Paraguay - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Paraguay, a landlocked country in South America bordered by Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia has a total land area of 157,048 square miles and a population of over 6.3 million. Paraguay has variations in terrain – from grassy plains to low lying marshy plains. It is also the third most important zone for free trade. The huge inequality in land ownership is a very sensitive issue for the country. Agriculture is the major sector of its economy. Other upcoming sectors are pharmaceutical, edible oil, garments, meat processing, timber, leather, and steel.

Travel Resources:

The best time to visit Paraguay is April through October. The major attractions include Pantheon National de Heroes, Eco-Reserve Mbatovi, Palacio de Lopez, Asuncion, Iguazu Falls, Jesuit Missions, Gran Chaco, and the  Jardin Botanico. The cuisine of the land is similar to the other Hispanic countries with corn being the staple, and a good mix of vegetables and meat are served with every meal.


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Paraguay Bradt Travel Guide978-1841623153$18Best guide book to Paraguay for general interest. Part I is a traveler’s introduction covering 60 pages. Part II has sections on Asuncion, Circuito de Oro, Misiones and the Jesuit Reductions, Southeast to Itapua and the Ruins, Southwest to Neembucu and the Old Battlegrounds, Excursion to the Iguazu Falls, Ciudad del Este and the East, Villarrica and Central Paraguay, Concepcion and the Norteast, and The Chaco.
Paraguay Travel Map978-1553413707$131:800,000 Scale. Includes inset street map of downtown Asuncion.
Paraguay Grounded Adapter Plug – GUBB001FD7C0W$8

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Paraguay were a set of three stamps released on August 1, 1870 showing the Vigilant Lion Supporting Liberty Cap. The set (Scott #1 to #3) catalogs for around $275 mint and around $320 used. Handstamp surcharged overprints of the same set were released in 1878 and that set catalogs for around $850 mint or used. A variety with blue instead of black surcharge is very rare and catalogs for roughly double the more common black surcharges. The Vigilant Lion Supporting Liberty Cap theme was used in two different designs in 1879 and 1881. Those sets (Scott #10 to #11, #12 to #13, and #14 to #16) are relatively common. A Seal of the Treasury, Symbols of Liberty from Coat of Arms, and Great Men were the primary themes of Paraguayan stamp issues until the turn of the century. Those sets (Scott #20 to #22, #30, and #32 to #41) are also relatively common and catalog for in the few dollars range. Paraguay gained de facto independence from Spain on May 15, 1811 although it was recognized by Spain only in 1880. Paraguay fought the War of the Triple Alliance against Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay in which it lost more than half its prewar population, suffered extensive territorial losses, and was defeated in 1871 after five years.

Paraguay issued a long set of twenty stamps between 1905 and 1910 showing the Sentinel Lion at Rest. The set (Scott #91 to #111) catalogs for around $50 mint and around $6 for used. A few other themes along with several surcharge overprints formed the stamp issues of Paraguay during the period till 1927. Paraguay released a long set of thirty four stamps between 1927 and 1938 in the History theme. The set (Scott #269 to #302) catalogs for around $10 mint or used. The designs show National Emblem, Pedro Juan Caballero, Map of Paraguay, Fulgencio Yegros, Ignacio Iturbe, and the Oratory of the Virgin at Asuncion.

Other issues of Paraguay enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A long set of twenty one stamps released between 1944 and 1945 in the History theme. The set (Scott #406 to #413 and #C134 to #C146) catalogs for around $17 MNH and around $14 used. The designs show primitive postal service among Indians, Ruins of Humaita Church, locomotive of early Paraguayan Railroad, early merchant ship, Marshal Francisco S. Lopez, Port of Asuncion, Birthplace of Paraguay’s Liberation, and Monument to Heroes of Iororo.
  2. A set of nine stamps and a souvenir sheet of two released on June 3, 1968 to mark the Paraguayan Stamps Centenary. The set (Scott #1089 to #1097 and #1098) catalogs for around $50 MNH and around $35 used. The designs show early Paraguayan stamps.
  3. A strip of seven stamps released on March 13, 1985 in the World Wildlife Fund theme showing endangered or extinct species. The set (Scott #2139a-g) catalogs for around $50 MNH and around $10 used. The designs show capybara, mono titi, rana cornuda adornada, priodontes giganteus (giant armadillo), and myrmecophaga tridactyla.
  4. A set of two stamps released on October 12, 1995 as an America Issue in the Preserve the Environment theme. The set (Scott #2521 to #2522) catalogs for around $5 MNH and around $2 used. The designs show Macizo Monument of Achay, and Tinfunique Reserve of Chaco. Paraguay has released a number of America Issues over the years and that forms a good collectible theme. Bolivia re-established sovereignty over the Chaco region following the war with Bolivia in 1930. From 1904 to 1954, the country had 31 Presidents, most of whom were removed from office by force. From 1954 onwards, Colorado right-wing party became dominant. In the 2008 general election, Fernando Lugo backed by the center-right Liberal Party became President, the first time in the history of Paraguay that a government handed power to opposition peacefully.
Numismatic Profile:

The first coins of Paraguay were Republic Real Coinage Copper Reals issues in 1845 showing Denomination and Date in Obverse and Lion, Wreath, and Liberty Cap on Pole in Reverse. The issue has high mintage (2.88M) but still catalogs for around $175 in UNC. Some varieties and they fetch a premium. Certain Cut and Countermarked coins (Brazil and Paraguay) were in use in the area during the war of the triple alliance. Decimal Coinage (100 Centavos – Centesimos = 1 Peso) debut in 1870 with the issue of a Copper Centesimo. Gold Coins debut as early as 1867 when a 0.1901 troy ounce gold coin was released. The issue is very rare and has the historical relevance that the fold came from Asuncion ladies that decided to give up their jewelry to help the national defense in the triple alliance war. Since then, a number of gold coins were issued over the years. Reform Coinage (100 centimos = 1 Guarani) was introduced in 1944.

Numismatic items of Paraguay include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$1 and upRecent Guaranies in UNC start around $1. Sets from the 1950s in AU, Recent High Value UNCs, etc starts around $15. Commemorative Silver Proofs from the 2000s, Scarce issues from the 19th century in high grades (XF+), etc starts around $50. Low Mintage Silver Proofs from the 1970s, Gold Coins, UNC Sets from the 19th century, etc go well into the 100s.
Paper Money$1 and upCommon UNC Guaranis starts around $1. Low Serial Number UNCs from the 1950s and prior dates start around $25. Specimen UNCs from the 1950s onward, High Value UNCs, Consecutive Number Sets of 5-pieces or more, etc start around $50. UNC Bundles from the 1950s onward, Rare 19th century banknotes in UNC, etc go well into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:

Naundute, ao-poi, wooden handicrafts, leather and jewelry are the most sought-after souvenirs of the place.


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Antiques$10 and up19th century maps start around $10. 18th century and prior maps start around $50.
Art$15 and up19th century local scenes prints start around $15. Original Works by William Riquelme, A Blejer, etc start around $100.
Collectibles$3 and upFlags, labels, patches etc start around $3. Ox Horn Drinking Mugs, War Medals etc start around $50.

Last Updated: 12/2015.

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