While tourism has not notched up as a major sector yet, Guinea does not disappoint those willing to give it a try. Its lofty mountains and high plateaus with a temperate climate have led Guinea to be called the Switzerland of Africa. Coyah, Dubreka Ville, Kaloulima Mountain, waterfalls and water sports are some attractions of the country.
The first stamp of Guinea was a common design type of French West Africa Scott #79 overprinted “Republique of Guinee” released in 1959. The stamp (Scott #168) catalogs for around $4 MNH and around half that for used. This was followed by another stamp (Scott #169), an overprint on French West Africa Scott #78. That stamp has very similar valuation. The country declared itself independent on October 2, 1958. It was formerly the French Overseas Territory of French West Africa. The first original issues of Guinea were a set of five stamps released in 1959 to mark the Proclamation of Independence on October 2, 1958. The set (Scott #170 to #174) catalogs for around $9 MNH and $3 used. The design shows map, dove, and President Ahmed Sekou Toure. Ahmed Sekou Toure was the first President of Guinea from 1958 to his death in 1984. Before being President, he helped his country attain independence from France. He was revered in Africa as an anti-colonialist. However, within his own country, his single party rule was a failure.
Other stamps of Guinea enjoying good philatelic interest include:
- A set of fifteen stamps released in December of 1962 in the Birds theme. The set (Scott #263 to #274 and #C41 to #C43) catalogs for around $25 MNH and $10 used. The designs show crowned crane, gray parrot, Abyssinian ground hornbill, white spoonbill, and bateleur eagle.
- A set of six stamps released on October 2, 1965 to mark the seventh anniversary of independence. The set (Scott #397 to #400 and #C76 to #C77) catalogs for around $10 MNH and around half that for used. The designs show new projects at Conakry, the Capital City: Polytechnic Institute, Hotel Camayenne, Gbessia Airport, and Stadium.
- A set of nine stamps released on November 25, 1968 in the African Animals theme. The set (Scott #512 to #518 and #C105 to #C106) catalogs for around $12 MNH and $4 used. The designs show anubius baboon, leopards, hippopotami, Nile crocodile, Ethiopian wart hog, Defassa waterbuck, and Cape buffaloes.
- A set of four stamps and a souvenir sheet released on December 18, 1985 in the ‘Columbus Discovering America, 1492’ theme. The set (Scott #974 to #978) catalogs for around $20 MNH and $5 used. The designs show Pinta, Santa Maria, Nina, and Santa Maria sighting land.
The first coin of Guinea was an Aluminum-Bronze 5 Francs coin issued in 1959. The design shows the Head of Ahmed Sekou Toure in Obverse and Palm Trees and Denomination in Reverse. The issue catalogs for around $20 UNC. Guinea issued a number of Commemorative Gold and Silver proofs in 1969 and 1970. They converted to decimal coinage (100 Cauris = 1 Syli) in 1971 with the introduction of an Aluminum 50 Cauris Coin. It shows a Cowrie Shell in Obverse and the Denomination within wreath in Reverse. The issue catalogs for around $5 UNC.
Numismatic items of Guinea include:
|Coins||$1 and up||Common Francs from the 1980s in UNC starts around $1. Silver Proofs from the 1970s onward starts around $25 and can go into the $100 range for low mintage issues. Silver Proof Sets go well into the 100s.|
|Paper Money||$2 and up||Common UNCs from the 1990s onward starts around $2. Recent sets start around $20. Large notes from the 60s and prior dates start around $40 in UNC. Recent UNC bundles, early 20th century Centavos in F, Specimens, etc starts around $100 and can go well into the 100s and 1000s.|
|Antiques||$20 and up||19th century maps start around $20 and go well into the 100s for 18th century and prior maps. Authentic Bete Masks, Baga or Susu Drum figures, Mossi Masks etc go well into the 100s.|
|Art||$15 and up||19th century original antique prints start around $15. Certain political posters fetch a huge premium.|
Last Updated: 12/2015.