Stamp detective: Galapagos Islands, 1957

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24 September 2019
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Our philatelic private eye spies an intriguing stamp for the Galapagos Islands that’s in demand.

In 1957, the Republic of Ecuador decided to release special stamps for its island territory of the Galápagos Islands which today is a National Park. It was during an 1836 visit to these islands in the Pacific that Charles Darwin found inspiration for his theories on the evolution of species.

It is quite an interesting set which shows local scenery and wildlife on three regular and three airmail stamps.

Stamp availability

In total, 300,000 complete sets were printed, however, many were overprinted in 1961 to commemorate the establishment of a UNESCO research station on the islands.

Although primarily intended as regional stamps for the Galápagos Islands, they could also be used on mail throughout Ecuador.

This set has always been in demand as it appeals to both Ecuador and several kinds of thematic collectors. It seems that the supply has now dried up and offers of complete unmounted mint sets on auction websites are far between. The 1961 UNESCO overprints are much easier to locate.

Price watch

In late April 2018, a UK-based seller offered an unmounted mint 1957 set online starting at £3.95. It sold for £5.50.

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