A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Sunday, February 13, 2011


1922 Scott 24 10p 1p rose "King Alfonso XII"
Quick History
La Aguera was an administrative district in Rio De Oro, a Spanish colony on the African northwest coast. The district had two stamp issues between 1920-1924 when it and Rio de Oro was incorporated into Spanish (Western) Sahara. Overall, this area was a territory of Spain between 1884 and 1975.

La Aguera was located on the very southwestern tip of Western Sahara. There were never more than 1,000 inhabitants of the settlement. La Aguera was abandoned to the sand in 2002.

1922 Scott 20 25c deep blue
"King Alfonso XIII"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has, for Aguera 1920-22, 26 major descriptive numbers. Of those, 18 are CV $1+-$2+. The stamps of Aguera are affordable for WW collectors, but there is a catch. One has to find them. ;-) They tend not to be found often in general WW collections, at least in the United States.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Centimos = 1 Peseta
1920 Scott 9 40c pink "King Alfonso XIII"
Type of 1920 Issue Rio de Oro, Overprinted
As Aguera was an administrative district of Rio de Oro on the northwest coast of Africa, it makes sense that the first issue for Aguera in 1920 used the stamps of the mother colony. The 13 stamp issue was overprinted as shown. It is a "type" of the Rio de Oro issue, however, as the denomination colors are different. There are control numbers in back printed in blue. CV for nine stamps is $2+. The CV is listed as identical for used and unused, although Scott admits that genuine used are not that common.

1920 Scott 6S 20c lilac, overprinted
Specimen Stamp
The 1920 issue ( and the 1922 issue as well) has minor numbers in Scott for specimen stamps. CV is higher, at least in the $8+ range. How does one tell that one has a specimen stamp?

Specimen stamp: "A000,000"
The control numbers on the back of specimen stamps have a "A000,000" number.

1922 Scott 15 2c dark green
"King Alfonso XIII"
In 1922, a new issue was produced for Aguera consisting of 13 stamps. Now, both Rio de Oro and La Aguera were under the rubric of "Sahara Occidental", or "Western Spanish Sahara". In fact, this was the last issue for Aguera proper; as by 1924, the stamp issues of "Western Spanish Sahara" were used.

1922 Scott 21 30c dark brown
The 1922 issue also has control  number printed in blue on the back. CV for 9 stamps is $1+.

Deep Blue
1922 Aguera issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has one page for the issues of Aguera, and naturally the spaces include all the major Scott numbers. The minor number "Specimen" stamps will either need to be put into the major number space, or a quadrilled page can be utilized.

1922 Scott 22 40c rose red 
"King Alfonso XIII"
The Big Blue Picture
The only issue depicted in Big Blue (1969) are the King Alfonso XIII issue of 1922 with 7 stamp spaces on one line of a page.
The 2011 Scott Complete Specialized Catalog 1840-1940 has 26 stamp descriptions.
Big Blue has 27% coverage.

More stamps could be added if one wanted to open the wallet a bit. The La Aguera overprinted 1920 issue of Rio de Oro offers 9 mint stamps ( Scott 1-9): each for $2+. The 1922 issue has Scott 21&22: each for $1+.

La Aguera, or La Guera, is located on the southwestern edge of Western Sahara
The Big Blue Checklist
Scott 14, 15,16,17,18,19,&20 ( $1+)

The Scott numbers are the same for the 1947 Standard catalogue.

1922 Scott 23 50c red violet
Kinds of Blue
The 1997 edition and the 1969 edition are identical.
Compared to the 1969 edition, both the 1947 edition and the 1941 "Junior" edition have the same coverage.

The Fort now abandoned, La Aguera lives on in stamp history
Bottom Blue Line
Nice little grouping. A few more stamps can be collected for not much- if you can find them. :-) Aguera is not often found in general collections.

If you want to continue to collect this area, go to the stamps of Spanish (Western) Sahara beginning in 1924.

Note: The map, and photograph image appear to be in the public domain.
Note: The "Into the Deep Blue" section and most of the scans were added February, 2014. The "Into the Deep Blue" section was published as a separate post September, 2014.

Aguera - Bud's Big Blue

Comments appreciated!


  1. Congratulations for this amazing blog. If you are interested in the stamps from Aguera, they are very easily find in Spain, contact any spanish dealer (most of them have web stores nowadays althou don't expect to find all their inventory of stamps there) and you'll get them at a price close to their cv.

  2. Yes, I will probably need to do that. Spanish colony stamps seem to not be very common in the U.S.