Guam was a Spanish possession until 1898 when it was ceded to the United States under the Treaty of Paris following the Spanish-American War. It has a total land area of 209 square miles and a population of 178,000. It is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands located south of Japan and east of the Philippine Sea. Guam is a popular Japanese tourist destination and hosts over one million tourists a year. The Spiral-bound book ‘Field Guide to Caves and Karst of Guam’ by Danko Taborosi is an excellent companion for outdoor enthusiasts planning to visit the island.
Guam used United States stamps overprinted with ‘Guam’ during the period from July 7, 1899 to March 29, 1901while the post office was under the jurisdiction of the naval department. Regular United States stamps were supplied to Guam from that date onwards although the overprints continued to be used for a few more years. The first stamps of Guam were ‘Guam’ overprints from the Great Men sets of the US from the turn of the century. The set (Scott #1 to #12) is extremely valuable cataloging for around $1.5K for Mint and around $1.9K for Used. Other stamps of Guam include a special delivery stamp of the United States diagonally inscribed ‘Guam’ in Red (Scott #E1), several stamps with ‘Guam Guard Mail’ inscriptions from the 1930s introduced for the conveyance of mail between Agana and small towns which was discontinued in 1931, and certain specimen varieties. Most of the issues are valuable although counterfeits are known to exist.
Guam uses the currency of the United States – Guam territorial quarters from 2009 are a popular item.