Honduras - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Honduras, a country in Central America bordered by Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Honduras, and the Caribbean Sea has a total land area of 43,278 square miles and a population of over 8.25 million. Its terrain is mountainous with narrow plains and thick lowland rainforest areas. Due to its vast biological resources (flora and fauna), the country is considered a biodiversity hotspot. Natural resources include timber, tropical fruits, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, iron ore, seafood, and hydro-power.

Travel Resources:

February through June are considered the best time to visit Honduras. Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO world-heritage site. With its rain forests, cloud forests, mangroves, savannas, mountain ranges, marine life, and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System the country reaches out to the visitor. Honduran cuisine consists of beans, tamales, cassava, and tortillas along with meat and/or seafood like fish and shrimp. Coconut is used extensively in its cooking.


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Lonely Planet Honduras and the Bay Islands978-1741048865$16Includes 45 maps, detailed coverage of Mayan archaeological ruins of Copan, and a comprehensive chapter on diving and other outdoor adventure.
Honduras Map by ITMB978-1553412427$121:750,000 scale. Includes inset map of Tegucigalpa.
Honduras Grounded Adapter Plug – GUAB001FDC9KA$8


Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Honduras were a set of six imperforate stamps released in 1865 in the Coat of Arms theme. The set (Scott #1 to #2) is remarkably inexpensive and catalogs for around a dollar mint. The arms theme continued until the release of a set of seven stamps in July of 1878 showing President Francisco Morazan. A couple of other Coat of Arms sets were released in the interim and they are both very expensive with some of the stamps in the sets cataloging at over $500. The President Francisco Morazan set (Scott #30 to #36) is also sought after and catalogs for around $45 mint or used. Morazan was President of Central American Federation from 1835 to 1839. He was also Head of State of Costa Rica (1842), El Salvador (1839 to 1840), and Honduras (1827 to 1830). He was known for his military prowess and visionary thinking as he attempted to transform Central America into a progressive liberation nation. While in power in Costa Rica, a movement opposed to Morazan erupted and in the ensuing violence, he was captured and later executed.

The Great Men theme along with a couple of other themes (Columbus and Justice) dominated the Honduran issues till the turn of the Century. Honduras released a set of eight stamps on August 1, 1898 in the Railroad Train theme. The set (Scott #103 to #110) catalogs for around $12 mint and around half that for used. The design shows a train running on steam engine. Two separate railway lines were built in the late 19th century along the coastal regions of Honduras by US corporations – United Fruit and Standard Fruit. Standard Fruit had the longer line at 600 KM with the United Fruit line consisting of around 190KM. The former line was nationalized and renamed Honduras National Railroad (FNH).

Other issues of Honduras enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A set of five stamps released on February 1, 1920 in the “Dawn of Peace” theme. The set (Scott #194 to #198) catalogs for around $45 Mint or used. It was released to mark the assumption of power by General Rafael Lopez Gutierrez. He was President of Honduras from 1920 to 1924. The idea projected in the set released after World War I but prior to the election of Gutierrez did not hold true as his presidency saw some seventeen uprisings or attempted coups. Following presidential election stalemate in 1923, Gutierrez attempted to remain in office indefinitely which led to another uprising. Relative calm in Honduran history ensued following the election of Paz Barahona in 1925, albeit in a virtual unanimous choice.
  2. A set of nine stamps released on January 2, 1931 in the History theme. The set (Scott #298 to #306) catalogs for around $25 mnt and $5 used. The designs show President Paz Baraona, Manuel Bonilla, Lake Yojoa, view of the Palace at Tegucigalpa, City of Amapala, Mayan Stelae at Copan, portrait of Christopher Columbus, discovery of America allegory, and Loarque Bridge. Lake Yoja is the largest lake in Honduras at 110 square miles. The highway connecting Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, the largest cities goes through the banks of this lake.
  3. A long set of fifteen stamps released on March 1, 1939 in the history theme. The set (Scott #336 to #340, C89 to C98) catalogs for around $15 mint and around $9 used. The designs show seal of Honduras, Central District Palace, map of Honduras, Bridge of Choluteca, flag, Mayan Stele at Copan, Mayan Temple at Copan, President Carias, Jose C. De Valle, Presidential House, Lempira, Church of our Lady of Suyapa, J.T.Reyes, Hospital at Choluteca, and Ramon Rosa. Choluteca is a major city in Southern Honduras and transit point on the Pan-American Highway. The imposing Choluteca Silver Bridge crosses the Choluteca River into the city.
  4. A set of seven stamps released on April 29, 1997 in the Birds theme. The set (Scott #380 to #386) catalogs for around $10 mint or used. The designs show red-tailed hawk, keel-billed toucan, black-bellied whistling duck, collared forest-falcon, Southern caracara, and king vulture.
Numismatic Profile:

The first coin of Honduras was a Copper-Nickel Real issued in 1869. The first issue, the one-eight Real, catalogs for around $120 BU. Prior to this, provisional and state coinages were used in Honduras. The first gold coins were Small Pesos (0.0467 troy ounce) issued in 1871. The issue is very valuable cataloging in the $2000 range for UNC. The 1883 10 Pesos Gold Coin (0.4667 troy ounce) and the 1888 20 Pesos Gold Coin (0.9335 troy ounce) are both very rare with former fetching around $75K and the latter around $32K in recent sales. Reform Coinage (100 Centavos = 1 Lempira) was introduced in 1935 with the introduction of a Bronze Centavo. The design shows National Arms in Obverse and Denomination within Circle and Wreath in Reverse. The issue has high mintage and catalogs for around $15 UNC.

Numismatic items of Honduras include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$1 and upCommon Centavos from the 1950s onward in UNC starts around $1. 19th century silver coins in VF starts around $30. Tri-Metal Patterns from the 1990s starts around $75. Scarce silver varieties go into the 100s.
Paper Money$1 and upCommon Lempiras in UNC starts around $1. High Values and Sets start around $10. UNC Bundles start around $50. Older UNC Bundles, Older Specimens etc go into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:

Jewelry, woodcarvings especially of its national bird scarlet macaw, leather bags and clothes, and straw baskets are typical to the area.


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Antiques$10 and up19th century maps start around $10. Authentic Tribal Woodcarvings, Pre-Columbian Mayan pottery shards, etc start in the 50s. Mayan Stone Heads, and older maps start in the 100s.
Art$12 and up19th century local scenes prints start around $12. Original Watercolor counterparts start around $60. One of a kind Mahogany sculptures start in the 100s and can go well into the 1000s.




Last Updated: 12/2015.

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