You may have asked yourself: Does this island nation even need postage stamps? How do postal services work here? If you've ever tried to send a letter or a parcel to the Maldives, you'll agree that these services are poorly developed here. Even sending a postcard from the Maldives can be an almost superhuman feat - you can buy a postcard, but you can only get a stamp for it from a vendor by chance, and they are perhaps only available in the capital Malé. Nevertheless, there is a post office in the Maldives and Maldivian stamps have been issued there since 1906!

The first Maldivian stamps issued in 1906 were the Ceylon stamps overprinted MALDIVES. The stamps depict King Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the British Empire and Emperor of India. These stamps were issued in six values. All stamps have line perforation size 14.

However, this first issue of stamps was only used to frank letters for Ceylon, and it was necessary to use Ceylon stamps in international dealings.



The motif of the minaret of the Juma Mosque appears on stamps from 1909 until the 1950s.

This mosque is located in the city of Khiva in Uzbekistan. It was built at the beginning of the 18th century and has an unusual simple structure, as the builders wanted to preserve the original form of the mosque built in the 10th century. The whole complex, which includes the minaret depicted on the stamps, is a kind of museum of the preserved 10th-18th century architecture.

Why the Maldives found inspiration in Uzbekistan  when they could undoubtedly have used local motifs, we do not know.

The stamps were issued in various colours and values and always had a perforation 14 or 15×14.


Since 1950 the inscription MALDIVE ISLANDS appears on the stamps; since 1970 REPUBLIC OF MALDIVES or REPUBLIC OF THE MALDIVE ISLANDS


Nature and local motifs also appear on Maldivian stamps.

The stamps are mainly of a pictorial or symbolic character, of a heterogeneous artistic conception, produced by various foreign printers.

Local motifs typical of stamps from 1964 include depictions of the beauty of the islands, local buildings and agricultural products, and motifs celebrating this island country’s independence.


The lagoon beach stamp series were issued on the stamp in 1950


Local Motives –  stamps issued in 1956



Local Motives –  stamps issued in 1961



Some stamps were issued on the occasion of special events

Olympic games in 1960


The 55th Anniversary of First Maldivian Stamp in 1961


1962 The 9th Anniversary of Enthronement of Sultan Mohamed Farid Didi



However, most of the Maldivian stamps depict Maldivian fauna and flora

Here, for example, are stamps from 1966 dedicated to fauna and flora


Later, more commercially oriented motifs, including fauna unrelated to the Maldives, appeared on stamps to an increased extent. Since the 1990s, the prevalence of comic themes has been dominant. This period is characterised by the issuance of many sheets with a purely commercial intent, i.e. most stamps are not issued to be affixed to a letter or postcard but for philatelists.


There are three postage stamps  from the author´s collection

Stamp issued in 1974 for the 500th anniversary of the birth of Nicolaus Copernicus

Source:  author´s collection


This stamp was  issued in 1974 for the 100th anniversary of the World Meteorological Organization

Source:  author´s collection


This stamp is not traceable in the catalogue and was probably issued between 2021 and 2023. It depicted Manta Ray and was purchased in a souvenir shop on Thoddoo Island.

Source:  author´s collection


Something about author:

Milan Bartoš,  author of this article is an amateur philatelist who has been involved in his hobby since childhood. His collections include very unique old Czechoslovak stamps from the first years after the establishment of Czechoslovakia, which he inherited from his ancestors. He also has a rather large collection of stamps with various motifs from all over the world, especially from the 1970s and 1980s.

As he is a big fan of the Maldives and visits the island of Thoddoo regularly, he offered to prepare an article about Maldivian stamps for our website. As he himself owns only three such stamps, he also used information and pictures from an online philatelic catalogue.

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You may have asked yourself: Does this island nation even need postage stamps? How do postal services work here? If you’ve ever tried to send a letter or a parcel