World Stamps

Finland’s 1963 and 1983 Military stamps not easy to find

Dec 7, 2020, 8 AM
Finland’s military stamps issued in 1963 and 1983 were only in use briefly and are infrequently encountered in the stamp market.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Military stamps are issued to members of the military in times of war or special operations. They allow them to send letters home without paying postage fees.

Some countries, including the United States, have given military members the franking privilege, so stamps are not used. But a number of countries have issued military stamps for better control of the system. Finland is one of those countries.

Finland issued its first military stamps in 1941 and again 1943-44 during the Continuation War against the Soviet Union. Finland’s last two military stamps (Scott M8-M9) were issued Sept. 26, 1963 (Scott M8), and April 20, 1983 (M9).

These two Finnish military stamps were only briefly in use, and they are not frequently encountered in the stamp market.

The 1963 military stamp was for use during maneuvers that were held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 5 of that year. The stamp was only valid from the Sept. 26 issue date to the end of the maneuvers. The stamp design shows Finland’s lion coat of arms and two post horns.

The remaining stocks of the 1963 stamps were overprinted “1983” to create the military stamps issued April 20, 1983. These stamps were valid for use during the maneuvers held from April 24 to April 30, 1983.

The Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the 1963 stamp (Scott M8) at $160 in mint never-hinged condition and $175 in used condition. The 1983 stamp (M9) is valued at $250 in mint never-hinged condition and $175 in used condition. All four catalog values are in italics due to the infrequency with which they are bought and sold in the market.

These stamps are not easy to find, but Scott M8 would be a good buy in mint never-hinged condition in the $80 to $110 price range and M9 in the $125 to $150 price range.

Used examples are probably best collected on cover to avoid questions of correct in-period use.

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