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.