Sandford Fleming designed the first Canadian postage stamp, issued on April 23, 1851. He decided to break with tradition by proposing a stamp featuring an animal, rather than a monarch. The animal he chose was the beaver, which played a significant role in the fur trade.
That same year, two other postage stamps were produced for mail that was to be sent abroad. One was the Six Pence featuring Prince Albert, and the other, the Twelve Pence black bearing the image of Queen Victoria. The stamps were printed by Rawdon, Wright, Hatch and Edison until 1858. The security features integrated into their design and printing were identical to those used in the production of bank notes.
The face value of Canadian stamps was expressed in pence sterling until 1859, when the first cent issues appeared.
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