United States — A fairly recent addition to the back-of-the-book section of the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers is the Colombia (SCADTA) consular overprints.
In 1920, the Sociedad Colombo-Alemana de Transportes Aereos (SCADTA), a private airline, was granted a monopoly for carrying Colombian airmail. The company also was allowed to produce its own stamps for prepayment of airmail fees.
To encourage foreign airmail to Colombia, these stamps were also sold abroad at Colombian consular offices and trade missions overprinted with one- or two-letter abbreviations to show in which country they were sold. Stamps sold in the United States were overprinted with the letters “E.U.” or “EU.” These stamps are listed under both Colombia and the United States with the same catalog numbers.
In addition to the overprinted stamps, in 1929, stamps for international airmail in two numeral designs in various colors were sold for their equivalent value in U.S. gold dollars. These are listed in the Scott U.S. specialized catalog after the “EU” overprinted stamps as airmail local stamps (Scott CLC68-CLC79). There is also a registered local airmail stamp (CLCF2).
Most U.S. collectors are unfamiliar with these stamps. Most of the stamps in the set are quite affordable, although the high-value 3-peso and 5-peso stamps are fairly expensive.
If you don’t intend to specialize in this area, and you just want representative examples of this set for your collection, the 5-centavo yellow-orange stamp and the 1-peso blue stamp (Scott CLC68 and CLC76, respectively) are good ones to look for. The 2014 Scott U.S. specialized catalog values them in unused original gum condition at $6.25 and $5.50, respectively, and they are good buys at those values.
A Linn’s editor did not find this week’s recommended stamps on ZillionsofStamps.com.
Tip of the week
Ethiopia — Boasting an ancient civilization and an early center of Christianity, Ethiopia is a mysterious and exotic African nation that has caught the imagination of a relatively small but extremely dedicated cadre of collectors in the United States and Europe.
On June 13, 1949, Ethiopia issued five Exposition semipostal stamps (Scott B6-B10). The stamps were produced by overprinting and surcharging stamps from the 1947 pictorial definitive set.
The 2014 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values this set in mint never-hinged condition at $66.50. I recently saw a set in unused lightly hinged condition sell in an online auction for nearly $120 against a starting price of $34.99.
I think this set is considerably undervalued. If you find it offered at anywhere near Scott standard catalog value, even in unused lightly hinged condition, it would be an excellent buy. — H.G.