Venezuela - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Venezuela, a country in the Northern Coast of South America bordered by Colombia, Guyana, Brazil, and the Northern Atlantic Ocean has a total land area of 353,841 square miles and a population of over 29 million. Venezuela, the most urbanized among Latin American countries, has a varied terrain. Its terrain includes mountains (Andes), rain-forests (Amazon), plains, xeric scrublands, cloud forests, mangrove forests, and a delta (Orinoco). Its biodiversity is also very high and is blessed with many natural resources including petroleum, natural gas, water, iron ore, gold, etc. Petroleum, manufacturing, and agriculture are the major sectors of its economy. The country is on a quest to rid itself of corruption.

Travel Resources:

The dry season from November through April is generally considered the best time to visit Venezuela. For visiting Angel Falls, the rainy season is better. The major attractions of Venezuela are the World Heritage Site of Canaima Island ( La Gran Sabana, Angel Falls), El Teleferico, Los Chorros park,  Isla Margarita, Gran Roque, Los Llanos. Venezuelan cuisine is a blend of European, Indian, and African cuisine. Cornmeal, cheese, rice, yucca and chicken are the staples. Typical dishes are areperias (cornmeal bread sandwich), emapanda, el pabellon (rice, plantain, beans and meat), carne asada etc.


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Lonely Planet Venezuela Country Guide978-1741791587$18Best Guide to Venezuela. Full Color Highlights featuring author and traveler favorites. Coverage includes trekking, diving, and wildlife-watching. 312 pages and 64 maps.
Venezuela Travel Reference Map978-0921463597$111:1.75M Scale. Inset maps of Caracas and environs, parks and reserves, central Caracas, Isla de Margarita, and Auyuan-Tepi and Roraima Regions.
Venezuela Grounded Adapter Plug – GUAB001FD5EIY$8

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Venezuela were a set of three stamps released on January 1, 1859 in the Coat of Arms theme. The set (Scott #1 to #3) catalogs for around $330 mint and around $35 used. This was followed by a sister set of three stamps between 1859 and 1862 in the same design. That set (Scott #4 to #6) catalogs for a round $50 mint and around $30 used. Several varieties exist and those generally catalog upwards of $100 individually. Another issue in a different design in the Arms theme was released in 1862 and that set (Scott #7 to #9) is sought after and catalogs for around $75 mint and around $440 used. Coat of Arms theme along with several designs portraying Simon Bolivar formed the stamp issues of Venezuela during the period till 1893. Chief among them were a set of six stamps released in 1880 showing Simon Bolivar. The set (Scott #68 to #73) catalogs for around $260 mint and around $100 used. A couple of sets (Scott #100 to #103 and #104 to #107) portraying Simon Bolivar issues from 1882 to 1888 with handstamp surcharge. Overprints are also highly valued at around $100 and $50 respectively for mint and a little less for used. Simon Bolivar was a Venezuelan military and political leader who played a key role in Latin America’s successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire. He was the 2nd President of Venezuela and the President of Gran Colombia (union of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama) between 1819 and 1830.

Venezuela issued a set of five stamps in 1896 showing Map of Venezuela in different colors and denominations. The set (Scott #137 to #141) catalogs for around $85 mint and around $50 used. More Simon Bolivar designs, certain overprints, and few other designs formed the stamp issues of Venezuela during the period till 1937. Chief among them were a set of seven stamps released on July 1, 1937 showing local scenes. The set (Scott #311 to #317) catalogs for around $35 MNH and around $22 for used. The designs show nurse and child, river scene, gathering cacao, cattle raising, and plowing.

Other issues of Venezuela enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A set of seven stamps released on December 14, 1962 showing Birds. The set (Scott #818 to #824) catalogs for around $22 MNH and around $10 used. The designs show vermilion cardinal, great kiskadee, glossy black thrush, collared trogons, swallow tanager, long-tailed sylph, and black-necked stilt.
  2. A set of five stamps released on May 16, 1972 in the Venezuela in America theme. The set (Scott #996 to #1000) catalogs for around $30 MNH and around $12 used. The designs show flags of American Nations in background along with the Venezuela Flag, national anthem, Araguaney and national tree, and map of North and South America.
  3. A sheet of ten stamps and a souvenir sheet issued on October 18, 1995 in the Native Aboriginals theme. The set (Scott #1527a-j and #1528) catalogs for around $12 MNH or used. The designs show Kuana man seated on post, Kuana woman using stones to do laundry, Guahibo people with one playing flute, Guahibo Shaman with child, Uruak Man with tree branch, Uruak woman cooking, Warao woman spinning twine, Warao man, woman in boat, Bari men with bows and arrows, Bari man rubbing sticks to make fire, and young boy with bird.
Numismatic Profile:

The first coins of Venezuela were Republic of Venezuela Decimal Coinage (10 Centavos = 1 Real, 10 Reals = 1 Peso) Copper Centavos issued in 1843 showing Liberty head in Obverse and Value, Date, and Two Branches in Reverse. The first issues had high mintage but still catalogs well into the 100s for UNC. The first reform coinage (100 Centavos = 1 Venezolano) debut in 1871 and the first gold coin was a 5 Venezolanos 0.2333 troy ounce issue of 1875 with a mintage of 69K. The issue trades at a premium over bullion value. The second reform coinage (100 Centimos = 1 Bolivar) debut in 1896 and coins of the period are sought after and valuable although mintages are high.

Numismatic items of Venezuela include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$1 and upCommon UNCs starts around $1. UNC Year Sets, Silver Coins in VF+, etc start around $10. Recent Silver Bolivares Proofs, Rare Low Mintage Silver Coins in VF+, etc start around $50. Gold Coins go well into the 100s.
Paper Money$1 and upCommon UNCs starts around $1. Consecutive Serial Number Banknotes with 10 pieces or more, High Value UNCs, etc start around $10. Rare UNC Specimens, Replacements, etc start around $50. Bundles, Rare Dates, Specimen Packs, etc go well into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:

Baskets, masks, hammocks, jewelry, musical instruments, and carvings are popular souvenirs.


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Art$10 and up19th century historically relevant photo prints, Miniature Ceramic Oil Paintings etc start around $10. Original Works by Onofre Frias, Raphael Bogarin, Cuban Movie Posters etc start into the 100s.
Antiques$10 and up19th century maps start around $10. 18th century and older maps start around $30. Long Twisted Nueva Cadiz Trade Beads start in the $100 range.
Miscellaneous Collectibles$1 and upVintage Postcards, Flags, etc start around $1. Native American Pottery starts around $10. Indian Masato Gourd Bowls, WW Airborne Wing Medals, etc start around $30.

Last Updated: 12/2015.

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