Portal:Philately/Stamp of the month archive/3

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A pair of 50 cowries showing a correction.jpg

Uganda Cowries, also known as the Uganda Missionaries, were the first adhesive postage stamps of Uganda. They were made on a typewriter in March 1895, because there was no printing press in Uganda. After a much-needed new typewriter ribbon arrived, the colour of the characters changed from black to a violet colour. The stamps were valid for postage within the Kingdom of Buganda; in adjoining kingdoms and provinces they were used only for communications between officials of the Church Missionary Society.

The stamps were denominated in different values of cowries (monetary seashells), at 200 cowries per rupee or 12 1/2 cowries = 1d. The simple design shows only the initials of the jurisdiction and a number for the denomination. Forgeries are known, and only a small number of genuine stamps seem to have survived. Surcharged values also exist; of these Robson Lowe commented, "All are rare. We do not recall selling a copy in over 25 years."