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Luxembourg Stamps

Definitives of 1852-1881

The first definitive Luxembourg stamps appeared in late 1852.  The  country name did not appear on the postage stamps until 1858.  Before then, all the postage stamps were inscribed with only "POSTES" (English: "POSTAGE") and the denomination.

The denominations of the first stamps of Luxembourg were expressed in either Centimes (Belgian currency) or Silbergroschen (Prussian currency).  Since then, all stamp denominations have been expressed in Centimes and Francs (Luxembourg currency).



The two definitive Luxembourg stamps shown above were issued between 1852 and 1855.  These new stamps were engraved in Luxembourg on paper with a double-lined "W" watermark, and they are imperforate.

The common design features the left-facing profile of William III as the Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

The Scott catalog lists the 1 Silbergroschen denomination as two different stamps, though they are actually different printings of the same stamp.

The catalog attributes are as follows:

  • 10 Centimes  (1852 - Sc. #1) - Gray Black, Greenish Black, Intense Black.
  • 01 Silbergroschen  (1853 - Sc. #2) - Red, Brick Red, Blood Red, Orange Red.
  • 01 Silbergroschen  (1855 - Sc. #3) - Rose, Carmine Rose, Dark Carmine Rose.

Reprints exist of both of these denominations.  They are very difficult to distinguish, so the collector should be very careful, when buying mint, unauthenticated examples of these stamps.



The ten definitive Luxembourg stamps shown above were issued between 1859 and 1874.  These new stamps were typographed in Frankfurt (with one exception) on unwatermarked paper, and they are imperforate.

The common design features the Luxembourg Coat-of-Arms.  This common design would remain in use until 1882, though the stamps themselves would go through many printing and production changes during that time.

The catalog attributes are as follows:

  • 01 C.  (1863 - Sc. #4) - Buff.
  • 02 C.  (1860 - Sc. #5) - Black.
  • 04 C.  (1864 - Frankfurt Printing - Sc. #6) - Yellow.
  • 04 C.  (1874 - Luxembourg Printing - Sc. #27) - Green.
  • 10 C.  (1859 - Sc. #7) - Blue.
  • 12 1/2 C.  (1859 - Sc. #8) - Rose.
  • 25 C.  (1859 - Sc. #9) - Brown.
  • 30 C.  (1859 - Sc. #10) - Rose Lilac.
  • 37 1/2 C.  (1859 - Sc. #11) - Green.
  • 40 C.  (1859 - Sc. #12) - Red Orange.



The four Coat-of-Arms type definitive Luxembourg stamps shown above were issued between 1865 and 1871.  These new stamps were typographed in Frankfurt on unwatermarked paper, and they are rouletted.

The catalog attributes are as follows:

  • 01 C.  (1865 - Sc. #13) - Red Brown.
  • 02 C.  (1867 - Sc. #14) - Black.
  • 04 C.  (1867 - Sc. #15) - Yellow.
  • 04 C.  (1871 - Sc. #16) - Green.



The eleven Coat-of-Arms type definitive Luxembourg stamps shown above were issued between 1865 and 1874.  These new stamps were typographed in Frankfurt on unwatermarked paper, and they have colored rouletting.

The catalog attributes are as follows:

  • 01 C.  (1872 - Sc. #17) - Red Brown.
  • 01 C.  (1867 - Sc. #18) - Brown Orange, Red Orange, Orange.
  • 10 C.  (1865 - Sc. #19) - Rose Lilac, Lilac, Gray Lilac.
  • 12 1/2 C.  (1871 - Sc. #20) - Carmine, Rose.
  • 20 C.  (1869 - Sc. #21) - Yellow Brown, Gray Brown.
  • 25 C.  (1872 - Sc. #22) - Blue.
  • 25 C.  (1865 - Sc. #22A) - Ultramarine.
  • 30 C.  (1865 - Sc. #23) - Lilac Rose.
  • 37 1/2 C.  (1866 - Sc. #24) - Bister.
  • 40 C.  (1874 - Sc. #15) - Pale Orange.
  • 01 F. on 37 1/2 C.  (1873 - Sc. #26) - Bister.



The eleven Coat-of-Arms type definitive Luxembourg stamps shown above were issued between 1875 and 1879.  These new stamps were typographed in Frankfurt on unwatermarked paper, and they are perforated 13.

On the Frankfurt printings of the perforated stamps, the margins between the stamp design and the perforations are small.  This aspect can best be seen in the vertical margins.

The catalog attributes are as follows:

  • 01 C.  (1878 - Sc. #29) - Red Brown.
  • 02 C.  (1875 - Sc. #30) - Black.
  • 04 C.  (1875 - Sc. #31) - Green.
  • 05 C.  (1876 - Sc. #32) - Yellow.
  • 10 C.  (1875 - Sc. #33) - Gray Lilac, Lilac.
  • 12 1/2 C.  (1877 - Sc. #34) - Lilac Rose.
  • 12 1/2 C.  (1876 - Sc. #35) - Carmine Rose.
  • 25 C.  (1877 - Sc. #36) - Blue.
  • 30 C.  (1878 - Sc. #37) - Dull Rose.
  • 40 C.  (1879 - Sc. #38) - Orange.
  • 01 F. on 37 1/2 C.  (1879 - Sc. #39) - Bister.

The 1 F. denomination exists without the printed revaluation overprint, both imperforate and perforated.  It also exists with the error "Pranc" (shown above) instead of "Franc"

The imperforate 5 C. and 10 C. denomination stamps are considered essays.



The eight Coat-of-Arms type definitive Luxembourg stamps shown above were issued between 1880 and 1881.  These new stamps were typographed in Haarlem on unwatermarked paper, and they are perforated 11 1/2 x 12, 12 1/2 x 12, or 13 1/2.

On the Haarlem printings of the perforated stamps, the margins between the stamp design and the perforations are wider.  This aspect can best be seen in the vertical margins.

The catalog attributes are as follows:

  • 01 C.  (1881 - Sc. #40) - Yellow Brown.
  • 02 C.  (1880 - Sc. #41) - Black.
  • 05 C.  (1881 - Sc. #42) - Yellow.
  • 10 C.  (1880 - Sc. #43) - Gray Lilac.
  • 12 1/2 C.  (1881 - Sc. #44) - Rose.
  • 20 C.  (1881 - Sc. #45) - Gray Brown.
  • 25 C.  (1880 - Sc. #46) - Blue.
  • 30 C.  (1881 - Sc. #47) - Dull Rose.

The 5 C., 10 C., 12 1/2 C., and 25 C. denominations, printed on gray yellowish paper and perforated 12 1/2, were not regularly issued.

Forgeries of all the Coat-of-Arms type stamps exist.  The collector should be very careful, when buying higher-priced, unauthenticated examples of these stamps.




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William III  (c. 1856)
King of the Netherlands
Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Painting by:  Nicolaas Pieneman

William Alexander Paul Frederick Louis of the (Dutch) House of  Orange-Nassau (1817-1890) was the King of the Netherlands and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg from 1849 to 1890.

On November 23, 1890, King William III of the Netherlands died.  He outlived his two sons, by his first marriage, and his only remaining heir, from his second marriage, was his 10-year-old daughter, Princess Wilhelmina.  She then ascended to the throne of the Netherlands as Queen Wilhelmina.

There was a problem with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg succession though.  Under Luxembourg law, at that time, women were forbidden from ascending to the throne of Luxembourg.  The vacant throne was passed to the 73 year old Grand Duke Adolph of the (German) House of Nassau-Weilburg, King William's 17th Cousin.

Grand Duke Adolph's descendants, from the House of Nassau-Weilburg still rule Luxembourg to this day.