World Post Day is celebrated each year on 9 October, the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in the Swiss capitol of Bern.
Postal systems have been in operation for many centuries. From earliest history, people sent letters to each other. They were delivered on foot or on horseback by special messengers.
From the 1600s the first national postage systems began springing up in many countries. These were more organized and many people could use them. Slowly countries agreed to exchange mail internationally.
By the late 1800s there was a global postal service, but it was slow and complicated. The birth of the UPU in 1874 opened the way for the efficient postal service in existence today. In 1948, the UPU become an agency of the United Nations.
The British Guiana 1c Magenta is the world’s most famous and rare stamp. It was issued by the government of the United Kingdom and is the only major postage stamp that is not represented in Britain’s Royal Philatelic Collection.
It was purchased in 2014 by the shoe designer Stuart Weitzman for 9.48 million dollars.