Portugal - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Portugal, a country located in Southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula bordered by Spain and the Atlantic Ocean has a total land area of 35,645 square miles and a population of over 11.3 million. Portugal, a developed country with high quality of living and high human development index, has a high-income economy. The country, characterized by mountains, plateaus, river valleys and rolling plains is among the warmest European countries. The major sectors of the economy are wood products, cork, electronics, automobile, aerospace, agriculture, livestock, textiles, processed fish products, and travel and tourism. Tourism contributes significantly to the economy. While visitor count is showing an upward trend, competition from similar destinations is stealing the market. To stay ahead of the crowd, Portugal tourism is focused on themed packages such as health, nature, culture etc.

Travel Resources: 

March through October is the tourist season of Portugal. Portugal has very little of virgin forestland. The areas under the Conservation areas of Portugal are home to diverse flora and fauna. Portugal has one national park and a few natural parks and protected landscapes that are well worth a visit. The major cities Lisbon, Porto, Madeira, Lagos, Algarve, and Azores spoil visitors with choice. A vacation in Portugal is also a gastronomical adventure. While Mediterranean in the broader sense, it deviates to tickle ones taste-buds with spices such as saffron, cinnamon, and vanilla. They incorporated cooking style from the various colonies they established around the world.


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Lonely Planet Portugal Country Guide978-1741790153$17A traveler’s introduction covering almost 100 pages followed by sections on Lisbon and Around, The Algarve, The Alentejo, Estremadura and Ribatejo, The Beiras, The Douro, The Minho, and Tras-os-Montes.
Laminated Portugal Map by Borch978-3866097445$111:650,000 Scale. Inset map of Lisbon and Region, Madeira and Porto Santo, Azores, and Algarve.
Streetwise Lisbon Map978-1931257442$8Laminated. City Center Map at 1:8,000 Scale. Also Inset Maps of Belem, Central Lisbon, Lisbon Area Map, Lisbon Regional Map, and Portugal Map.
Universal World Wide Travel Charger Adapter PlugB001MGUB9Q$4

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Portugal were a set of four stamps in different designs that were typographed and embossed, released in 1853. The stamps are very rare (Scott #1 to #4) with the 100r lilac (Scott #4) cataloging as high as $30K for mint. The first set was followed in 1855 by another set of four stamps in the King Pedro V theme. That set (Scott #5 to #8) is also very rare cataloging for around $10K mint and around $1K for used. King Luiz along with a few Numerals formed the themes of stamp issues of Portugal during the period till 1892. Chief among them was a set of five stamps released between 1862 and 1864 featuring King Luiz in five different embossed designs. The set (Scott #12 to #16) catalogs for around $2000 mint and around $230 used. A couple of other sets released in 1880 and 1882 (Scott #52 to #56 and #57 to #63) are also highly valued cataloging at $700 and $950 respectively for mint and around $55 and $380 respectively for used. A set of twelve stamps featuring King Carlos (Scott #67 to #78) along with several ‘Provisorio’ overprints formed the primary stamp issues of Portugal during the period till 1894. Those sets are also very rare cataloging in the hundreds of dollar range.

Portugal issued a set of thirteen stamps in 1894 to mark the 5th centenary of the birth of Prince Henry the Navigator. The set (Scott #97 to #109) is sought after and catalogs for around $1350 mint and around $300 used. The designs show Prince Henry on his Ship, Prince Henry directing fleet maneuvers, and Symbolic of Prince Henry’s Studies. A set of fifteen stamps released in 1895 to mark the 7th centenary of the birth of Saint Anthony of Padua is similarly sought after. That set (Scott #132 to #146) is also very rare and catalogs for around $1800 mint and around $1200 used. Henry the Navigator was responsible for the early development of European exploration and maritime trade with other continents in the early 15th century.

Other issues of Portugal enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A long set of twenty one stamps released on August 13, 1926 that formed the First Independence Issue. The set (Scott #377 to #397) catalogs for around $250 mint and around $160 used. The designs show Alfonso the Conqueror, First King of Portugal, Batalha Monastery and King John I, Battle of Aljubarrota, Filipa de Vilhena arming her Sons, King John IV, and the Independence Monument in Lisbon. Alfonso Henriques declared Portugal’s independence when he proclaimed himself King of Portugal on July 25, 1139 after the Battle of Ourique against the Moors.
  2. A set of seventeen stamps released in 1943 featuring an Ancient Sailing Vessel in different colors and denominations. The set (Scott #615 to #631) is considered the most recognized stamps of Portugal. It is sought after and catalogs for around $850 MNH and around $6 for used. Portuguese sailors are regarded as the first Europeans to “discover” islands in the South Pacific including Australia and New Zealand.
  3. A set of two stamps released on November 17, 1960 featuring the Arms of Lisbon and Symbolic Ship. The set (Scott #868 to #869) catalogs for around $6 MNH and around $3 used. It was issued at the 5th National Philatelic Exhibition in Lisbon to honor Prince Henry the navigator.
  4. A long set of twenty two stamps released between 1978 and 1983 in the Work Tools theme. The set (Scott #1360 to #1379) catalogs for around $12 MNH and around $5 for used. The designs show medical, household, communications, garment making, office, fishing craft, weaving, plows, aviation, printing, carpentry, potter’s wheel, photography, saws, compasses, mail processing, construction, steel industry, transportation, chemistry, shipbuilding, and telescopes.
  5. A set of four stamps and a souvenir sheets released on October 25, 1985 in the National Parks and Reserves theme. The set (Scott #1653 to #1656 and #1657) catalogs for around $12 MNH and around $5 for used. The designs show Berlenga Island, Estrela Mountain Chain, Boquilobo Marsh, Formosa Lagoon, and St. Jacinto Dunes. Because of human activity as early as 29 BC, original vegetation has largely been destroyed. There are many protected areas including the ones featured in the set. Portugal is also an important stopover for migratory birds.
  6. A stamp and a souvenir sheet released on April 11, 1990 in the Europa theme. The set (Scott #1806 and #1807) catalogs for around $30 MNH and around $10 for used. Several other issues have been released by Portugal in the Europa theme. They form a good collectible theme and the issues currently catalog for a slight premium over regular issues from the same periods.
Numismatic Profile:

The first coins of Portugal were Dinheiros (12 Dinheiros – 1 Seldo, 20 Seldos = 1 Libra) issued in 1179 following Portugal’s Independence under King Alfonso 1. That currency was used until 1433 when the real (1 real = 840 dinheiros) was introduced. In 1834, the crowned arms of Portugal appeared Spanish Colonial Reales to indicate a revaluation to 870 Reis. The countermarked varieties are valuable and fetch into the 100s fro UNC. The Republican revolution saw it getting replaced by the escudo (100 Centavos = 1 Escudo = 1000 Reis) in 1910. The first Gold Coin was a 400 Reis 0.0316 troy ounce issue showing Legend in Crowned Wreath in Obverse issued in 1807. It has low mintage (<9000 a="" and="" at="" bullion="" catalogs="" good="" include:="" items="" numismatic="" of="" over="" p="" portugal="" premium="" value.="">



ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$1 and upCommon UNCs from the 1970s onward starts around $1. Euro Year Sets, Silver Coins in VF from the 19th century, Lusofonia Games Issue in Original Folder, etc starts around $15. Recent Commemorative Silver Proofs, 19th Century Silver Coins in VF, etc starts around $50. Graded Coins of the 18th century in VG or better, Gold Coins, Silver Proof Sets, etc go well into the 100s.
Paper Money$2 and upCommon Escudo Banknotes starts around $2. High Value UNC Banknotes, Large Centavos from the 1910s in XF, etc start around $20. Rare Specimens from the 1950s onward, Low Serial Numbers, Bundles, etc go well into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:

Pottery, linen, lace, coffee, religious artifacts, fashion accessories are the most sought-after items of Portugal.


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Art$5 and upExlibris book plates, 19th century local scenes prints etc start around $5. Vintage Travel Posters and Oil Paintings start around $50. Original Works by Kathleen Farmer, Manuel Tavares, and Jeffrey Becom original photographs etc go into the 100s.
Antiques$10 and up19th century maps start around $10 and can go into the 100s for 18th century and older maps. Vintage Sterling Silver Curios start around $50 and go well into the 100s.
Miscellaneous Collectibles$15 and upCollector plates and vintage porcelain dolls start around $15. Vintage light wood mortal and pestles start around $30. Vintage Port Wine Ads, Military Service Medals, Original Royalty Documents, and pictures etc start into the 100s.


Related Posts:
  1. Angra.
  2. Azores
Last Updated: 12/2015.



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