World Stamps

Tip of the week: 1912-1914 Bosnia and Herzegovina

May 4, 2021, 2 AM
The 1912-1914 Bosnia and Herzegovina set of 21 Emperor Franz Josef stamps (Scott 65-85) is a key set for the country and popular with many classic stamp collectors.

Tip of the Week — By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Among our favorite classic stamps are those issued for Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Habsburg Empire from 1879 to 1918.

A Balkan province of the Ottoman Empire from 1463, it was inhabited by Bosniaks (Slavic Muslims), Croats and Serbs. In 1878, Austria-Hungary occupied and administered Bosnia and Herzegovina, although technically it remained a province of “the Sick Man of Europe.”

In 1908, Austria-Hungary annexed the territory outright, providing the spark which lit the fuse that would explode into World War I.

From 1912 to 1914, Bosnia and Herzegovina issued a set of 21 definitive stamps, the designs of which showed various portraits of the Emperor Franz Josef (Scott 65-85). This is a key set for the country.

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The 2019 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the set at $152.95 in unused hinged condition. The set is worth full Scott catalog value if it is truly lightly hinged without multiple hinge remnants or badly disturbed gum.

A set in mint never-hinged condition is a good buy in the $300 to $375 price range. The Scott catalog value for a used set is $176.80. There is much less demand for used sets, and one would be a good buy in the $100 to $140 price range.