World Stamps

Colombia issued its first special delivery stamp in 1917

Apr 3, 2024, 8 AM
The Colombia 1917 dark green Messenger special delivery stamp (Scott E1) has been in steady demand for more than 15 years.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Latin America has become one of the more popular and widely collected areas of the hobby. Colombia, which lies in northwestern South America, is a Latin American country in which many collectors are interested.

Colombia revolted against the Spanish Empire in 1810 and by 1819 had become independent from Spain as part of Gran Colombia, which also included Panama, Ecuador and Venezuela.

As part of the Granadine Confederation, Colombia issued its first stamps in 1859. It emerged from the confederation as the United States of Colombia in 1863.

In 1917, Colombia issued its first special delivery stamp (Scott E1). The design of the 5-centavo dark green stamp features one of the most laid-back special delivery messengers ever depicted. Despite the “Urgente” inscription above his head, the messenger looks as if he is about to head to the cantina for a cold beverage.

This stamp has been in steady demand for more than 15 years. We have previously tipped it in the Stamp Market Tips columns in the Oct. 19, 2009; May 20, 2013; and June 29, 2015, issues of Linn’s.

The Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 values the stamp at $60 in unused, hinged condition and $150 in used condition. Both values are in italics to indicate a scarcity of market information.

This stamp is a good buy at 75 percent to 90 percent of Scott catalog value in either condition.

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