Argentina - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Argentina is the second largest country in South America after Brazil. Its land area is over one-million square miles and has a population of around 40M making it a scarcely populated country compared to world figures which are over three times that figure. The per-capita GDP is over $14,000 making it an upper-middle-income country – it benefits from abundant natural resources, a highly productive export-oriented agricultural sector, and a diversified industrial sector. On the flip-side, Argentina experienced an economic collapse in 2002 as they defaulted on their debt, mainly due to mismanagement and corruption.

Travel Resources:

It is very difficult to pinpoint the top attractions, as it is more like visiting many countries given its varied topography and weather. However tourist on a time budget make a beeline to Buenos Aires (Paris of South America), and Iguazu. Buenos Aires is best visited March through May and September through Nov (fall and spring), when the weather is mild. Patagonia and the southern Andes is tourist friendly during their summer (December through February).


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Argentina Eyewitness Travel Guide978-0756661939172010 Edition. Filled with data on what to see in Argentina. Light on basic travel information such as lodging & food.
Lonely Planet Argentina978-1741794649$18Thick 660 page book, but well worth. Covers Chilean Patagonia and 60 pages of Uruguay. 112 easy-to-read maps.
The Argentina Reader: History, Culture, Politics978-0822329145$17An introduction followed by seventy-seven historical documents form a great historical reference for any traveler.
Streetwise Buenos Aires Map by Streetwise978-1931257367$9Laminated, foldable and tourist areas marked.
Universal Plug Adapter for Australia, New Zealand, Chin, and Argentina (VP 23)B00374I2T2$7



Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Argentina were released in 1858 and is symbolic of the Argentine Confederation. They were single-colored designs of 5c, 10c, and 15c denominations in red, green, and blue respectively. Due to the crude early production methods, several varieties exist. Mint copies of these stamps are plentiful, with only the highest denominated 15c blue commanding significant catalog value at around $15. Used copies are rare and carry a premium of ten to twenty times the value for a corresponding Mint copy. Counterfeits abound and collectors need to be very careful before paying up. Copies of these stamps on cover are very rare and catalogs for a few hundred dollars. Diagonal half or one-third of the two higher denominations on cover are even rarer and those catalog for a few thousand dollars each. A Seal of the Republic design followed in 1862 (Scott #5 to #7 and several varieties). The most valuable Argentine issue is an unused copy of a tete beche pair of the 15c denomination in blue of which only one copy is known. The catalog value of this is in the $55000 range.

Great Men of Argentina dominated the theme for the early stamps of Argentina till 1891. Many of these stamps catalog in the tens of dollars and some fetch a few hundred dollars. The most prominent among them is the 1864 issue which depicts Bernardino Rivadavia, the first president of Argentina (Scott #8 to #18). They have a wide range of catalog values – for example, a used copy of Scott #20 catalogs for just a dollar while Scott #15a (10c Green) catalog for $4000 either MNH or Used. Other prominent issues include the short-set of five stamps of 1873 (Scott #22 to #26) and the long-set of thirteen stamps of 1888 (Scott #57 to #67 and a couple of varieties) – the former set catalogs for over $200 MNH and just 10% of that for used while the latter catalogs for under $400 MNH and around $50 used. The 1891 short-set of four stamps (Scott #85 to #88) is another interesting set because of its odd vertical orientation. They are valued at around $700 MNH and around $100 used.


A philatelic exhibition was held in Buenos Aires from October 17-24, 1935. A souvenir sheet of four imperforate stamps depicting San Martin, the liberator of Argentina was issued to commemorate the event. The stamps were sold during the eight days of exhibition only. The sheet catalogs for around $75 MNH and $35 Used. The best known stamps of Argentina are the ones that depict Eva Peron, the very popular second wife of President Juan Peron who died of cancer in 1952 at a young age of 33. The first stamps were definitives issued in a set of 12 (two different designs of her portrait) on August 26 1952 (Scott #599 to #610). The set catalogs for just $5 MNH and less than that for used. A sister set in the same design (Scott #611 to #618) catalogs somewhat higher. The 2nd anniversary issue of 1954 (Scott #626 and #627) shows a beautiful design of Eva Peron’s portrait in car rose – the stamps differ only in their watermarks and value – the former catalogs for under $5 MNH and under $1 used while the latter catalogs at over $250 MNH and one-fifth that for used.

Numismatic Profile:

Provincial coins first appeared between 1815 and 1816 and consisted of silver coins denominated in Real. Provincial coins included issues from De La Plata, Buenos Aires, Cordoba, La Rioja, Mendoza, Santiago Del Estero, Tierra del Fuego, Salta, and Tucuman. Conferacion Argentina coins appeared in 1854 followed by Republican coinage in 1882. Numismatic items of Argentina include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Exonumia$3 and upSubway tokens, San Martin medals, etc start around $3. 19th century coat of arms and philatelic culture medals start around $15. 19th century national guard army medals, Philanthropic society medals, etc start around $25. St Dominic Christianity Medals, Patriotic Army Condor Medals, etc start around $50. 19th century union province medals, Argentina League Tuberculosis Medals, etc start around $100.
Gold Coins$100 and up1880s 1 Argentino and half Argentino Gold Coins start around $100. ONU proofs from 1995, Jorge Luis Borges proofs from 1999 etc go well into the 100s.
Other Coins$1 and upCirculated 20th century coins start around $1. Uncirculated coins from the 60s and 70s start around $10. Provincial issues from the 19th century in VF condition start around $30. Recent Commemorative Silver Proofs start around $100. Planchet error varieties from the 60s, recent bimetallic UNC sets, Certified provincial coins in VG and above, etc go well into the 100s.
Paper Money$1 and upCommon Peso denominations from the 20th century in UNC start around $1. 1M Peso Banknotes from the 80s start around $80. Bundles of lower denominations from the same period, 19th century UNC banknotes, etc go well into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:

Silverware, antiques, handicrafts – arts, crafts, painting, jewelry etc top this list and Argentina has a plethora of shops only too happy to please the tourist.


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Badges, Swords, and other MilitariaVariesKnifes and Swords from the WW era start around $150. Badges from the same era start around $15.
Petrified Wood, Agate Specimens, and other fossils and minerals$20 and upPetrified wood from the petrified forests in the Chubut region of Argentine Patagonia and meteorite samples from the provinces of Chaco and Santiago del Estero (Campo del Cielo) are in the market.
Postcards, Maps, and Manuscripts$1 and upPostcards that have some historical relevance fetch a sizable premium.
ArtVariesSoccer and other modern themes can be had for a few dollars while works of well-known artists such as Victor Chab, Daniel Fiorda, Enio Iommi, Carolina Sardi, Daniel Bottero, Enrique Matticoli, Pablo Contrisciani, Karina Chechik, Miguel Ocamp, Eduard Schloemann, etc fetch into the 1000s.



Last Updated: 12/2015. 

1 comment :

Pablo (yo) said...

As a collector from Argentina, I can tell you this is a really great country to collect, plentifull of interesting issues. You can see some of them in my blog: http://albumdeestampillas.blogspot.com

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