What is the correct rate for an aerogramme? Well.... We all know
that depends on the country you send it from! Or, if you are trying to use an
older one, then you may have to add addhesives if the current rate is higher.
If you try to sneak in an enclosure, you may have to pay additional postage
before it will reach its intended destination. Maybe you have something that
MUST get thru and you choose to add adhesives to register it. For collectors
in many countries, these are the major reasons for adding adhesives. For
collectors in the many other countries, there is another critical question,
"Where is it going?"
Aerogrammes of many countries (Australia, Denmark, Great
Britain and the United States to name just a few) have always been intended
for use to anywhere in the world at the single aerogramme rate. On the other
hand, the postal rates for letters have almost always depended on the
destination. For example, the first US aerogramme was issued on April
29, 1947, when the aerogramme rate of 10 cents paid for its delivery
anywhere in the world. At that time, the lowest rate for a letter to Europe
was 25 cents and the aerogramme was a real bargain.
However, let's look at the aerogrammes of Cayman
Islands. The first three aerogrammes were issued on June 2, 1958.
The 2 1/2 d was valid ONLY for use to Jamaica. The aerogramme
states this clearly on the reverse, "THIS FORM MAY BE USED
WITHOUT SURCHARGE FOR AIR MAIL TO JAMAICA
ONLY." There is also the text "(TO JAMAICA ONLY)" as the
second line of the tablet at the upper left (oh, "tablet" refers to the
block of text and symbols located in the upper left of the front of an
The 6 d states: 'THIS FORM MAY BE USED WITHOUT SURCHARGE FOR AIR MAIL TO GREAT BRITAIN AND TO
COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE."
Finally, the 9 d states: "THIS FORM IS FOR USE TO DESTINATIONS OTHER THAN GREAT BRITAIN AND
COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE."
Fortunately for the user, where it could go was clearly
indicated on the aerogramme. The 2 1/2 d or the 6 d could be used
to write elsewhere as long as adhesives were added to make
up the correct rate.
Figure 1 - Ceylon
Pity the poor writer in Ceylon. In 1952, the 20-cent aerogramme was valid only to India and
Pakistan. The rate to all other British Commonwealth countries was greater
and Figure 1 shows a 35-cent aerogramme properly used to New Zealand.
There was NO aerogramme with the proper rate to the rest of the world and
the user had to add the appropriate adhesives.
Figure 2 - Ceylon
Figure 2 shows usage of the 20-cent
aerogramme with 40 cents additional postage to make the 60-cent rate to the
Figure 3 - Ceylon
A different user chose to add a 25-cent adhesive to the basic 35-cent
aerogramme shown in Figure 3.
Figure 4 - Ceylon
The post office personnel who handled international mail had
eagle eyes. Postage due markings are not uncommon on
Ceylon aerogrammes. The writer of the aerogramme in Figure 4 also added
25 cents in adhesives, but to the basic 20-cent aerogramme instead. The
Ceylonese personnel added the circular postage due mark for the shortage of
15 cents plus 5 cents. There is no indication that this was collected.
Figure 5 - Ceylon
The rate to British Commonwealth countries increased in
1954 to 40 cents and a new aerogramme of this rate was issued.
The rate to the rest of the world was actually reduced to 50 cents,
but still no aerogramme of this rate was printed. Since there was still no
indication of the limited validity range, copies were sent without the
additional 10 c. Figure 5 shows one such stamped 13 centimes postage due (10 c plus
a 33% penalty). Note that this has the added handstamp "POSTAGE DUE 4
CENTS" added by the AMF in New York as well as two 2-cent postage due
Figure 6 - Ethiopia
In 1954, the two Ethiopian aerogrammes had rates of 25 and 50
cents. The correct aerogramme rate to the USA was 50 cents. The 25-cent
rate was for use to African countries, but the
aerogramme was used to other countries. Figure 6 shows an example of a 25-cent
aerogramme uprated to 50 cents to pay the rate to the USA.
Figure 7 - Fiji
On June 10,1952, Fiji issued a pair of aerogrammes. The 3d was valid
only for use to Australia and Oceania. The 7d was valid to the rest of the
world. Figure 7 shows an example of the 3d used to England with 4 d of
adhesives added to make up the difference.
Figure 8 - Indonesia
Indonesia, like many other countries, was plagued by ever-increasing
postal rates. On August 1,1959. they issued three formular
aerogrammes without imprinted "stamps". However, these were NOT
available without the proper adhesives added prior to sale to the public. These
formulars both listed and
showed via maps exactly where they were intended to go.
Figure 8 shows the
1.50 R for use to Zone 1 countries, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, British North
Borneo, Malaya, Portuguese Timor, Sarawak, Philippines, Burma, Thailand
Figure 9 - Indonesia
Figure 9 shows the 2.25 R for use to Zone 2 countries, the rest of
Asia (except South East Asia and Siberia), Australia, New Zealand, New
Caledonia, Egypt, Libya and Sudan.
Figure 10 - Indonesia
Figure 10 shows the 3.70 R for use to the rest of the world.
Figure 11 - Nigeria
In 1961, Nigeria issued a 3d aerogramme for use only
within Nigeria and a 6d for use to all other countries. Figure 11 shows
an example of the 3d "within Nigeria" aerogramme sent to the USA
with an added 3d adhesive.
Figure 12 - South Africa
South Africa first issued inland "Letter Cards" on August 1,1948.
The rate of 1 1/2 d was valid for airmail within South Africa and to South
West Africa, Northern and Southern Rhodesia, Nyasaland and Portuguese
East Africa. The rate was increased to 2 d but the validity range was
increased to include Angola, British East Africa, Madagascar, Belgian
Congo, French Cameroons and French Equatorial Africa. Over the years, the
rate has continued to increase. Figure 12 shows a 2 1/2 c inland aerogramme
of 1963 correctly uprated to the 10 c rate to the USA.
Here is a partial listing of countries which have issued
aerogrammes with destination-dependent denominations. Only one such
issue is described per country, and this is not necessarily the first such issue
by that country. In many cases, information about the permissable
destinations is not readily available and the author will greatly appreciate any
such that readers are aware of.
- Angola, October 25, 1950. 1.50,2.50 & 4.50 Ags. Also numerous later issues.
- British Guiana, May 15, 1950. 6 and 12 c.
- Burma, 1955. 15 and 50 p.
- Canada, September 3 & October 4, 1947.10 & 15 c.
- Cape Verde, November 22, 1950. 2.50 &: 3.40 Esc.
- Cayman Islands, June 2, 958. 2 1/2,6 and 9 d.
- China, November 10, 1962. R 2.00 and 6.00.
- Ethiopia, September 4, 1953. 25 and 50 c.
- Fiji, June 10, 1952. 3 (Australia & Oceania) & 7d.
- Grenada, May 12 & March 30, 1953. 7 & 12c.
- Honduras, 1959. 10,12,15 and 25 c.
- India, September 15, 1948. 2 (India) and 6 As.
- Indonesia, August 1, 1959. 1.50,2.25 & 3.70 Rupiah.
- Israel, July 2, 1950. 25 and 50 Pr.
- Italy, 1952. 60 and 120 lire.
- Jordan, November 21, 1953. 25 and 35 Fits.
- Libya, 1958. 15 (Arab Countries) and 35 Mills.
- Malaya, December 2, 1957. 25 and 30 cents.
- Malaysia, 1960. 25 and 30 c.
- Mozambique, November 3, 1950. 1.20, 2.50 & 3.50 Esc.
- Netherlands New Guinea, 1955. 15 and 35 c.
- Nigeria, 1961. 3 (Inland:Nigeria) and 6 d.
- Pakistan, 1950's. 2 (West & East Pakistan) & 6 As.
- Portuguese Guinea, August 25, 1953. 1$50 and 2$50.
- Portuguese India, June, 1955. 7,9 and 10 Tgs.
- St. Christopher, December 1, 1954. 5 and 12 c.
- St. Lucia, March 1, 1967. 6 and 15 c.
- St. Thomas & Prince, November 11, 1950. 1.50 and 2.50 Esc.
- San Marino, September 4, 1950. 20 and 55 Lire.
- Singapore, 1956. 25 and 30 c.
- South Africa, 1950's. 1 1/2 and 6 d.
- Spain, September 1, 1949. 1.65,1.90 and Z50 Pts.
- Timor, February 1, 1951. 50 and 70 Avos.
- Togo, April 27, 1960. 25 and 40 F.
- Trieste, May 31 and September 18, 1952. 60 and 120 lire.
- Zanzibar, 1953. 20 and 50 c.