Mayotte - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Mayotte, an overseas department of France located in the Northern Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and Northeastern Mozambique has a total land area of 144 square miles and a population of around 194,000. Because of the volcanic rock, the soil is relatively rich in some areas. A coral reef encircling much of the island ensures protection for ships and a habitat for fish.

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Mayotte were a set of twenty stamps released between 1892 and 1907 which were Navigation and Commerce key types. The set (Scott #1 to #20) catalogs for around $415 mint and around $330 used. Mayotte was ceded to France in 1843. It is geographically part of the Comoros Islands. In 1976, it became the only island in the archipelago to have voted to retain links with France and forgo independence. Surcharge overprints on the first set were issued in 1912 and from that point on stamps of Madagascar, Comoro Islands, and France were successively used. Mayotte started issuing stamps again in 1975.

Other issues of Mayotte enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A set of stamps released on January 2, 1997 that were ‘Mayotte’ overprints on Marianne Type of France. The set (Scott #75 to #84) catalogs for around $15 MNH or used. As an overseas department, Mayotte sends one deputy to the French National Assembly and two senators to the French senate. Comoros continues to claim the island and a 1976 draft of theUN Security Council resolution was vetoed by France. The issue has not been discussed in the General Assembly since 1995.
  2. A stamp released on January 2, 1997 depicting the Ylang Ylang tree. The stamp (Scott #85) catalogs for around a dollar MNH or used. Ylang Ylang is a fast-growing tree of the custard-apple family valued for the oil derived from its flowers which are used in aromatherapy. Mayotte has an abundance of flora consisting of baobabs, tulip trees, wild orchids, etc. Ylang Ylang tree is very common as well especially in the fields by the Combani reservoir.
  3. A stamp issued on October 3, 1998 depicting a portrait of Mariama Salim. The stamp (Scott #108) catalogs for around a dollar MNH or used. The design shows her portrait using black lines placed on the face of a woman showing in white background using a single curvy line. Salim was a feminist activist who died in 1996. This was the first stamp that portrays a person. Woman are a popular theme among Mahoran stamp issues (Scott #90, #137, #141, #146, #187) and all are valued at a slight premium over regular issues from the same period.
  4. A set of two stamps issued on January 1, 2001 depicting a map of Mayotte. The set (Scott #144 to #145) catalogs for around $2 MNH or used. 
Numismatic Profile:

French currency is the legal tender in Mayotte.

Last Updated: 12/2015.

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