, and cancellation ink stamped in both Malacca and Singapore.
  • 1867: The Settlements became a crown colony and issued their first postage by overprinting existing Indian postage stamps with the image of the British monarch surrounded by the words, "Straits Settlements" and a new postage value.
Features of notable key plates stamps of the Straits Settlements

Key plates stamps were issued by British colonial territories, printed in large volumes, and used in the Straits Settlements from the late 1800s through 1937. Key features include:

  • Image of the reigning monarch of Britain featured prominently on the center of the stamp in an oval vignette, including Edward VII and George V.
  • The words, "Straits Settlements" printed above or below the vignette.
  • Monochromatic ink colors.
  • A wide variety of postage values per stamp, including a $5 issue in 1898, and a $25 and a $500 issue in 1910.
What Straits Settlements stamps of Malaya are more expensive?

As with most expensive stamp collections, early issues of stamps in mint condition fetch a high value among collectors. Notable Straits Settlements stamps that are highly prized by collectors include:

  • 1942 to 1945 issues, during WWII when Japan occupied the Straits Settlements and overprinted existing Malayan stamps with Japanese markings in distinctive red ink.
  • 1907, when Labuan Colony joined the Straits Settlements; the Labuan Colony stamps were then overprinted with Straits Settlements markings.
  • 1935 issue for King George V and his silver jubilee celebration; the Straits Settlements also issued a silver jubilee stamp.