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1873 Newspaper Stamp

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1873 Newspaper Stamp
Cat. Mint Unhinged Mint Hinged Fine Used
½d Rose 3a $63.00

Originally there was no charge for newspapers forwarded through the post for delivery within New Zealand. However, with the number of newspapers posted frequently dwarfing paid mail, the Post Office decided it had to charge for newspaper delivery. A rate of one penny was imposed in 1864 and dropped again in 1865 due to public pressure, only to be reinstated in 1867.

Inspired by the English 1870 halfpence newspaper stamp, a decision was made in 1872 to reduce the cost of newspaper delivery and to produce a similar stamp.

The stamp was designed by the Government Printer, John Davies based on the English newspaper stamp. A woodblock die was carved in Melbourne, Australia, and electrotypes were produced from it by W.H. Kirk in Wellington making this the first stamp where the design, printing plate preparation and printing plates themselves were completed in New Zealand.

The stamps were printed for 22 years. For 17 of those a special purpose paper watermarked with a six-rayed irregular star was used.
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