Quick trivia: How many medio real stamps were printed? R/5,750,000…yes, almost 6 million! Now, 3 million stamps are -or were- Scott 1 and 2.75 million of Scott 1a.
But why there are 2 types of medio real? the history says that because of the quantity of stamps being printed, the plate started cracking. at the beginning the crack was visible only on the position 1 of the plate, then it advanced to the position 11 and then to the 21st. At this point the government decided to order another plate. It had slight variances and that’s why we now have Scott 1a.
Returning to the broken plate, it’s usual to find unused copies, but once in a while, used copies come by. It’s right to say that used copies are not super rare, but they’re not easy neither.
It is true that the stamp Scott 1 (medio real stamp)doesn’t have an error like the vertical pair imperforated horizontaly (Scott 1b), but we can find other interesting errors. For example double perforations. They’re not as difficult as the Scott 1b, but they’re very elusive.
What’s really interesting about this errors is that they’re human made -the first issue perforations were made manually- that (in my opinion) gives more authenticity to the piece.
For no reason the issues from the early 1920’s are hard to find used on cover. The most difficult to find on cover is Scott 111J which consist in an overprint for coffee promotion that reads “COMPRE UD. CAFE DE COSTA RICA”. There are only 13 covers known with that stamp.
Scott 111J has an error (position 72): instead of “UD” it reads “VD”. Some people say it was made on purpose some say that it’s a legit error -that will be addressed in another post-.
So, what are the chances that if only 13 covers are known, one of them has the stamp with this error? Low, very low.
The nice thing about the mentioned cover is that it doesn’t have 1 stamp, it has a block of 4! and if that wasn’t amazing enough, it also has the 20 Cts from the Jesus Jimenez issue!
The 1911 issue has many highlights, being Scott 94b one of them. Why, let’s do some math:
According to the decree #242 of December 6th, 1911 only 1,500 stamps of Scott 94 (including the 14×14 stamps) where issued. now, The inverted correos happens 2 times per pane (of 100). 1,500/100= 15×2= 30. The math doesn’t end there because at least 2 panes where 14×14. So, 4 stamps are 94c (correos inverted, but perforation 14×14). The final math would be 30 (correos inverted stamps) – 4 (correos inverted 14×14)= 26 stamps Scott 94b.
Even though, only 26 copies of Scott 94b were made -and there are no records how many remain- collectors tend to pass these rarities by. Maybe because 1911 is not “classic” material, or just maybe they don’t realize how difficult is this stamp.
This is a really quick post.
I wanted to share with you a really nice cover with hard to find stamps.
It was sent registered from Villa Colon to Switzerland in 1922, bearing 8 stamps Scott 111, 5 of Scott 111E and 2 of Scott 69 for a total franking of 62 centimos.
I will never get tired of saying that surcharges and overprints are my favorite. Why? Because there’s more chance there will be varieties and errors…and the 1911 issues are the living proof of it.
Here we have a block of 25 of Scott 83 consisting of positions 56-60, 66-70, 76-80, 86-90 and 96-100 of the base stamp pane and 6-10, 16-20, 26-30, 36-40 and 46-50 of the overprint plate.
The error/variety list is the following:
- First roman 1 (position 56 of the base stamp pane and position 6 of the overprint plate).
- Double transfer at bse stamp (position 58).
- Third roman 1 (position 69 of the base stamp pane and position 19 of the overprint plate).
- Second roman 1 (position 100 of the base stamp pane and position 50 of the overprint plate).
In 1923 an agreement between Antonio Canalias and the Costa Rica government consisted in Canalias would surcharge postcards with a coffee allegory surcharge. Paying the government for each postal card sold.
There’s no need to say that these postal cards are really hard to find unused, very hard to find used and extremely hard to find uprated.
Here, we present you a real gem: consist of a picture PC of the Northern Railway station, but that’s not it. It’s uprated with Scott 112 (Jesus Jimenez’s 2 Cts) and Scott 120 (Correos’ building 5 Cts). A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
Let’s head back to 1875. By this time -and after several printings- the plate of the medio real cracked to the point that it wasn’t able to be used anymore. So, another plate was made to continue printing, but there were some differences in the plate -really easy to see- from the previous one…Scott 1a was born! For Unknown reasons -and thank God- the quality inspection process wasn’t that good and we’re fortunate to have one of the top 3 rarest stamps in Costa Rica’s philatelic history.
Yes, Scott 1b which consists in a vertical pair imperforated horizontaly. Only 36 of these have been reported to exist. And guess what? here you have it!