Nicaragua — Nicaragua straddles the Central American Isthmus south of Honduras and north of Costa Rica. One of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere, it has hardly had a happy moment since gaining independence from Spain in 1821.
Nearly continuous factional fighting led to an invasion by American filibusterers in the 19th century. In 1909, the United States Marines landed and remained until 1933, battling nationalist guerillas.
Following in the wake of the Marines came the despotic Somoza dictatorship, from 1927 to 1979. The revolutionaries who overthrew the Somozas split into Marxist Sandinista and nationalist Contra factions. The Sandinistas seized control, with the Contras launching a civil war against them with U.S. backing. The current president is Daniel Ortega of the Sandinista National Liberation Front.
Also, Nicaragua is in an active volcanic zone and situated on the boundary between two crustal plates, leading to fairly frequent and devastating earthquakes.
Its problems notwithstanding, there is an active market for Nicaraguan stamps. I think the 1940 1.25-cordoba Statue of Liberty airmail stamp (Scott C253) is one of the most beautifully engraved stamps of all time.
The stamp was issued to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Pan American Union. The 2014 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the stamp at just 65¢ in unused hinged condition. In 1961, the stamp was overprinted “Convencion-Filatelica-Centro-America-Panama-San Salvador-27 Julio 1961” (Scott C493). This airmail stamp has a Scott catalog value of just 40¢ in mint never-hinged condition. If you have a bit more money to spend, there is an inverted overprint variety (C493a) with a Scott catalog value of $75 in mint never-hinged condition.
With several appealing elements in the design, including the Nicaraguan coastline, an airplane, the flags of the American republics, and a portrait of Leo S. Rowe, the Iowa-born director-general of the Pan American Union, these stamps are of interest to topical collectors, and many U.S. collectors will enjoy owning them.
A Linn’s editor found this week’s recommended stamps on ZillionsOfStamps.com at the following prices:
Nicaragua, C253 — $1, mint never-hinged, very fine; C493, C493a — not found;
United States, 4766-4769, 4770-4773 — $5-$7, plate number strips of five.
Tip of the week
United States — The recent U.S. Flags for All Seasons definitive stamps were produced by several different printers in a variety of formats. Recently, the U.S. Postal Service took the coil versions produced by Avery Dennison (Scott 4766-4769) and Ashton Potter (4770-4773) off sale without advance notice.
Dealers are already looking for these varieties in quantity. They are not paying more than face value at present, but look for these versions to go up in value.
I think you might still be able to find these in stock at your local post office. Ask the postal clerks if you can examine the sealed coil rolls. The stamps produced by Avery Dennison are labeled “AD” on the leader strip, and the Ashton Potter stamps are identified as “APU.” Good hunting. — H.G.
July 03, 2015 05:03 PMRegency Superior held a sale June 3-7 in conjunction with the Napex stamp show in McLean, Va. The sale included space memorabilia and autographs, as well as stamps and postal history. In common with other such sales, however, there were some crossover items that covered multiple categories. Read More ›
July 01, 2015 10:28 AMIn the Spotlight on Philately column this month, Ken Lawrence presents a lengthy and fascinating history of the United States 30¢ orange Benjamin Franklin stamp of 1917 with gauge 10 perforations on unwatermarked paper. Read More ›
June 30, 2015 05:14 PMSince the abhorrent murder of nine African-American churchgoers by a white supremacist in Charleston, S.C. on June 17, calls have spread across the United States for symbols of the old Confederacy to be removed from public places. Read More ›
June 25, 2015 03:34 PMThe hardcover edition of the 2015 United States Postal Card Catalog arrived on my desk in mid-June. The catalog is published by the United Postal Stationery Society, of which I am a longtime member. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman discusses the announcement that Scott catalogs is assigning Scott number 5000 for United States stamps.
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz discusses a new Spanish stamp commemorating the first international congress on bullfighting as cultural heritage.
Chad Snee reports on the National Postal Museum reception for the display of the British Guiana 1¢ Magenta stamp.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke reports on the recent U.S. postage rate changes and the 10 new stamps being issued this week.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.