|When we begin to really look at
the stamps, we find that they have been produced for many different uses. Stamps have been issued which mark a special event
or anniversary or to honor a person or a building. These stamps are called commemorative stamps. These stamps are used for
a preset, somwhat short period of time and are then taken off sale. The first commemorative was issued by New South Wales
(Australia) for the hundred-year anniversary of that state by Great Britain. Commemoratives issued by a number of countries
at the same time to mark the same event are called "omnibus issues."
Another type of stamp is the definitive stamp. Definitives are
every-day stamps and are always available at the Post Office. They range in value from very inexpensive to high value for
mailing large packages. The definitive stamps are put into use for a much longer period of time. Norway's first definitive
stamp pictured a posthorn. Issued in 1871, that stamp or a variation of it, is still in use 100 years later.
Presently, stamps are issued in sheets, coils (rolls), and booklets,
as well as being created and sold from vending machines that allow for specific values to be issued. Booklets and coils provide
for many variations in perforations and straight edges.
Many countries issue stamps used to help charitable groups. These
charity stamps carry a surcharge, or extra charge, which is then given to the charity. They are caled "semi-postal" stamps.
New to the United States, charity stamps have been used by France, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Switzerland
for many years.
In the early years of airmail delivery, an airmail stamp was needed
to deliver airmail. Most long-distance mail is now delivered by airplane, and regular postage is used.