Philatelic tidbits of modern Ecuador stamps

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With this final entry about stamps of Ecuador, I want to raise up some random,but still interesting philatelic tidbits about modern Ecuadorian stamps.

The Roosevelt officials of 1949

Though I don’t usually include mint stamps into my collection, from time to time I’m forced make exceptions as some stamps aren’t known (listed) in used condition. And one such are the Ecuadorian officials of 1949 issued in honor of US president Franklin D. Roosevelt who had passed in 1945:

1949 Ecuador. So called Roosevelt official - likely these were never officially used.

1949 Ecuador.One of the so called Roosevelt officials - in total there are 30 different ones if including various overprints. Likely these were never officially used.

Michel lists these as Officials #162-193, but notes that their issuance is doubtful and values are given for mint specimens only. Scott goes a bit further, and simply footnotes that these stamps likely never saw official approval, and as such they are not included to catalog listings. However… I’ve seen (on eBay etc) philatelic covers with these stamps from time to time. So I would not be surprised if their catalog status would change some day.

So far I’m still missing a majority of the these, but as none of these hugely expensive nor rare I’m quite sure that sooner or later I’ll have them all in my stockbook ;)

Crazy years of 1966/69

In 1950s and early 1960s Ecuador was your average South American country in a sense, that it released a large number of stamps for postal usage. However, this situation changed in 1966 when Ecuador started to issue topical CTO sets for collectors. This practice went on for 4 years, until 1970 it stopped as unexpectedly as it has started. I don’t know what’s the story behind this, but interestingly also Panama had similar flow of ‘topical wallpaper’ during the same years. So my guess it’s somehow related to stamp printing contracts.

Some stamps from the crazy years.  The space stamp displays a usual CTO-cancel, whereas the below Olympic stamp proves that these saw postal use too.

Some stamps from the crazy years. The space stamp displays a usual CTO-cancel, whereas the below Olympic stamp proves that these saw postal use too.

Michel lists very specifically which series are known to exist as CTOs, whereas Scott simply states that the postal validity of some sets has been questioned.

Security markings used in stamps during 1970/80

Another interesting aspect of modern Ecuadorian stamps are security markings. From 1970 to 1980 (and possibly even from thereon) most Ecuadorian stamps have applied security markings. On simplest form this means a printed Ecuadorian coat of arms on the back of stamp, but more interesting are the various phosporence taggins used:

1971 Ecuador. 50th anniversary of El Universo newspaper. On the rightmost image, the digitally enhanced yellow color display security tagging.

1971 Ecuador. 50th anniversary of El Universo newspaper. On the rightmost image, the digitally enhanced yellow color displays applied security tagging.

Michel notes that different taggings (’GOBIERNO DEL ECUADOR’, and ‘SUMINISTROS DEL ESTADO GOBIERNO DEL ECUADOR’, and EMPRESA DEL ESTADO SERVICIO DE CORREOS NACIONALES’) in varying positions are known.

Use of US Dollars as currency

Ecuador has a long history with inflation and hyperinflation. So not so surprisingly, the country abandoned it’s own currency Sucre in early 2000 and announced that US dollar would be adopted as Ecuador’s official currency instead.

The change was so quick that no dual currency stamps or overprints were made for the transition period – the Sucre was simply wiped out of the table in just few months. Below is one of my favorite items of modern Ecuador in US currency.

2008 Ecuador.  Modern Ecuador stamps have face value in US dollars.

2008 Ecuador. Modern Ecuador stamps have face value in US dollars.

Closing words

As usual, feel free to share your comments, questions and opinions on matter. Till next time, happy collecting!

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