The first stamps were issued in 1870 when the country’s postal administration was part of the Portuguese mail service. They depict the Portuguese crown in single color with Angola inscribed using Common Design production. A set of ten stamps with this design were the only ones used till 1877 and significant amount has survived in very good condition. The catalog value for the set of ten stamps is in the range of $350 for MNH and $250 for Used. Scott #5a and #6 (40r blue and 50r green) are the most valuable in the set with a CV of $250 and $50 respectively for MNH. In 1881, a new set of stamps depicting Luís I in an embossed design appeared in a set of 9 stamps. Each stamp in the set catalogs between $5 and $50 with used ones cataloging for about one-third MNH - the entire set catalog for around $250 MNH and $80 used. The same designs along with a King Carlos design and several Common Designs (Ceres, Vasco de Gama, etc) and overprints formed the issues between 1881 and 1945. Many of these stamps catalog in the tens of dollars but as fakes abound for overprints collectors need to exercise caution. Couple of stamp issues worth additional mention during this period is:
- The 1894 overprints (Scott #37) of a newspaper stamp of 1893 with a vertical inscription of “Angola” and a blue surcharge overprint (25r). This stamp catalogs for around $80 MNH and around $60 used.
- The “Marble Column and Portuguese Arms” set of three stamps (Scott #292 to #294) issued in 1938 that catalog for close to $100 MNH and one-third that for used.
Angola hosted its first philatelic exhibition in April 1950 and a set of stamps were issued to commemorate the eightieth anniversary of Angola’s first stamps. Surprisingly, the set (Scott #328 to #330) catalogs economically at under $10 for MNH. A souvenir sheet that was released sold with a special oval exhibition cancellation. These catalog around three times higher and have a minor error as the middle stamp is inverted in the sheet. The years 1951 and 1953 saw Angola issuing two large sets of stamps, the birds set and the animals set. The higher denominations of the birds set (Scott #333 to #356) are valued upwards of $50 – the whole set catalogs for almost $600 MNH – used sets catalog for a much lower value (around $70). The shorter animal set (Scott #362 to #381) is much more affordable (less than $50 MNH and around $10 used) as the denominations go only to 20a while the birds set go to 50a.
Angola’s stamps from the 1950’s are remarkable for their beautiful colors and designs. Catalog Values for many of these stamps are low making it easily affordable. As yet, as interest level is low for stamps from Angola many dealers opt for fixed pricing instead of an auction format. Patience can prove to be a virtue as occasionally good deals are seen at auctions. Some collectible sets worth acquiring, in spite of their low catalog valuations include:
- The arms in original colors set of 1963 (Scott #448 to #488). The whole set catalogs for under $50 for MNH and around $35 for Used. Fixed pricing can far exceed these values although auction pricing can be a lot lesser.
- The beautiful sea shells set of 1974 (Scott #573 to #592). The whole set catalogs for around $25 MNH and about $10 Used. Again, fixed pricing approach these values but rare auctions hold an edge.
Last Updated: 07/2011.