Albania (Shqiptare) stamps

P=have O=don’t have it

Flag of Albania

Albania was part of the Ottoman Empire until 28 November 1912 when General Ferreo, in command of Italian troops declared Albania an independent country. Italian forces occupied the country from 1914 to 1920.  Albanian became a republic in 1925. In 1928 the country became a monarchy under King Zog I.  In March of 1939 Italy invaded Albania. Germany occupied Albania from September 1943 until late 1944. At the end of World War 2 it became an independent state headed by Enver Hoxha. The People's Socialist Republic was instituted in 1976 and was renamed Republic of Albania in 1991. Albanian postage stamps have been issued since 1913.

Albania is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west and on the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is less than 72 km (45 mi) from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto which links the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea.

sos albania 664  1963 sos albania 665  1963

Scott: #664P, #665P

Issued: 5.5.1963

50th Anniversary of Albanian Stamps

 Inside #664: Albania #U1 (Mi #1)O

#27 Inside #665: Albania #27O

25 years independence 9v Inside #665: Albania #273O

(Thanks to J. van Lin for the scan)

#646 Inside #665: Albania #646O


Scott: #1503P

Issued: 5.5.1973

60th Anniversary of Albanian Stamps

Scan not available Inside #1503: 1913 Stamp ???

Scott: #2344-6P

Issued: 6.5.1990

150th Anniversary, Penny Black

Inside #2344: Stamp under glass

Inside #label: Stamp on envelops

Inside #label: Stamp on envelop

Scott: #2346aO

Thanks to Lloyd Gilbert for the scan

Inside #2346a: Stamps on Envelopes, on Tab

Scott: #2662-4O

Issued: 6.10.2001

Dialogue among Civilizations

Inside #2662-4: Pseudo Stamp on Envelope

Thanks to Lloyd Gilbert


Scott: #2690O

Issued: 1.10.2002

50th Anniversary, International Dealer Association

%232471 Inside #2690: Albania #2471 (1995) modifiedO


Scott: #2707-8O

Issued: 12.5.2003

90th Anniversary, Stamps of Albania

 Inside #2707-8: Albania #U1 (Mi #1)O


Scott: #2854P

Issued: 30.6.2008

95th Anniversary, First Albanian Stamp

 Inside #2854: Albania #U1 (Mi #1)O

Scott: #2936O

Issued: 05.05.2013

100th Anniversary, First Albanian Stamp

sos albania Mi 1  1913 Inside #2936a: Albania #U1 (Mi #1)O

Thanks to Lou Guadagno

albania (2)

Scott: #????O

Issued: 09.08.2016

Balkanfila 2016 in Albania

sos albania 84  1919 Inside #????: Albania #84

sos albania Mi 1  1913 Inside #????: Albania #U1 (Mi #1)O

sos albania 2931  2012 Inside #????: Albania #2931

sos albania 469  1951 Inside #????: Albania #469

sos albania 2940a--from se tenant pair  2013 Inside #????: Albania #2940a

sos albania 35  1913 Inside #????: Albania #35

sos albania 664  1963 sos albania 665  1963 Inside #????: Albania #664-5P

albania fdc 8 9 16

Lou wrote: The designer played loose with some of his choices: the Mi 1, which was imprinted directly on envelopes, has been "cut to shape",  and glaringly, a cancelled #35 of 1913 has been laid on a modern striped border airmail envelope (note the partial cancel on the stamp is not continued onto the envelope). He also used only half of the  #2940 se-tenant pair, splitting the continuous design (note the half globe).

The "stamp" under the magnifier and the blue one near it are labels publicizing previous Balkanfila exhibitions in 2011 and 2014.

The designer did make this a SoSoS issue by reproducing the two SoS from 1963!

Thanks to Lou Guadagno


A story

Forgeries of the Double - Eagle Overprint On The First Issues of Albania


Stamp Issuers – Albania


Albania is a country located adjacent to Greece, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Kosovo, and across the Adriatic Sea from the heel of the boot of Italy. Its location has made it a prime spot for invasion and both World Wars have figured prominently in its history.

Initially, the land of Albania was once part of the Ottoman Empire. Following the collapse of that empire, Albania was able to achieve its independence in 1912. In 1920, a republic was formed, and following some periods of political instability, Ahmet Zogu was declared Prime Minister. After a constitutional change that converted the country to a monarchy, Zogu was crowned King Zog I, in 1928. He stayed on the throne for 11 years, until Italy invaded Albania during World War II. In 1943, Germany replaced Italian forces, and in 1944 the German occupiers withdrew. Forces aligned with the Communists took the reigns of power, and the People's Republic of Albania was declared in 1946. Thirty years later, in 1976, the country was renamed the Socialist Peoples Republic of Albania. For the last several years, the country has moved toward democracy, although the transition has been slow.

Albania Overprint

Two-headed Eagle

Through all of this political turmoil, the consequences for the people of Albania have been tremendous. The political, social and technological infrastructure of the country has deteriorated to such a point that Albania lags far behind most of Europe in terms of advancement. The Albanians will have to overcome years of corruption. All of these political periods are represented on the stamps of Albania and knowledge of these periods is helpful in determining the date of a given stamp.
Albanian Stamps

Note spelling variations in country name

If you've ever sorted through stamps and are used to native spellings being similar to their English translation, this country will throw you for a loop. The name Albania is an English name; the name of the country in its native language is "Shqipëria". The native name means "Land of the Eagles"; the national symbol for Albania is a two-headed eagle.

To add a little more confusion about the name, there have been many different spellings of the name to appear on the country's postage stamps. All of the names begin with the unique three-letter combination of "Shq" so that would be your tip off that the stamp you are examining is from Albania.

The Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalog recognizes nearly 3000 regular issue stamps as authentic. It seems that Albania turned on the printing presses and left them running, as this number is a tremendous amount of stamps for a country which has 3.5 million inhabitants. Like many Eastern European countries, Albania uses stamp issues as a means of raising much-needed money for their deteriorating infrastructure. To put the number of stamps in perspective, it took 53 years to reach the first 1000 stamps issued (1966) and only 15 years to reach the next 1000 (1981). The stamp issues have diminished as they have yet to reach the third 1000 stamp block in the 27 years since.

Fortunately, for collectors, the Back-of-the-Book stamps have not been anywhere nearly as prolific. Scott recognizes 40 semi-postal stamp issues, with the charity portion mainly going to health-related causes such as the Albanian Red Cross. A total of 81 Air Post stamps, 3 Special Delivery stamps, and 44 Postage Due stamps round out the Back-of-the-Book stamp issues.

It would be difficult for the average collector to complete this country. The early issues are in short supply, leading to high costs. The first 10 stamps, for example, issued in 1913, have a combined catalog value for over $3,000 US in used condition (mint is more), and stamp #11 catalogs for the same amount!


Wish List



Albania #U1 (Mi #1)O


Albania #27O

sos albania 35  1913 

Albania #35

sos albania 84  1919 

Albania #84

25 years independence 9v 

Albania #273O

sos albania 469  1951 

Albania #469


Albania #646

Albania #766

Albania #766 for North Korea


Scott: #1503O

Issued: 5.5.1973

Albania 1990 for Sierra Leone

Albania 1990 for Sierra Leone

Scott: #2346aO


Albania #2471 (1995)

Scott: #2662-4O

Issued: 6.10.2001


Scott: #2690O

Issued: 1.10.2002


Scott: #2707-8O

Issued: 12.5.2003

sos albania 2931  2012 

Albania #2931

sos albania 2940a--from se tenant pair  2013 

Albania #2940a


Scott: #2936O

Issued: 05.05.2013

albania (2)

Scott: #????O

Issued: 09.08.2016