Sunday, March 22, 2015

Theme : 1st issues : 06 Costa Rica

Costa Rica, a country situated between Nicaragua and Panama in Central America, issued its first stamps from 1862 on.

The first set of stamps consists of 4 (or 5) stamps, and 3 forgeries.

The official stamps, 1/2 (medio) réal is considered according Michel Catalogue to be n° 1, altough they were issued in 1863 and in 1875 -  blue or dark blue.
A 2 réal stamp equaly was issued in 1863, the 4 réal and 1 peso (orange) stamps appeared a year later.
2 and 3 cent and 1 Peso (brown) are fanasy prints.

Michel states that there are two versions of the 1 stamp (aparently both in the 1863 and 1875 printing).
The difference can be found in the background of the image :

Costa Rica 1 - without lines

Costa Rica 1 - with lines

Its clear that one stamp has horizontal lines behind the five stars, the other stamp doesn't have those lines.
It raises the question of there were 2 different plates of the stamp, where on one of the plates the lines were missing, or added afterwards.
However it's more likely that the background lines were supposed to be on all stamps, but worn out plates made later stamps look incomplete.

A nice example I found on another stamp, where have of the image shows a background without lines, the other (darker) half, the lines are clearly visible again.

Costa Rica 1 - with and partly without lines

Another nice thing about this last stamp is, that in on the side, the printing company is mentionned: American Bank(Note Company).

This first set of stamps is very cheap, but good quality of cancellations is not easy to find.
Cancels 'SAN JOSE - COSTA RICA - 10 EN '83 are forgeries.