Stamps of Uruguay

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Stamps of Uruguay, chronologically sorted by the Scott and Michel catalogues. Forgeries of the issues to 1866 are included.

Map showing Chili, La Plata and Uruguay in 1853
Coat of arms of Uruguay

Private issues[edit]

Uruguayan monument 'La Diligencia' (The Stagecoach) in the departament of Montevideo

1856-1857 Diligencias[edit]

The postal services organised by the stagecoach companies, issued on 1 October 1856 the so-called Diligencia (stagecoach stamp). There were three values:

  • 60 centésimos blue, for single page letters (modified in October 1857)
  • 80 centésimos green, for two-page letters
  • 1 real red, for three-page letters.

Forged 1856-1857 stamps[edit]

1858 Soles Cifras Dobles[edit]

A new series was printed in March 1858 by Luciano Mège in Montevideo. This set came also in 3 values:

  • 120 centésimos blue
  • 180 centésimos green
  • 240 centésimos red

Forged 1858 stamps[edit]

Government issues[edit]

In 1859 the government approved postal stamps:

  • Purple: single weight letter – 60 cents
  • Yellow: double weight letter – 80 cents
  • Pink: triple weight letter – 100 cents

For the foreign mail service (refers only to Argentina and Brazil):

  • Light blue: single weight letter – 120 cents
  • Green: double weight letter – 180 cents
  • Scarlet: triple weight letter – 240 cents.

They were lithographed by Mège & Willems, active in Montevideo, and were issued on 26 June 1859.

June 1859 Soles[edit]

'Thin' numerals definitive issue. Values 60 to 240 centésimos, valid until 1-1-1861.

Forged 1859 stamps[edit]

1860-1862 Soles[edit]

'Thick' numerals definitive issue (without 240 c). Lithographed by Luciano Mège & Willems in Montevideo.

Forged 1860-1862 stamps[edit]

1864 Escuditos[edit]

The change in the currency to the silver peso system in 1862 urged for a new issue which appeared in April 13, 1864. Printed by Luciano Mege & Willems, Montevideo.


January 1, 1866 Escuditos Sobrecargados[edit]

Changes in the postal rates were responsible for the first surcharged stamps, the escudito issue of 1864 (escuditos sobrecargados). This provisional issue appeared on 1 January 1866, when the new rates went into effect, but were soon superseded by the new definitive stamps.

January 10, 1866 Cifras[edit]

A new set was issued 10 January 1866. Lithographed by Messrs. Maclure, Macdonald and Co., of London.

August 21, 1866 Cifras[edit]

Values 5 to 20 C, perforated. On 4-1-1869, the 1 C.

October 1, 1866 Cifras[edit]

On 1 October 1866 the 1c stamp appeared, due to the introduction of this rate for newspapers.

Forged 1866 stamps[edit]

1877-1879 Cifras con Ornamento[edit]

On 8 January 1877 a set of stamps was issued which had been engraved on steel by the American Bank Note Co., of New York, rouletted 8. It omitted the 15c value, but added a 50 c and 1 Peso. However, because of an error in the coat of arms,[1] the 1 Peso value was not issued until 1 May 1879.


In 1880 the 1c stamp became exhausted and on 10 November a 1 centesimo brown lithographed copy was issued. Rouletted 6, 12 or (partly) imperforate.


Due to a new postal rate for letters to Paraguay, Chile and Brazil, a stamp of 7c was issued on 25 August 1881, depicting Joaquín Suárez.


Two stamps for newspaper postage next appeared, the 1c on 15 May 1882 for local use, and the 2c on 1 July for foreign use.


March–April 1883[edit]

Coat of arms, 1 and 2 c. Maximo Santos (1836-1889) and José Gervasio Artigas (1764-1850) on 5 and 10 c. Lithographed by Mège & Aubriot.

September 24, 1883[edit]

In the latter part of 1883 the 5c stamps ran out, and the 5c of 1876 was overprinted 1883 Provisorio.


January 15, 1884[edit]

1 Cent stamps ran out, and the 10c of 1877 was surcharged Provisorio – 1 centesimo – 1884. It was issued on 15 January 1884.

May 1, 1884[edit]

The new stamps (values 1 C to 25 C) engraved by the American Bank Note Company were issued on 1 May 1884. Rouletted 8.

December 19, 1884[edit]

The 5c of the ABNC series was not issued until 19 December. This stamp was printed in violet instead of blue, the government refused them, sending them back to New York with an order for the blue. The violet stamps were returned by the ABNC and issued on 1 December 1886.

October 17, 1887 local issue[edit]

Litho M. Godel, Montevideo.


On 1 January 1888 the American Bank Note Company stamps appeared in changed colors, and the 10c in a new design.


The 5c stamp ran out in October 1889, and on 14 October the 5c violet was issued for general use with the overprint Provisorio. An inverted A for a V is known (pos. 91). Red surcharges are trial prints.

December 1889 - 1890[edit]

Definitive values 1 C to 1 P, engraved by Waterlow.


The 5c stamps ran out, and the 5c violet of 1886 was overprinted in red Provisorio – 1891. It was issued (56 670 stamps) on August 19, 1891. Valid to July 19, 1892.


January 18, 1892[edit]

The 1c and 5c ran out, the former being supplied from the 1c of 1888 overprinted Provisorio – 1892 and the 20c surcharging UN – Centésimo – Provisorio – 1892, and the latter by surcharging the 7c of the current issue CINCO – Centésimos – Provisorio – 1892.

March 9, 1892[edit]

A supply of definitive stamps arrived from London (Waterlow and Sons), in new designs, and the surcharges ceased. The 1c and 2c were issued 9 March 1892, the 5c on 19 April and the 10c on 15 December.


A new supply of the first series of stamps engraved by Waterlow and Sons was received on June 2 1894, but in changed colors and with two high values (2 and 3 Pesos) added.


Engraved by Waterlow. Values 1 C to 3 P.

July 18, 1896[edit]

A set of three stamps, 1, 5 and 10c was issued. Depicting President Joaquín Suárez‎, 10c his statue.


In March 1897, Aparicio Saravia led a revolutionary force against the Uruguayan government.[3] At the end of this civil war, stamps overprinted PAZ 1897 and a palm are issued, valid only for 3 days end of September.


Engraved by Waterlow. Values 5 milésimos to 1 Peso.

20th-century issues[edit]


Similar designs, but lithographed in Montevideo by the school of art.[4]


Commemorative issues.

1909-1910 - Engraved by Waterlow & Sons[edit]

A regular issue in November 1910 (5 m to 1 P) is designed by Blanco and engraved in London (note the lower part of the stamp).

1910-1911 - Engraved by South American Bank Note Co.[edit]

Engraved in Buenos Aires.

Official stamps[edit]

Official mail is mail sent from, or by an authorized department of government, governmental agency or international organization, and usually has an indication that it is official.


Regular 1887-1889 issue with 'OFICIAL' overprint.


OFICIAL overprint


OFICIAL overprint

Revenue stamps[edit]



  1. Michel: Nicht ausgegeben (1877), falscher Wappenzeichnung.
  2. Probably slate-blue (schieferblau), Michel N°57a.
  3. From Wikipedia Aparicio Saravia and Michel Catalog. Start of a Second republic in old catalogs.
  4. Michel catalog: Steindruck Kunstgewerbeschule, Montevideo