World Stamps

Azores 1898 Vasco da Gama set of eight a good buy

Oct 28, 2020, 9 AM
The 1898 Azores Vasco da Gama set of eight (Scott 93-100) is a good buy in unused original gum condition at around $90.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

The Azores Islands are a volcanic archipelago of nine major islands and some smaller islets in the mid-Atlantic Ocean 850 miles west of coastal Portugal and 1,850 miles east-southeast of Newfoundland.

They were uninhabited when first discovered by Europeans sometime in the early 15th century. The first colonists arrived from Portugal in 1436 along with domestic animals for subsistence. There were no large animals native to the islands. Today the Azores Islands are an autonomous region of Portugal.

Stamps for the Azores were issued from 1868 to 1931. These stamps are listed under Azores in the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. Stamps of Portugal replaced Azores stamps in 1931. Stamps inscribed “Portugal Acores” were produced beginning in 1980. These stamps are sold and are valid throughout Portugal, and they are listed under Portugal – Azores in the Scott Standard catalog.

In 1898, Portugal and Colonies produced an omnibus issue of eight stamps with common design types for the 400th anniversary of the first voyage of Europeans to India led by Vasco da Gama. Sets were issued by Portugal, Azores, Macao, Madeira, Portuguese Africa, Portuguese Congo, Portuguese India, St. Thomas and Prince Islands, and Timor. The stamps’ designs feature historic, heroic, and allegorical scenes.

The Scott Standard catalog values the set of eight from the Azores (Scott 93-100) at $113.50 in unused original gum condition. The Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 values the set in mint never-hinged condition at $180.

The set is a good buy in unused original gum condition at around $90 and in mint never-hinged condition at up to full catalog value for stamps in true very fine grade. To get all the stamps in very fine condition, you will likely have to buy the higher face value stamps one at a time, because most sets on offer include stamps that are not well centered.

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