Bermuda - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile


Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory, is a group of about 138 coral islands in the North Atlantic Ocean about 700 miles due east of Fripp Island, South Carolina. Population of about 70,000 over a total land area of just 20 square miles makes it one of the top-ten densest countries of the world. It is also one of the top-three richest countries of the world in terms of per-capita GDP (ppp) at over $90,000. The Spanish discovered it in 1503 and the English settled by 1609. Bermuda’s first capital was St. George’s, which holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously settled English town in the New World (1612). Following the achievement of internal self-government in 1968, Formal Constitution and Universal Adult Suffrage was introduced – before that, voting was based on the value of property owned.

Travel Resources:

The best time to visit is during the hot season. Though March through October is considered tourist friendly local consider May through September as the right season to enjoy Bermuda. Be on alert for hurricane warnings. Bermuda has a many places of interest aside from the beaches – aquariums, churches, lighthouses, dolphin center, caves, botanical gardens, etc., to name a few. The place also has enough activities and tours to hold the attention of youngsters too. Hamilton City, the Capital, is really the heart of the country. It is teeming with good restaurants, hotels, and is the central place for all activities and tours. Bermuda cuisine is inspired by English and American style of cooking. The locals are known to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and seafood.


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Frommer’s Bermuda 2011978-0470614365$13Itineraries, walking tours, and trip planning ideas backed with detailed maps throughout. Reviews of hotels, restaurants, sights, shopping, and nightlife.
Fodor’s Bermuda 2011978-1400005024$13Good travel guide with excellent coverage of restaurants, hotels, and sites.
Bermuda A World Apart: An island and its people978-0939302321$38Roger LaBrucherie, the photojournalist created a masterpiece capturing the essence of Bermuda through excellent photography and accurate research-based text.
Bermuda Travel Map978-1553411369$91:14,500 SCALE. Shows roads, cycling path (former railroad), hotels, parks, etc. Inset maps of Hamilton and St. George.
Universal World Wide Travel Charger Adapter PlugB001MGUB9Q$4


Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Bermuda were Queen Victoria (QV) keytypes released in 1865. The set of six stamps (Scott #1 to #6) in five different designs are extremely rare and valuable at over $2500 for MNH and about one-tenth that for used. The issues along with a few varieties with handstamped surcharges continued till 1880. Genuine handstamps and certain errors are very valuable. The most valuable among them is a “three pence” diagonal handstamp on a 1p red that fetch as high as $19000 for a mint copy and slightly more for used. Two new QV keytype issues appeared in 1880 and was followed by a mixed set of eight existing QV designs (Scott #18 to #25) in 1883. This set is also valuable at around $175 for MNH and $100 for used.

The first original designs were issued in a Dry Dock theme in single colors in a set of three stamps (Scott #28 to #30) in 1902. The set catalogs for around $30 MNH and $5 used. A long sister set (Scott #31 to #39) followed in 1906 in more colors and denominations. That set is more valuable at around $140 MNH and $60 used. During the period from 1910 to 1935, most of the stamp issues of Bermuda were King George V (KGV) keytypes and certain common design types. The one exception was an issue (Scott #40 to #48) showing a caravel (single color) in original design. Certain denonminations of this set are valued in the $20 range while others can be had for a few dollars.Most of the KGV keytypes of the period fetch a premium with the higher denominations fetching in the high 10s to the low 100s of dollars. The classic period (1840-1940) also saw two long sets in the local scenes theme. The first was a set of elven stamps (Scott #105 to #114) in nine different designs released in 1936. The set catalogs for around $100 MNH and around one-third that for used. The second was a set of fourteen stamps (Scott #118 to #128) in five different designs released in 1938. This set is more valuable at close to $275 MNH and $160 used. Prominent designs in the sets include Hamilton (capital city) Harbor, South Shore, Grape Bay (beach near the capital city), and St. David's Lighthouse (a lighthouse still in daily use in the St. George’s Parrish in the Eastern Coast).

The local scenes issues along with certain common design types were the only stamps issued during the period from 1936 to 1948. A set of three stamps were released on April 11, 1949 to mark the centenary of Bermuda’s first postage stamp. The set (Scott #135 to #137) is a nice and inexpensive set that catalogs for below a dollar for MNH or used. Other prominent stamp issues of Bermuda include:


  1. A long single-colored set of twenty stamps (Scott #143 to #162) released in the Historical theme during the period from 1953-58. The set catalogs for around $90 MNH and $40 used. The designs show easter lilies, Perot (Bermuda's first post master) stamp, racing dinghy, Sir George Somers (founder of the English colony of Bermuda) and Sea Venture, map, Sea Venture boat hog coin and Perot stamp, yellow-billed tropic bird, hog coins (17th century coins of Bermuda), Arms of St. George, Warwick Fort, earliest hog coin, and Arms of Bermuda.
  2. A long multi-colored set of eighteen stamps (Scott #175 to #191) released in the historical buildings (local architecture) theme during the period from 1962-65. The set catalogs for around $40 MNH or used. The designs show Church of St. Peter, Government House, Cathedral in Hamilton, Dockyard, Perot's Post Office, General Post Office of 1869, Library and Historical Society, Christ Church of Warwick, City Hall of Hamilton, Bermuda Cottage, Town of St. George, Bermuda House 1710, Colonial Secretariat of 1833, Old Post Office of Somerset, and House of Assembly.
  3. An Animals set of nineteen stamps (Scott #363 to #379) released during the period from 1978-79. The set catalogs for around $40 MNH or used. The designs show white-tailed tropicbird, white-eyed vireo, eastern bluebird, whistling tree frog, cardinal, spiny lobster, land crab, skink, four-eyed butterfly fish, red hind, monarch butterfly, rock beauty, banded butterflyfish, blue angelfish, humpback whale, green turtle, and Bermuda petrel. Another prominent issue of 1978 is the Maps set of five stamps (Scott #380 to #384). This is another nice and inexpensive set (under $2).
  4. A set of four stamps (Scott #644 to #647) in the Tourism Posters theme released on February 25, 1993. The colorful set catalogs for around $10 MNH or used. The designs show Cyclist Carriage Ship, golf course, coastline, and dancers.
  5. A set of six stamps (Scott #703 to #708) in the Military Bases theme released on December 4, 1995. This set also catalogs for around $10 MNH or used. The designs show Ordnance Island Submarine Base, Royal Naval Dockyard, Fort Bell and Kindley Field, Darrell's Island, US Navy Operating Base, and Canadian Forces Station.
Numismatic Profile:

The first coins issued for Bermuda were a series of 2, 3, 6, and 12 pence coins from the late 17th century with the obverse design showing a pig. The coins are termed “Hogge Money” and are highly collectible. The currency of UK became standard in 1842 and in the interim Birmingham cartwheel coppers were in circulation. The country moved from the Sterling standard to a decimal currency denominated in dollars in 1972. Bermuda has issued a number of gold coins, and bullion over the years starting in 1970. Many of these have low mintage and enjoy a premium over bullion value.

Numismatic items of Bermuda include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Gold Coins$100 and upGold proofs from the 2000s with gold content less than 2 grams start around $100. Commemorative issues featuring such themes as the Royal Visit, Royal Wedding, the 1989 Hogge Money Proof Set, Coronation, etc go well into the 100s and 1000s.
Bullion$10 and upThe Silver Crowns of 1964 in VF start around $10. Silver Proofs from the 1980s start around $15. Palladium Proofs, the Bermuda Triangle proof set, etc go well into the 100s and 1000s.
Other Coins$3 and upRecent Wild Boar coinage in UNC start around $3. The distinct 1996 Silver Proof Triangle designs start around $50. Boxed and certified versions start around $100.
Paper Money$10 and upUNC banknotes from the 2000s starts around $10. Specimen notes from the 70s start around $25. Shilling notes from the 50s and prior dates in VF start around $40. Higher denomination early notes and specimens go into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:

Art, antiques and handicrafts are definitely good takeaways from this island.


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Antiques$50 and up18th century maps and ship models are the major items.
Art$5 and upTravel posters and prints start around $5. Original signed paintings by known artists like Alfred Birdsey, A. Buchterkitch, Olivia De Beradinis, J.H.Snow, Joseph Buchler, Cecile Johnson, etc start around $250.


Last Updated: 12/2015. 
 

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