Surinam - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Surinam, a country in Northern South America bordered by Guyana, French Guyana, Brazil, and the Atlantic Ocean has a total land area of 63,251 square miles and a population of around 500,000. The southern part of Surinam (i.e 80% of the country) is covered with tropical rain-forests and Savannah while the populated northern part is arable. The major sectors of its economy are mining (bauxite, oil and gold), agriculture, seafood, and services (tourism) industry. The peaceful coexistence of a synagogue and a mosque in the center of Paramaribo only highlights its tolerant approach to life.

Travel Resources: 

February through April, and August through November are the best time to visit Surinam. Its pristine Amazonian forests are home to some of nature’s precious flora and fauna. Wildlife reserves, waterfalls, vegetation, plantations, and scenery are only some of its major attractions. Paramaribo, Central Suriname Nature Reserve, Brownsberg Nature Park, Tafelberg Nature Reserve, Coppername River, Sts. Peter And Paul Cathedral (114 years old), Laarwijk, Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge, etc are other highlights. The ethnic diversity in Suriname cuisine is a gastronome’s delight– West African, Creole, Indian, Chinese, Indonesian, Dutch, Lebanese, and Jewish.


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Suriname Grounded Adapter Plug Kit – GUA and GUBB0016ZPWOM$14

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Surinam were a set of sixteen stamps released between 1873 and 1889 showing King William III. The set (Scott #1 to #16) catalogs for around $600 mint and around $270 used. The set was followed in 1890 by a set of five stamps showing Numerals. That set (Scott #17 to #21) catalogs for around $30 mint and around $9 used. Numeral theme in a different design along with a surcharge overprint on the King William III design formed the stamp issues of Surinam during the period till 1892. Surinam released a set of six stamps between 1892 and 1893 showing Queen Wilhelmina. The set (Scott #25 to #30) catalogs for around $95 mint and around $20 used. Surcharge overprints on the first sets continued to be issued till the turn of the century. Surinam was a Dutch plantation colony from the mid-17th century. After the abolition of slavery in 1873, the Dutch brought in contract workers from Indonesia, India, China, and the Middle East. This history has made the country one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse in the world.

Surcharge and ‘Suriname’ overprints on Netherlands issues, Numerals, Queen Wilhelmina designs, along with surcharge overprints continued to be the themes on stamp issues of Surinam during the period till 1933. Chief among them were a long set of thirty five stamps released between 1913 and 1931 showing Numerals and a couple of Queen Wilhelmina designs. The set (Scott #74 to #108) catalogs for around $175 mint and around $135 used.

Other issues of Surinam enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A set of ten stamps released on April 1, 1951 showing a head portrait of Queen Juliana in two designs with different colors and denominations. The set (Scott #243 to #252) catalogs for around $40 MNH and around $4 for used.
  2. A set of two stamps released on July 1, 1960 to mark the Day of Freedom. The set (Scott #282 to #283) catalogs for around a dollar MNH or used. The designs show Flag of Surinam and Map and Arms of Surinam.
  3. A set of twelve stamps released between 1985 and 1995 in the Birds theme. The set (Scott #724 to #735) catalogs for around $150 MNH or used. The designs show toucan, American purple fowl, tiger bird, red ibis, Guyana red cockerel, harpy eagle, parrot, owl, rose lepelaar, toucan, hummingbird, and hoatzin. More than 80% of Surinam’s land-mass consists of unspoiled rainforest. Surinam established the Central Surinam Nature Reserve to conserve this resource. It became a World Heritage site in 2000.
  4. A set of six stamps released on May 31, 1995 in the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) theme. The set (Scott #1010 to #1015) catalogs for around $18 MNH and around $15 used. The designs show jaguarundi, oncilla, and margay.
  5. A set of two stamps and a souvenir sheet of two released on September 12, 2001 as an America Issue. The set (Scott #1260a-b, and #1261) catalogs for around $20 MNH or used. The designs show Paramaribo Buildings: Bishop’s House and Presidential Palace. Surinam has released a number of America issues over the years and they form a good collectible theme. Paramaribo is the capital city and the vast majority of the people of Surinam live in the area. In central Paramaribo, a synagogue is located adjacent to a mosque, a rare site.
Numismatic Profile:

The first coins of Surinam were Dutch Adminstration Coinage (100 Cents = 1 Gulden – Guilders) Brass Cents released in 1943. They had mintage into the millions but still catalogs for around $20 in BU. The first gold coin was a 0.1945 troy ounce 100 Gulden coin and proof issued in 1976. From that timeframe onward, Surinam has issued a number of commemorative gold and silver coins and proofs and they are all valued at a slight premium over bullion value.

Numismatic items of Surinam include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$2 and upUNC Brass Cents starts around $2. UNC Sets starts around $10. Silver Proofs start around $30. Gold Proofs go into the 100s.
Paper Money$2 and upCommon UNC Guldens starts around $2. High Value UNCs, Consecutive UNC Notes of 5-pieces or more, etc start around $10. Rare Early High Values, Bundles, etc start around $50 and go well into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:

Dolls in traditional outfits, pottery, wooden carvings and bowls, Maroon drum, and decorative items are typical souvenirs from Surinam.


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Miscellaneous Collectibles$3 and upStickers, Flags, Key Chains, etc start around $3. Historically relevant photographs start around $10.

Last Updated: 12/2015.

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