First Day Cover premium values over 10 years

Sri Lanka has been experiencing a difficult economic environment due to the effects of the dollar scarce and other financial downfalls. This has resulted in a devalue of the rupee.

How has this affected the philately ecosystem?

  • The Department of Posts had to increase all the postal fares on 1st August 2022 changing the minimum postage cost for a letter to Rs 50 (and registered post to Rs 110).
  • There will also be a further increase of this minimum cost from Rs 50 to Rs 100 in the coming days unfortunately.
  • The cost of paper has increased at least two-fold. This has resulted in philatelic stationary like bulletins, envelopes being more costly for the bureau to obtain.

Looking back over the years, we see how the simple Rs 10 stamp and the Rs 30 FDC existed which made it affordable for philatelists to collect mint items. Unfortunately, there is an unprecedented increase in prices of the collectable items of the bureau.

Below shown graph gives us an easy to grasp idea on how much of an unsteady path the collectable items are being priced. What would happen when the minimum postage cost Rs 100 is released? This would mean the minimum FDC would be Rs 200.

As it stands on 5th March 2024, a special cover is sold at Rs 200 (was Rs 150 previously).

Should the bureau look at printing less value stamps to counter the increase cost of the stationary? Instead of the Rs 50 stamp, maybe the bureau can still print Rs 10, Rs 15, Rs 25 stamps since these are mostly for philately enthusiasts in Sri Lanka and abroad.

If the argument is that foreign purchases would increase dollar coming into Sri Lanka, then unfortunately, a 4% revenue from foreign purchases hardly gives reason to keep these high values which affect 96% of the philatelists.

Dear Philatelic Bureau management, kindly think twice and hope the above will raise some concerns and allow enough time to pivot on the current plan and resort to a new one.

– Gihan Fernando, President of, collector, reseller.


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