The ½-penny stamps, popularly called newspaper stamps, were originally purchased to pay newspaper postage when the papers were mailed to the public. This denomination also charges for carriers' fees, soldiers' letters, and circulars. A Post Office circular dated 18th July, 1857, announced the price reduction of ½-penny stamps for sale at 5 per cent discount in purchases of not less than twenty stamps. These were also valid for prepaying postage on periodicals, drop or town letters. The portrait of Queen Victoria was from a contemporary postage stamp design of Great Britain.