Not Your Average Fairy Tale: Cinderella Stamps

What do you call stamps that aren’t really stamps, that have no denomination?

These special kinds of stamps are called cinderella stamps. The name comes from the classic story you know and love, named after the girl who looked like a princess but started out as an ordinary girl.

Cinderella stamps may not work as actual stamps, but they do look nice. These stamps are created for many different reasons, like commemorative stickers, charity seals, or advertising labels. The definition can be a little confusing, since these stamps are defined but what they are not, and even then there can be exceptions.

The field of cinderella stamp collecting is a broad one. Most who collect these stamps pick specific categories to focus on.

Local stamps make up one category of cinderella stamps. Soon after the postage stamp’s invention, localities began making their own stamps. Some worked within local areas, while others served the purpose of looking colorful on envelopes.

A local stamp from Prices City, around 1858.

A local stamp from Prices City, around 1858.

Another category of cinderella stamps is fantasy stamps, which includes stamps for countries that either don’t exist or don’t have a postal system.

There are also charity seals, the most well-known of which are Christmas seals sold around Christmastime to benefit charity and decorate envelopes.

Some cinderella stamps have a political side to them. Referred to as “propoganda stamps,” these stamps promote a certain political ideology. Sometimes these are created to give exiled nations more legitimacy; sometimes they have certain slogans sent to motivate troops abroad.

Some collectors have talked of creating catalogs for cinderella stamps, but the area is so broad that the task has been deemed near impossible.

Do you collect cinderella stamps? Tell us about your collection in the comments!





Leave a Reply