Haiti - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Haiti, a nation occupying the western one-thirds of the island of Hispaniola (the other two-third is Dominican Republic) located in the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean has total land area of 10,714 square miles and a population of over 10 million. Haiti is a combination of rugged mountains, coastal plains and river valleys. It is among the poorest countries of the world with a long history of violence and corruption. Agriculture and mining are the two sectors of its economy with foreign aid being the biggest source of revenue.

Travel Resources:


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Lonely Planet Dominican Republic and Haiti978-1741042924$15Haiti portion of the guide starts at Page 263 and continues for about 100 pages. It has an introduction for travelers followed by sections on Port-au-Prince, Around Port-au-Prince, Southern Haiti, Northern Haiti and practical travel information.
Haiti in Focus: A Guide to the People, Politics, and Culture978-1566563598$20An authoritative and up-to-date guide consisting of 99 pages of useful information on land, history and politics, economy, society and people, culture and environment, and tips on where to go and what to see.
Dominican Republic and Haiti Travel Map978-1553411741$13Haiti Scale – 1:350,000. Dominican Republic Scale – 1:400,000.
Haiti Grounded Adapter Plug – GUAB001FDC9JG$8


Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Haiti were a set of six stamps released in 1881 in the Liberty Head theme. The set (Scott #1 to #6) catalogs for around $145 mint and $45 used. Haiti was a French colony since 1697. They declared independence in 1804 and gained recognition from France in 1825. It is considered as the only country born out of a slave rebellion. A couple of varieties of the Liberty Head issue along with an issue showing the portrait of General Louis Etienne Felicite Salomon and issues in the Coat of Arms theme formed the primary stamp issues of Haiti until the turn of the century. The Liberty Heads sets are all priced upwards of 50s but the sets on the other two themes are inexpensive. Haiti has suffered 32 coups in its history with the result that it is one of the poorest countries in the Americas.

Haiti released a long set of twenty stamps between 1906 and 1913 primarily showing historical buildings at Port-au-Prince, the Capital City. The set (Scott #125 to #144) catalogs for $95 mint and $60 used. The designs show Coat of Arms, President Pierre Nord Alexis, Market at Port-au-Prince, Sans Souci Palace, Independence Palace at Gonaives, Entrance to Catholic College at Port-au-Prince, Monastery and Church at Port-au-Prince, Seat of Government at Port-au-Prince, and Presidential Palace at Port-au-Prince. Alexis was President of Haiti from 1902 to 1908. A rebellion following a famine in the South forced him into exile and he died two years later in New Orleans. The National Palace pictured in this set was destroyed on August 8, 1912 following a coup that killed President Cincinnatus Leconte. The present day National Palace was designed in 1912 and completed in 1920 – in 1915, the palace which was being constructed was set ablaze by a mob that assassinated President Vilbrun Guillaume Sam. 

Other issues of Haiti enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A long set of seventeen stamps released on February 20, 1945 in the Red Cross theme. The set (Scott #361 to #369 and #C25 to #C32) catalogs for around $15 MNH and $7 used. The design shows nurse and wounded soldier on battlefield with a prominent Red Cross Symbol in different colors and denominations. Haiti declared war on the Axis Powers following the Pearl Harbor attack and contributed to the allied cause by providing food supplies. They also hosted a detachment of the United States Coast Guard.
  2. A long set of twenty one stamps released on January 1, 1954 to mark the 150th anniversary of Haitian Independence. The set (Scott #393 to #401 and #C63 to #C74) catalogs for around $12 MNH and $8 used. The designs show J.J. Dessalines and Paul E. Magloire, Alexandre Sabes Petion, Larmartiniere, Boisrond-Tonnerre, Toussaint L’Ouverture, Francois Capois, Battle of Vertieres, and Marie Jeanne and Lamartiniere leading attack. Battle of Vertieres is considered the final part of the Haitaian Revolution under Francois Capois fought between Haitian rebels and French Expeditionary forces on November 15, 1803. The rest of the set depicts other key figures of the Wars of Haitian Independence.
  3. A set of seven stamps and a souvenir sheet released on December 5, 1984 to mark the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Europeans in America. The set (Scott #803 to #809) catalogs for around $25 MNH and $20 used. The designs show an allegory of a native Indian in a stunning design.
  4. A set of four stamps and a souvenir sheet released on August 27, 1999 in the Birds theme. The set (Scott #909 to #912) catalogs for around $10 MNH or used. The designs show hispaniolan trogon, hispaniolan highland-tanager, gray-crowned palm-tanager, and Caribbean flamingo. Tanagers are small to medium-sized birds – out of 256 species worldwide, 7 are endemic to Haiti. Another strip of four stamps in the Worldwide Fund for Nature theme was released on the same day. That strip (Scott #913a-d) catalogs for around $3 MNH or used. The strip features hispaniolan giant treefrog and hispaniolan ground iguana, both endemic to Haiti and the Dominican Republic – the former is threatened while the latter is critically endangered by habitat loss due to agricultural encroachment.
Numismatic Profile:

The first coins of Haiti were revolutionary era Silver Escalins from the late 18th century. The undated coins are valued well into the $1000 range for XF. Northern Haiti Sol Coinage debut in 1807 and Western Republic Decimal Coinage (100 Centimes = 1 Gourde) debut in 1813. Pattern Gold Coins were issued during the period from 1814 to 1854. Gold Coins debut in 1967 with the introduction of five coins (20 Gourdes to 1000 Gourdes). The (5.7148 troy ounce gold) 1000 Gourdes Gold Proof with low mintage (2950) is a large impressive coin and trades at a sizable premium over bullion value.

Numismatic items of Haiti include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$1 and upCentimes from the 1990s onward in UNC starts around $1. Commemorative Silver Proofs start around $25. Silver Proof Sets start around $50. Rare Proof Sets go well into the 100s.
Paper Money$2 and upUNCs from the 2000s starts around $2. High Value recent banknotes in UNC start around $10. Replacement and Specimen UNCs start around $30. Early 20th century specimens, large notes and uncut pairs go into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Antiques$15 and up19th century maps start around $15. Hand Carved Wooden Bowls, Figurines, Statues etc start around $25 but go well into the 100s. PreColumbian stone celts go well into the 100s.
Art$30 and upOriginal oil paintings start around $30. Oil Drum Art examples start around $75.


Last Updated: 12/2015.

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