1910 Opening of Parliament

An interesting design that incorporates the coats of arms of the four states that combined to form the Union.  Much is made of the fact that the 2½d rate was the overseas letter rate at the time and that this rate was chosen for the stamp to promote the new country of South Africa abroad.  However there is evidence to support the theory that the rate was chosen as a compromise between the different states, as different essays of this stamp are inscribed with a 1d or a 6d value.

This stamp comes in a range of shades, with and without a bluing of the paper.  The day of issue was a Sunday, but many larger Post Offices opened to mark this special occasion, hence first day postmarks can be found and are quite collectable, First Day Covers are fairly scarce.  The mint stamps are desirable in multiples, especially marginal blocks.  There were no plate numbers on the sheets, hence corner blocks and blocks with the marginal guide marks command a premium.  Commercial covers bearing the stamp are also very collectable.  Multiples of the stamps, used to pay the correct postage rate are even more desirable.