- Spain’s Dos Reales is considered the rarest and most valuable Spanish stamp
- The error of color on the Dos Reales contributes to its rarity and value
- A perfect mint single Dos Reales was sold for $23,200 in 1996
- There are only three known copies of the color error Dos Reales
The Legendary Dos Reales: Spain’s Most Sought-After Stamp
The Dos Reales of 1851 holds the title of Spain’s rarest stamp, known for its color error and elusive nature. Initially deemed unnecessary by the Spanish government, the stamp was introduced on January 1, 1851, for registered letters within Spain and correspondence with Portugal. Featuring the portrait of Queen Isabella II, who reigned from 1833 for 35 years, this stamp has a captivating history and continues to captivate philatelists worldwide.
The Birth of the Dos Reales: A Stamp for Inland Registered Letters
When the Spanish government began issuing stamps in 1850, they prioritized printing the cheapest values (6 cuartos and 12 cuartos) and higher values for regular correspondence with Belgium and France. The Dos Reales stamps of 1851, 1852, and 1853 were used primarily for foreign certified mail to Portugal. At the time, Spain had limited interactions with Portugal, and only covers weighing approximately seven grams qualified for the Dos Reales rate.
A Limited Run: The Rarity of the Dos Reales Stamp
In 1851, the postal authorities optimistically ordered the printing of 13,600 Dos Reales stamps, but only 3,394 copies were sold. The remaining stamps were destroyed, further contributing to their scarcity. The Dos Reales stamp became mandatory for inland registered letters in 1854, and subsequent agreements with other countries increased the use of the stamp.
The Error of Color: A Philatelic Treasure
The color error on the Dos Reales stamp occurred when a ‘die stone’ of the Dos Reales was mistakenly placed into the printing plate of the six reales blue of 1851. This mistake resulted in the rarest stamp in Spanish philately, with only three known copies in existence. These copies were discovered in 1868, 1886, and 1899, and have since become highly sought-after collectibles.
The Value of Valuable Spanish Stamps: How Much Are They Worth?
In 1996, a perfect mint single of the Dos Reales stamp sold for $23,200, while good used copies can fetch between $12,000 to $15,000. The value of the three known color error Dos Reales stamps is even higher, as they are considered the pinnacle of Spanish philately.
In Conclusion: Celebrating the Legacy of Valuable Spanish Stamps
The fascinating world of valuable Spanish stamps, particularly the Dos Reales, offers a unique glimpse into the history and cultural significance of these rare collectibles. The Dos Reales stamp, with its captivating story and remarkable value, serves as a testament to the enduring allure of philately and the passion of collectors worldwide.