Stamp of Spanish colony Rio de Oro
overprinted with "La Aguera"
La Aguera (alternatively Lagouira or La Gouera) was a small settlement located off of the western tip of Africa near Morroco and Mauritania. Spain claimed it as a colonial territory from 1920 to 1924, using the area as a landing strip for trans-Atlantic flights.
La Aguera has been all but completely abandoned in recent years. The encroaching desert sand has covered many of the buildings and roadways. Only a few native fishermen are in the region now.
In 1920, stamps of the Spanish colony Rio de Oro were overprinted with "La Aguera" and were used as stamps for the region. This first issue of stamps for La Aguera consists of 13 stamps. The highest denominated stamp in this series, a 10-peseta stamp (Scott #13, shown nearby), has a 2006 catalog value of $77.50 in hinged mint, or used condition. It is the most expensive stamp of all stamps issued for La Aguera.
The second issue of stamps, again 13 stamps, occurred two years later, in 1922, when stamps featuring Spanish King Alfonso XIII were issued. Instead of being overprinted, they were captioned "Sahara Occidental La Aguera". The 10-peseta stamp of this set, Scott #26, is shown nearby It is the highest valued stamp in the second series.
A total of 26 stamps were issued for La Aguera during its four year history as a stamp issuing entity. Hinged, mint copies of the whole run of stamps catalog for about $250 (USD), with mint, never hinged sets cataloging at about $375. These prices may sound expensive, but they are a bit deceiving ... the first nine stamps of the 1920 overprinted stamp set catalog for a little over $2 each, while the first nine stamps of the 1922 issue catalog for about $1 each. One can obtain 18 stamps out of the 26 total issued for about $30. It is the few, higher denomination stamps that cause the complete set price to escalate in price.
The Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue (2006 Edition), catalogs postally used versions of the stamps as the same price that the mint stamps. It appears that postally used versions of the stamps are actually quite hard to find. Stamped covers featuring these stamps will command a high premium. The stamps on any covers for this region should be left on cover, so as to maximize the value of your collection.
Previous Stamp Issuer Topics:
Monday, March 24, 2008
La Aguera, Scott #13
La Aguera, Scott #26