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 New Caledonia

Early Independence Definitive of New Caledonia
Independence Issue

The first stamps were issued for New Caledonia in 1860, a local issue showing the portrait of Emperor Napoleon III. This first issue was used until 1862 and valid for domestic mail only, international mail required additional franking with stamps from New South Wales, canceled in Sydney. Between 1862 and 1881, the general issues for the French colonies were used. Stamps for specific use in New Caledonia were again issued in 1881, issues for the French colonies overprinted ‘NCE’ and a new face value. The first definitives were issued in 1893, a set of the common ‘Navigation & Commerce’ design inscribed ‘Nlle Caledonie et Dépendances’. The dependencies to first open post offices were the Îsles de Loyauté and the Îsles des Pins. Stamps of New Caledonia were used in the New Hebrides until 1908 and in Wallis & Futuna until in 1920.

During WWII, in 1941, stamps were issued for use in New Caledonia by the Vichy regime in France. As these were never put to use in New Caledonia, only mint issues are listed in the catalogues. Shortly after, stamps were issued in the name of the Free French, overprints on earlier issues, the overprint reading ‘France Libre’. Later in 1941 definitives were issued inscribed ‘France Libre’.

In the modern era, New Caledonia issued a blend of stamps with themes of local interest and themes aimed at the thematic collectors market. [source: StampWorldHistory]