Mint 2016 Tonga FIPIC Souvenir Sheet
This neat souvenir sheet honors Gandhi and animals of India, plus Tonga and India’s national flowers.
Issued for the Second Summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) in 2015.
About Tonga Stamps
Tonga stamps issued in the last 20 years have been produced in much lower quantities than those before them. That makes these stamps scarce.
Tonga stamps are fun and beautiful. That’s why I love them and why they’re so popular with us collectors.
The stamps of Tonga have their share of postal history, too. The “Friendly Islands” as Tonga is known, issued their first stamps in 1886. And the first self-adhesive stamps in the world were issued by Tonga in 1963! One of the Tonga Islands group (Niaufo’ou) is world-famous for its Tin Can Mail of the 1930s. The coastal waters were too shallow for ships to get close enough for mail delivery. So ships’ crews tossed incoming mail overboard in tin biscuit containers. Tongan islanders would swim out to the ships to retrieve it. (After a shark attack, canoes were used.) Islanders delivered outgoing mail to the ships in waxed containers. Lots of philatelic history for a small island nation.
Tonga makes a great specialty collection!