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 30, 2015 08:04 PMIn the Editor’s Insights columns in the July 20 Linn’s Stamp News monthly and the Aug. 10 weekly Linn’s, I mentioned Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board without giving too much detail. Linn’s goal is to engage its audience both in print and online and to grow this audience. The role of the newly formed Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board is to assist us achieving these goals by keeping us focused on the needs of our audience and helping us adapt to today’s market. Read More ›
July 30, 2015 09:01 AMAs in previous years, Rarities Week, the series of sales conducted June 22-26 by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries in New York, included several name sales as well as an assortment of notable items from around the world. The week kicked off with something of a do-over: a sizable assortment of better United States stamps and covers that had appeared in four previous sales, but whose winning bidder then failed to pay for them. Read More ›
July 23, 2015 04:35 PMThe Tieton, Wash., post office is a simple 1935 cement block building with a slat wood facade. Townsfolk in the agricultural community of 1,200 in central Washington believe the post office could become a landmark, if only the United States Postal Service would allow them to cover the front with a stamp-like mosaic. Read More ›
July 23, 2015 03:11 PMThe American Philatelic Society will host the nation’s largest annual stamp exhibition Aug. 20-23. The show will take place at the DeVos Place Convention Center, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, Mich. Read More ›
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz discusses the largest souvenir card produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The card is one of three issued to honor the centenary of San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke discusses Canada’s recently recalled $1.20 Dinosaur Provincial Park stamps featuring inaccurately described Hoodoo rock formations.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman discusses the discovery of another pane of the intentionally created upright variety of the $2 Jenny Invert stamp.
Chad Snee discusses the recent sale of the glass locket containing the famed 1918 Jenny Invert airmail error stamp.
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.