Queen Isabella II

January 1, 1864

According to an Act dated July 19, 1849 Spain adopted the metric monetary system for herself and her colonies. 1862 had been designated as the year in which it should go into operation, but this was later postponed until 1864 for the Philippines, and 1866 for Spain. Hence, a new issue of stamps was made, of uniform type for Spain and her colonies, except as to the values given in the lower label of each stamp.

The stamps were typographed on tinted paper by the Fabrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre, Madrid, Spain. They were engraved by Don Jose Perez Varela; issued imperforate; measure 18 x 22 mm; and printed in sheets of 170 stamps, (10 x 17). The quantities issued are unknown, although the supply that arrived from Spain was considerably large as to meet the demand until the end of 1868, when the remaining stock was overprinted "Habilitado Por La Nacion".

The design shows the left profile of Queen Isabella II, enclosed in an oval frame of pearls, and an elaborate diadem in the outer frame. The word "CORREOS" appears in the top label, with a white dot before and after it.

Four values were issued which correspond to the previous values of 5-cuartos, 10-cuartos, 1-real and 2-reales respectively. A Royal Order of December 5, 1864 authorised the use of the 3-1/8 and 6-2/8 centimos values on foreign correspondence whenever their value permitted, despite being originally intended for "interior" use.

3-1/8 centimos de peso fuerte. Issued in varying shades of black. Exists on buff paper (Scott #21; SG #26; Edifil #17) and cream paper (Edifil #17a).

6-2/8 centimos de peso fuerte. Issued in varying shades of green. Exists on white paper (Edifil #18) and rose paper (Scott #22; SG #27; Edifil #18a).

12-4/8 centimos de peso fuerte. Issued in varying shades of blue. Exists on salmon paper (Scott #23; Edifil #19), white paper (Edifil #19a) and flesh coloured paper (SG #28).

25 centimos de peso fuerte. Issued in varying shades of red. Exists on white paper (Scott #24; SG #30; Edifil #20) and rose paper (SG #29; Edifil #20a).

A Royal Order dated November 5, 1864, approved the decision of the Superintendent at Manila to withdraw all postage stamps of old issues for the Philippines. Thereafter these were therefore, (except in rare cases in out of the way places), only used after being given the surcharge "HABILITADO POR LA NACION".



Double Impression

The 3-1/8c stamp is known to exist with Double Impression on the value.





There are a number of varieties on these issues mainly caused by worn plates or under-inking on letters and numbers in the value tablet. As a result, there are various broken letter variations that can be found. In addition, the following varieties are known to exist on each of the four values:

With No Period under "o" of "Po"


 With No Period under "e" of "Fe"


 With No Period under "o" of "Po" and "e" of "Fe"



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