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first issues > countries > nicaragua


2nd December 1862


Central America 2

  Nicaragua #1  

Perf , no watermark, engraved
Printed by the American Bank Note Co., New York

Description   Scott# SG# Mi# Y&T#  
2 centavos dark blue   1 1   1  
5c black   2 2   2  


Zelaya, general issue
1904 Sc1L109 SG-Z1


There is only one Nicaraguan provincial issue, Zelaya in 1904. Gibbons states, “ Zelaya, formerly known as the Mosquito coast, was a province on the Caribbean, where from 1904 to 1912, the currency in use was silver, worth about 50c to the peso, instead of paper, worth about 25c, used elsewhere in Nicaragua. Local overprints were therefore made in Bluefields and Cabo Gracias a Dios to stop the use of stamps bought at half the cost elsewhere.”

Bluefields, the main town in the province, issued overprints fom 1904 until 1911 (Sc-1L1 to 108, SG-B1 to B111), as did the Cabo Gracias a Dios (Cape Thanks to God) district, which included the port of that name (Sc-2L1 to 2L72, SG-C1 to C72).
In February 1912 a general issue was made (SG-Z1, first issue shown) and later that year the gold cordoba was introduced throughout Nicaragua, so provincial stamps were no longer needed. Scott lists the general issue under Bluefields.


Centenary of first issue
1962 Sc-C509 SG-MS1466a, 85x95mm, Litho, imperf

For the centenary of its first stamps, Nicaragua issued a rather nice miniature sheet in 1962 showing the two stamps and early postmarks.

On perforations, Deborah Wagner wrote in March 2016 to say,

“…your perf.12 information listed on it is incorrect. The first printing (by ABNCo) in 1862 was perf. 11.6 X 11.6. By the time additional printings were made of it (including reprints on the original issue paper for collectors) and the other denominations added, ABNCo. switched to a new machine. These produced 11.85 (all denominations) and some 11.85 X 11.95, 11.95 X 11.95, 11.95 X 11.6 and 11.95 X 11.85.
ref. Early American Perforating Machines and Perforations, 1857-1867 by Winthrop S. Boggs (1982 Unitrade reprint of Collectors Club of New York Philatelist Vol. 33).”

Sources: ScC, ScS, SGP15.

Images from David Olson, NB.

FI ref: 109 Page credit: NB

Page created 29 Mar 2016 Page updated 29 Mar 2016