Costa Rica: pics of stamps – lots of pictures


pics of stamps

Are you that kind of philatelic enthusiast that likes to surf the web looking for pics of stamps from time to time?

Well, here I am to help you! I know that looking at stamps can be hypnotizing. I know that once you start, you’ll leave your computer until you saw the last one.

I’ve been a Costa Rica stamp collector for over 20 years. And i’m pretty sure I never get tired of looking at stamps.

That’s why Estampillascr’s Facebook page has more than 1,500 pics of stamps…Costa Rica stamps. It doesn’t matter what you are looking for, we have plenty! We divided them in several sections, so it would be easier for you to browse them.

You can browse our albums of surface mail stamps, air mail stamps, semi postal stamps, Christmas stamps and proofs. If you like cancellations on stamps, there’s an album too. Also we have albums for postal history and postcards. At last but not least the “errors” albums will take your breath away.

If by any chance you don’t find the stamp you were looking for, don’t panic! Just let me know and I will help you finding it.

Also, you can view the rarest and most expensive Costa Rica stamps from the Frederick R. Mayer collection auction.


Bernardo Soto and Tomas Guardia’s Correspondence Embossing Die

It was common during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s that important people from the government embossed their stationery. This was usually made using an embossing die made of either iron, copper or bronze.

I was lucky enough to find 2 fantastic pieces of history: the embossing dies for Bernardo Soto and Tomás Guardia. Both of them presidents of Costa Rica during the 1800’s.

The first embossing die belonged to Bernardo Soto. Born in 1854. President in 2 terms from 1885 to 1888. In which decreed the creation of the Asilo Chapuí, the national lotery, the national museum and the national library.

It consists in a round iron die (with a screw on the back). On the front it has Costa Rica’s coat of arms and it reads: Bernardo Soto below it. On the back there’s a legend that reads: “STERN 47. Passage Panoramas”. All this point that this was made by Stern Graveur in Paris. Also it has an engraved number “1141” on the back pin.

embossing die 1aembosing die 1bembossing die 2c

The other embossing die belonged to Tomas Guardia, president in 2 terms. From 1870 to 1876 and from 1877 to 1882. During his terms approved a new constitution, abolished death penalty and started the railway to the Atlantic.

The die consists of a rectangular iron piece that on the front has Costa Rica’s coat of arms and it reads: General Tomas Guardia below it. Also it’s numbered “9296” on one side.

embossing die 2a

embossing die 2b

Embossing die 2c


World’s rarest postage stamps. Greatest Costa Rica items from the Frederick R. Mayer Collection

It’s the dream of every stamp collector to own the world’s rarest postage stamps. For most of us it is indeed just a dream. 9 years ago, the philatelic world had the chance to witness the auction of the biggest Costa Rica stamp collection.

In October 22nd, 2008 Spink Shreves Galleries sold at an unreserved  auction, one of the greatest single country collections ever formed. There is no question that the collection of postage stamps and postal history of Costa Rica is the most comprehensive and valuable ever formed. This collection was assembled over a lifetime by the renowned philatelist Frederick R. Mayer. Its scope and depth are simply remarkable. Replete with virtually every recorded major rarity in all categories. Often with multiple examples of each.

Costa Rican philately were extensively covered in Mayer Collection in all areas. It included stampless covers, stamp issues both on and off cover. It also included the finest and most comprehensive selection of 1863 First Issue covers ever offered at auction. Essays and proofs, air mail related material, postal stationery and revenues and much more. The appearance of this spectacular collection was truly a once-in-a-life opportunity for collectors of Latin American stamps.

I’m excited to present you the rarest and most expensive items sold in this auction.

Start gallery


First Issue: medio real (Scott 1) with broken plate…USED!

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.

medio real


Scott 1b, the rarest Costa Rica stamp from the XIX century!

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!


Scott 47 Horizontal Marginal Pair Imperforated in Between

Once again a very rare piece of Costa Rica Philately appeared.

This time an horizontal marginal pair of Scott’s #47 (1901 Issue’s 5 cents stamp). The catalog only reports an used vertical pair. This one is a mint, NG horizontal pair -positions 41 and 42- out of a 100 stamp pane. How do i know the positions? Look a the bottom of the first stamp, you can see the perforation guides that are located between the 40’s and 50’s rows.

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After reviewing the pair, a blue line becomes very clear on the lower right corner of the second stamp.

IMG_20160401_0001 copy


Double transfer on the first issue’s 4 reales

Every country’s first issue always attracts lots of attention from collectors. Well, Costa Rica’s first issue is not the exception. A really nice design and engraving makes this issue a real gem. It’s try that it’s easy -and relatively cheap – to get it, but the postal history is another story.

Also, there is the most known error in this issue: the double transfer on the 4 reales.

It’s easy to identify: located on the “Republica de Costa Rica” legend on the top. There are some traces of a double transfer on the stars and the “cuatro reales” legend.

If this jewel comes across your way…grab it while you can before someone else does it!

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