World Stamps

Look for Guatemalan airmail with inverted overprint

Apr 15, 2020, 8 AM
The inverted overprint variety of the 1931 Guatemala 6-centavo Airplane and Mount Agua airmail stamp (Scott C14b) is in demand and a good buy at $10 to $12 in unused hinged condition and at $15 to $20 in mint never-hinged condition.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

The market for Latin American stamps is very active, and it can be said that the market for Latin American error varieties, even relatively common ones, is hot.

Wedged between Mexico, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador, the Central American country of Guatemala has a short coastline on the Caribbean Sea and a long Pacific coastline.

Guatemala issued its first postage stamps in 1871, and its first airmail stamps in 1929. It is one of the few countries that has issued more airmail stamps than it has regular postage stamps.

Guatemala has also issued a relatively large number of overprinted and surcharged stamps. Such stamps always give rise to the possibility of error varieties.

In 1931 Guatemala overprinted the 1929 6-centavo rose-red Airplane and Mount Agua airmail stamp (Scott C7) “Exterior - 1931,” thus producing the stamp listed as Scott C14.

An inverted overprint error variety exists (C14b). The 2020 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values it at $7 in both unused hinged condition and in used condition.

Although relatively common, this error variety is in strong demand and is a good buy at $10 to $12 in unused hinged condition. Stamps in mint never-hinged condition are a good buy at $15 to $20.

The stamp is also a coffee topical stamp as the inscription in English at the bottom of the design reads “Guatemala Produces the Best Coffee in the World.”

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