SMOM SOVEREIGN MILITARY ORDER OF MALTA
The Magisterial Posts of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) have been issuing their own stamps denominated in scudi, tari and grani since 1966. Italian stamp collectors showed interest in the SMOM stamps especially after Italy’s major stamp catalogue, Sassone, began listing them in the late 1960s. Since then other Italian and European stamp catalogues started to list SMOM stamps. Some 450 sets have been issued so far focusing mainly on the history of the SMOM, religion, arts and humanitarian endeavours of the Order. The Order uses proceeds from stamps sales to finance some of its worldwide humanitarian programs. The SMOM has two post offices at its quarters in Rome. The old currency consisted of 1 scudo=12 tari=240 grani. Then in 2005 SMOM started to issue stamps denominated in Euros; this was in compliance with postal agreements signed with Italy. Contrary to misinformation circulating on the internet and elsewhere SMOM stamps have postal validity in many countries “they are not cinderellas, they are postage stamps. Postal arrangements with SMOM have been signed by: Albania, Argentina, Austria, Belarus, Benin, Canada, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Hungary, Italy, Nicaragua, Panama, San Marino, the Vatican, and Uruguay, to name a few. Some catalogues elected not to list SMOM stamps and that is simply due to their unilateral, misinformed and myopic policies that in the long run will prove detrimental to their publishers. Collectors will simply use catalogues that publish information they need. Interestingly enough, the very same catalogues that do not list SMOM stamps list labels” that never had postal validity because they were not issued as postage stamp.
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