Staffa - Scotland (United Kingdom) : United Nations


Issue date: 01/09/1976



Aircraft flying over Staffa Island; UN emblem.

As regards the aircraft, it looks like a McDonnell Douglas DC-9, with a third engine added by the artist.

Perforated and embossed stamp.

The stamp is 2-5/16 inches long and 1-1/4 inches high; it bears the legends "STAFFA-Scotland" and postage ₤6 “23 K Gold". It is made from a thin sheet of 23-karat gold with gummed backing and contains 0.0005015 troy ounces of gold.


First Day Cover (see at page 15) extracted from an album (a philatelic offering from Staff Scotland) titled "The United Nations – 30th Anniversary Commemorative - Gold Stamp Issue, A Limited Edition on Historic First Day Cover", issued to pay honour to thirty years of humanitarian service and achievements of the United Nations. With an impressive design, each of the outstanding stamps in the series is exquisitely made with 23k gold, affixed upon a first day cover created and autographed by Seth G. Huntington, the celebrated artist whose designs were selected by the United States Mint for the United States Bicentennial Coinage. The special Charter Edition contains 30 covers and was issued in 2,000 sets. In addition, a special limited edition of only 15,000 sets was also issued, also containing 30 covers. The covers were issued monthly between 1 July 1976 and 13 October 1978; the first day cover related to ICAO is dated 18 July 1977, whereas the corresponding stamp from Staffa was released in September 1976. The Calhoun’s Collectors Society, Minneapolis, Minnesota, sponsored this issue.


Certificate of origin.


Front page of the album.


Full Page #15 of the album.


First Day Cover.


Background: Staffa is an island in the Inner Hebrides, 7 miles west of Mull and 6 miles northeast of Iona off the West Coast of Scotland. Staffa issued a set of 30 gold foil stamps in relation to the United Nations and its Agencies. They are not listed in standard catalogues, but specialized catalogues list them, such as the Rosen's Catalogue of British Local Stamps which provides SF382 number for this stamp.

Local stamps, like those issued by Staffa, are used to prepay the delivery of mail within a city, island or region. Sometimes they prepay express mail (same day or overnight service). Only the local stamps are used and the mail is delivered by the Local Post's employees and does not go through the national Post Office system. These are genuine local posts as they provide a real service and the stamps and covers are very collectable.

The First Day Cover pays tribute to ICAO for the safe air travel under the responsibility of ICAO. The text related to the cover reads as follows: “Planes and passengers travel in greater safety across the world’s skies because of the efforts of the International Civil Aviation Organization. The plane on the stamp is a symbol of the safe and efficient flight standards set by ICAO. Their regulations regarding navigational equipment, pilot training and noise levels over land areas apply to all international flights. The control tower depicted in the cachet represents one more facet of ICAO efficiency – the use of a common language (English) between pilots and air traffic controllers. This unit of the UN has done much to increase air safety for all the world.”