A popular Costa Rica issue celebrating Columbus
Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller
Latin America is the cultural realm of the Western Hemisphere in which one of the Romance languages (Spanish, Portuguese or French) is the predominant first language. This includes South America, Central America and some of the Caribbean.
Demand for stamps of Latin America has generally been strong for a number of years. Of course, there are always exceptions, and some countries and periods are stronger than others.
The Central American nation of Costa Rica is one of the countries in steady demand. Costa Rica issued its first postage stamps in 1863. In recent years, it has followed a moderate stamp-issuing policy. It is one of the few countries that has issued more airmail stamps than regular postage stamps.
In 1927, Costa Rica issued five postal tax stamps by overprinting “Renta Postales” on regular postage stamps. These postal tax stamps were used to pay the 10-centimo tax on books mailed through the postal system. The stamps were sold at post offices and affixed to any package containing books.
Look for the 10c-on-12c carmine rose Christopher Columbus postal tax stamp (Scott RA1E) issued Dec. 23, 1927. This stamp is also popular with world classic and Columbus topical collectors.
The Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 values the stamp in unused, hinged condition at $25. This stamp can be difficult to find. It is a good buy in unused hinged condition and very fine grade at up to full catalog value.
An example in mint, never-hinged condition brings about a $5 premium.
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