The Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific had its first stamps in 1886. They depicted King George I of Tonga whose portrait also adorned later issues. From 1897 to 1944 the name of the country on the local stamps was TOGA. The first self-adhesive stamps in the world were issued by Tonga in 1963, some 11 years before the United States began to experiment with that type of stamps. Some of these innovative Tongan stamps were printed on embossed gilt foil cut in round shapes to imitate and commemorate the first coinage of Polynesia. As a result, Tonga was the first country to issue round shape stamps.
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