World Stamps

Tip of the week: Nevis' first stamp

May 3, 2021, 10 PM
The first stamp issued by Nevis, the 1861 1-penny lake Medicinal Spring (Scott 1), is a good buy at 2019 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values.

Tip of the Week — By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

A small Caribbean island in the Leeward Island chain of the West Indies, Nevis is one of two countries in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

As a British colony, Nevis had its own stamps from 1861 to 1903. From 1903 to 1956, it used Leeward Islands stamps, and from 1956 to 1980, it used St. Kitts-Nevis stamps.

Although still part of the federation, it began producing its own stamps again in 1980.

It takes a hardy soul to collect Nevis as a country because it has issued nearly 2,000 large, colorful topical stamps many with high face values, since 1980. However, the roughly 30 stamps issued from 1861 to 1883 are popular with British Empire and classic stamp collectors.

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As a volcanic island, Nevis enjoys readily available geothermal energy. The hot springs at the village of Bath have attracted tourists and health enthusiasts since the 18th century. The first stamps of Nevis show two women taking advantage of the therapeutic spring water.

The 2019 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the 1861 1-penny lake Medicinal Spring stamp (Scott 1) unused without gum at $325 and used at $140. This is not an easy stamp to find without faults and in the grade of very fine, and such examples usually sell for close to full Scott catalog value. The stamp is also popular with collectors of Scott No. 1 stamps of the world.