In late 1925 there was a shortage of 3 céntimos stamps to comply with the local open letter rate. That’s why in November 24th, 1925 the Costa Rica government emitted the decree #24 in which authorized to surcharge 100,000 5 céntimos stamps from the 1923 definitive issue. Those Costa Rica stamps started being valid in November 28th, 1825. And as you may already know, as in any other old Costa Rican issue…there were errors. This time we’re talking about base stamps with shifted perforations.
The Scott catalog doesn’t mention this error neither on the base stamp (#120) nor the surcharge.
As you may think, most of these errors were spotted by collectors and kept without being used…almost all of them.
I’ve have been collecting Costa Rica stamps and this issue in particular for over 10 years and there’s only 1 cover reported to have these stamps with shifted perforations. It’s sent from Alajuela to Guatemala in 1926. It departed Alajuela on February 26th. It also has a San Jose tránsito cancel on the same date. Unlike to the usual time of a letter to arrive from a country to another in Central America, this cover lasted almost a month. It arrived on March 5th. It has two cancels: one that reads “RECIBIDA EN GUATEMALA” and the other one that reads “CARTERO 14 GUATEMALA.
The most interesting thing about this, is that this error is that the stamps passed the quality control of the American Bank Note Co. and passed the quality control in Costa Rica…if any two times! One for the base stamp and one for the surcharge.
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