Postal service marks 150th anniversary with stamps

The anniversary packages

The country’s fascination with stamps began 150 years ago with the first postal issue.

Correos de Costa Rica is marking the anniversary with a commemorative issue, a 2,000-colon sheet that contains copies of the country’s original blue half real and red two-real stamps.

Also available for collectors will be first-day covers for 3,800 colons. Stamps go on sale at the end of this week with an over-the-counter price of 500 colons, about $1. The work is by designer Cristian Ramírez Vargas. Printing was done by Impresora Gozaka S.A.

The original stamps were printed in the United States and went into circulation April 10, 1863. The creation of postage stamps was an effort by intellectuals in San José who saw the success of the British system and pushed the government to do likewise. They were the ones creating much of the correspondence.

This is the first commemorative issue of the year for the postal service.

As anyone in business knows, the concept of stamps really took off. All legal documents in Costa Rica must have various stamps affixed, but these are revenue issues not postal products. For example, a notarized document to be valid must carry a stamp dedicated to the Cruz Roja among others, and that organization gets a small amount of money. Sometimes there are virtual stamps, such as those issued by the Registro Nacional when a customer purchases a document online. There is no real stamp, but the money still goes to various agencies, including the Colegio de Abogados.

The United States started producing revenue stamps in the war year 1862, and there have been many types since then, including potato stamps, beer stamps and the still-current duck stamps for hunters that help wildlife,

The anniversary issue of Correos can be purchased online through the agency’s Web site or at post offices.

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