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.
October 09, 2015 02:00 PMLinn’s managing editor Charles Snee reported the recovery of a block of three of the 1845 5¢ New York postmaster’s provisional stamp, once part of a block of 10 that was stolen from the Benjamin K. Miller collection in 1977. Read More ›
blogThis month marks my fifth anniversary writing the monthly auction report for Linn’s Stamp News. That’s 60 columns, totaling more than 100,000 words (enough for a decent-sized novel), all about our favorite hobby. Read More ›
blogWhen this cover was listed on eBay in mid-September, it didn't take long for some knowledgeable collectors to recognize this piece of postal history for the gem that it is: an early trans-oceanic survey cover for a Pacific route that included Midway Island, which would become famous as the location of a pivotal 1942 naval battle during World War II. Read More ›
blogIn mid-September I traveled to London, England, to attend Autumn Stampex, one of two British national stamp shows sponsored by the Philatelic Traders’ Society, Great Britain’s national stamp dealers association. The show took place Sept. 16-19 at the Business Design Centre in Islington (central north London), a comfortable and attractive venue for a stamp show. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses current events that relate to the stamp hobby, including the relocation of a stamp show in Sweden due to the Syrian refugee crises, and new stamps honoring Pope Francis and the British monarchy.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke talks about a record fifth win for wildlife artist Joseph Hautman in the federal duck stamp art contest, and see the painting that will appear on next year’s federal duck stamp
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz questions Bolivia’s choice for the design of a 2013 stamp honoring the country’s efforts to protect its migrants in foreign lands.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses the discovery of the upright Jenny Invert pane received in an order from Stamp Fulfillment Services in Kansas City, Mo., and also reports on the Confederate Stamp Alliance.
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.