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. Interested? So into the Blues...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Costa Rica

1863 Scott 1 1/2r blue & Scott 2 2r scarlet "Coat of Arms"
Quick History
Costa Rica is between Nicaragua and Panama in Central America. The Capital is San Jose, and the population was 700,000 in 1944. In 1838, Costa Rica declared itself sovereign over the loosely developed Federal Republic of South America based in Guatemala, and since then has been reluctant to affiliate itself strongly with other Central American nations. The first stamp in 1863 featured the National Coat of Arms.

"Rich Coast" History: The country has enjoyed a long period of democracy, and the army was constitutionally abolished in 1949.

1889 Scott 28 10c red brown "President Soto Alfaro"
Note the prominent detailed frame popular with Latin American designs
Big Blue Picture
Big Blue '97, on eight pages, has 154 stamp spaces. The 2011 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue has 384 major stamp descriptions. Coverage by Big Blue is 40%.

A few pithy comments....
1) WYSIWYG. The stamps of Costa Rica are very straightforward. Generally should not be a problem with identification.

2) Big Blue per usual does not have many overprinted/surcharged stamp issues represented: Of the 103 additional stamps that could be picked up (<$1-$2+), 65 of them are overprinted/surcharged.

3) There is a HUGE cache of Official stamps (overprinted "Oficial") from 1886-1936 -57 stamps! @ <$1-$1+.

4) The Province of Guanacaste -which had overprinted stamps from 1885-1889- is not represented in Big Blue. But I found 19 stamps within the inexpensive category of $1+-$2+.

Now here is the breakdown of the additionals....

Additionals.... (103 stamps(<$1-$2+) + 59 Official stamps(<$1-$1+) + 19 Guanacaste Province overprinted stamps($1+-$2+) = 181 stamps!

1881 surcharged
7,9,($2+)

1883 General Prospero Fernandez
20($2+)

1889 Black O.P.
23,24,($2+)

1892 "Arms of Costa Rica"
42,43,($1+)

1901-05 Pictorials and Portraits
52,53,54,($2+)

1907 Portraits
61($2+)

1911 Telegraph stamps surcharged in colors (R),(BK), or (Bl)
89,90,91,92,93($1+),96,97,98,99,(<$1 eN)

1921
105,106,107,($1+-$2+)

1922-23 overprinted
111C,111D,111E,111F,111G,111H,111J,(<$1)

1923 Jesus Jimenez
115(<$1)

1923 Pictorials
123,124($2+),125,126(<$2+),127,(<$1 eN)

1924 province of Guanacaste annexation Centenary
133,134,135,(<$1-$1+)

1925 (stamps of 1923 surcharged)
136,137,138,139,(<$1)

1926 surcharged
140(<$1)

1928 surcharged
147($2+)

1928 surcharged
148(<$1)

1929 surcharge (5 types)
149 (<$1-$2+))

1929 Telegraph stamp surcharge
150(<$1)

1930 dated "1929"
151,155,156,(<$1)

1940 surcharge
190,190A,190B,190C,190D,(<$1)

1940 overprinted
191,192,193,194($1+),195($2+), (<$1 eN)


Postage Due
1903
J1,J2,J3,J4,J5,J6,J7, ($1+-$2+)

1915
J13(<$1)

Air Post
1930-32
C5(<$1)

1930 Surcharged
C2,C6,C7,C8,C9,C10,(<$1-$1+)

1937
C22,C23,C24,C25,(<$1)
C26($2+)

1940
C39,C40,C41,C42,C43,C44,(<$1)

1940 overprinted
C46,C47,C48,C49,C50,(<$1)
C51($2+)

Air Post Official Stamps
1934 overprinted "Oficial"
CO1,CO2,CO3,CO4,CO5,CO6,CO7,CO8,CO9,(<$1)
CO10,CO11,($1+-$2+)

Official Stamps
1926-37 (series is in BB)
O84,O85,O86,O87,O88,O89,O92,(<$1)

49! more Official stamps (<$1-$1+)
1886-1936
O8,O9,O12,O13,O18,O19,O23,O24,O25,O26,O27,O28,O29,O30,O31,O33,O34,O35,O36,O37,O38,O39,O40,O41,O45,O46,O48,O49,O50,O51,O52,O53,O54,O55,O56,O57,O58,O59,O60,O61,O62,O63,O65,O66,O67,O68,O69,O80,O81,

Guanacaste, a Province of Costa Rica
Located on the north-west coast of South America, the Capital was Guanacaste, later Liberia, and the population was 70,000. Residents could buy Costa Rican stamps (overprinted "Guanacaste") at a discount to be used in the Province only. There are 67 major stamp descriptions in the catalogue for Guanacaste between the years 1884-1889. Big Blue has no representation. The stamps can be expensive, but I found 19 stamps at a cost of $1+-$2+.
1885-89 Stamps of Cosa Rica overprinted "Guanacaste"
1,2,4,5,42,43,44,45,55,56,57,58,59,60,61,64,65,66,67,($1+-$2+)




1911 Scott 96 2c on 1col brown (Bk)
Telegraph stamps were surcharged for postal use
Note the cancellation: This might be a 1914 government "remainder"
Big Blue Checklist
1963 "Coat of Arms"
1,2,(<$1-$1+)

1883 General Prospero Fernandez
16,17,18,($1+)

1887 President Bernardo Soto Alfaro
21,22,(<$1-$2+)

1889 President Soto Alfaro
25,26,27,28,29,30($1+),31($1+),(<$1 eN)
eN=except noted.

1892 "Arms of Costa Rica"
35,36,37,38,39,40($2+),41($1+), (<$1 eN)

Note: In 1914, the regular stamps between 1901-1911 (& 1903 Postage Due, 1901-03 Officials) were sold by the government as remainders cancelled with thin parallel bars. For higher valued stamps, they sell for less.

1901-05 Pictorials and Portraits
45,46,48,50($1+),51($2+),(<$1 eN)
47,49,58,(<$1)

1903 Portraits
55,56,57,(<$1)

1907 Portraits
59,60,62,63,64($5+),65($2+),(<$1 eN)

1921 Simon Bolivar
110(<$1)

1910 Portraits
69,70,71,72,73,74,75($1+),76,(<$1 eN)

1911 Telegraph stamps surcharged in colors (R),(BK), or (Bl)
86(R) or 87(BK)($80+), 88,100,95,(<$1 eN)
Blank space: suggest 96 (<$1)

1924 Small!
128(<$1)

1911 (Stamps of 1903-07 with various overprints of "`1911")
77($1+)
78($1+) or 79 or 80,(<$1 eN)
 82 or 83($1+) or 84,($10+), (<$1 eN)
Two blank spaces: suggest choices above not taken or 81(<$1).

1921
103($2+)

1921
104(<$1)

1922
111(<$1)

1923 Jesus Jimenez
112,113,114,116, (<$1)

1923 Pictorials
117,118,119,120,(<$1)
Blank space: suggest 122(<$1)

1924 province of Guanacaste annexation Centenary
129,130,131,(<$1)
Blank space: suggest 132(<$1)

1926
143(<$1)

1927
144,145,146($1+),(<$1 eN)

1932-37 (Triangular stamps)
158,159,160,(<$1)
161,179,180,(<$1)
181,182,(<$1)

1931
157(<$1)

1934-35
162,163,164,165,166,(<$1)

1935-36
167,168,(<$1)

(map of Cocos Island)
169,170,171,(<$1)
172,173,(<$1)
Blank space: suggest 174(<$1)

1936-37
187,177,178,188,(<$1)
184,186,185,(<$1)

1938 overprinted "1938"
189(<$1)

Semi-Postal stamps
1922
B1(<$1)

1924
B2($1+) or B5($1+), B4($20+) or B7($2+), B3($1+) or B6($1+)
Note: B2-B4 Imperf; B5-B7 Perf 12.

Postage Due
1915
J9,J10,(<$1)
Two blank spaces: suggest J11,J12,(<$1)

Air Post
1926
C1(<$1)

1930-32
C4(<$1)
Blank space: suggest C3(<$1)
C14(<$1)

1934
C15(<$1)

1934
C16,C17,C18,C19,(<$1)

1934 (continued)
C20,C21,(<$1)

1940 surcharged
C55,C56,($1+-<$1)

1937
C28,C29,C30,(<$1)
C35,C31,C36,C32,(<$1)
C37,C33,C38($1+),C34($2+),(<$1 eN)
Note: 1937 C31-C34 unwmk; 1938 C35-C38 wmk 229

Official Stamps
1926-37
O70 or O82,O71,O72,O73,O74,O75,O76,(<$1)
O77,O78,O90,O91,(<$1)
Three blank spaces: suggest O79,O82,O83,(<$1)
Note Scott O70-O79 is 1926 issue; Scott O82-O94 is 1937 issue.
Note: Pay attention to designated color as O83-O89 are ruled out except perhaps for the three blank spaces.

1923 Scott 19 4c deep green "Banana Growing"
Kinds of Blue
The "97 and '69 editions are identical in content.
The '47 and '41 editions are identical to the '97 and '69 EXCEPT the '47 and '41 editions have for the 1926-37 Official stamps ONLY SEVEN spaces (one illustrated and 6 blank), while the '69 and '97 editions have FOURTEEN spaces (one illustrated,10 descriptive, and 3 blank). This would effectively eliminate O77,O78,O90,O91,O79,O82,O83 (or another combination).

1937 C29 2c brown "Airplane over Poas Volcano"
Triangular & Parallelogram shapes are found among 1930's stamps of Costa Rica

Big Blue Bottom Line
There is a lot to admire about Costa Rica: the freedom and democracy AND the stamps. :-)

If you enjoyed this post, or have some information to share, or have some constructive criticism, please share your thoughts and reactions in the "comment" section. I've recently changed the settings, so any reader should be able to post. Thanks!

Note: You will need to consult a Scott catalogue for specific pricing. I only give a very "ball park" price, and never the actual catalogue value.
<$1= less than a Dollar
$1+= more than a Dollar
$2+= more than two Dollars
$5+= more than five Dollars
$10+= more than ten Dollars
$20+..and so on.

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