Guyana : 40th Anniversary of ICAO


Issue date: 26/10/1984


The original printed sheet of 25 stamps was overprinted twice. The first overprint was for the bicentennial of first manned flight (1783‑1983) and the 20th anniversary of Guyana Airways. The second overprint commemorated the 40th anniversary of ICAO. The following pictures show the progressive overprints.



The original stamp was issued on 25/01/1980: Nymphidium Mantus butterfly.

This stamp was printed in sheets of 25 stamps.

On 05/09/1983, the full sheet of 25 stamps was overprinted for the bicentennial of first manned flight (1783-1983) and the 10th Anniversary of Guyana Airways.

Overprints in blue are either an IATA three-letter airport code or the text Mont Golfier 1783-1983 (with an error: Mont Golfier should be written in one word: Montgolfier). The explanations on the airport codes in Guyana are provided hereafter (from left to right, top to bottom).

The main airport, Timehri International (in March 1997, following the death of the President, it was renamed Cheddi Jagan International Airport) is near Georgetown, the capital city of Guyana.


1. Overprinted with "AHL" (Aishalton airport, Guyana)

2. Overprinted with "BCG" (Bemichi airport, Guyana)

3. Overprinted with "BMJ" (Baramita airport, Guyana)

4. Overprinted with "EKE" (Ekereku airport, Guyana)

5. Overprinted with "GEO" (Timehri International airport, Georgetown, Guyana, the main airport in Guyana).

6. Overprinted with "GFO" (Bartica airport, Guyana)

7. Overprinted with "IBM" (Design error: the last two letters were inverted and the code should have been IMB meaning Imbaimadai Airport, Guyana)

8. Overprinted with  "Mont Golfier 1783‑1983"

9. Overprinted with  "KAI" (Kaieteur airport, Guyana)

10. Overprinted with  "KAR" (Kamarang airport, Guyana)

11. Overprinted with  "KPG" (Kurupung airport, Guyana)

12. Overprinted with  "Mont Golfier 1783‑1983"

13. Overprinted with  "Mont Golfier 1783‑1983"

14. Overprinted with  "Mont Golfier 1783‑1983"

15. Overprinted with  "KRG" (Karasabai airport, Guyana)

16. Overprinted with  "KTO" (Kato airport, Guyana)

17. Overprinted with  "LTM" (Lethem airport, Guyana)

18. Overprinted with  "Mont Golfier 1783‑1983"

19. Overprinted with  "MHA" (Mahdia airport, Guyana)

20. Overprinted with  "MWJ" (Matthews Ridge airport, Guyana)

21. Overprinted with  "MYM" (Monkey Mountain airport, Guyana)

22. Overprinted with  "NAI" (Annai airport, Guyana)

23. Overprinted with  "ORJ" (Orinduik airport, Guyana)

24. Overprinted with  "USI" (Mabaruma airport, Guyana)

25. Overprinted with “VEG" (Maikwak airport, Guyana).



On 06/09/1984, the sheet of 25 stamps was overprinted for the second time for the 40th anniversary of ICAO. Overprints in blue show the four letters ICAO, sometimes with an additional IATA three-letter airport code or 1984. The explanations on the airport codes in Guyana are provided hereafter (from left to right, top to bottom; figures indicate the position of the stamp within the sheet).


7. Overprinted with "IMB/ICAO" (IMB = Imbaimadai airport, Guyana)

8. Overprinted with "KCV/ICAO" (Design error: KCV is not an airport code in Guyana, but is currently used for Maconacon airport, Isabela, Philippines)

9. Overprinted with "KAI/ICAO" (KAI = Kaieteur airport, Guyana)

12. Overprinted with "1984"

13. Overprinted with "KPM/ICAO" (Design error: the letter P should have been R so that the actual code is KRM meaning Karanambo Airport, Guyana)

14. Overprinted with "1984"

18. Overprinted with "PMT/ICAO" (PMT = Paramakotoi airport, Guyana).



Sheetlet with serial number. The sheets were printed in multiples on a larger press sheet. The serial number only appeared once on the larger press sheet. The overprints were done as single sheets and it does not necessarily follow that serial number sheets were used in the same proportion.


Sheetlet with serial number. Error: note that a blue mark of the overprint “MANNED FLIGHT” can be seen (incompletely) on the two stamps at the lower-left corner.


Variety (Freak on overprint): Overprint shifted to the left, so that right-vertical strip of five stamps is not overprinted.


Variety: Offset Surcharge on Gum.


CTO - Cancelled To Order (26 October 1984).


First Day Cover, 25 January 1980, with the three values issued on that date. It shows the 30-cent stamp Nymphidium Mantus which was overprinted later.


First Day Cover, 5 September 1983, with the overprinting for the bicentennial of manned flight (1783‑1983): With the 30-cent stamp Nymphidium Mantus, overprinted in blue with Mont Golfier 1783-1983. The two other stamps, overprint in red at the stamp date, are also affixed.


First Day Cover, 5 September 1983, Kato CDS (Circular Date Stamp). Guyana released an FDC for each of the airport names shown on the overprinted sheet; in this case: Kato (KTO) airport, Guyana.


Background: Between 1981 and 1989, the majority of Guyana stamps were created by overprints and surcharges that were applied by five different printers located in Georgetown: Government Printer, Bovell’s Printery, Autoprint, Herald Printing and Tip Torres. Often, one printer would apply the initial overprint, while another subsequently applied the surcharge. As might be expected, given the conditions under which the overprints were applied, some errors exist.


Guyana Airways Corporation (G.A.C.) was the national airline of Guyana from 1973 to 2001. During this period, it operated services to destinations throughout the Caribbean, the USA, and Canada. It was declared insolvent in 2001.


The Nymphidium Mantus or Blue Nymphidium is found in South America from Costa Rica to Brazil. These are forest butterflies which fly chiefly early in the morning. They settle on the under surface of leaves during periods of rest, but on top of a leaf during short rests between flight periods. There are a lot of species in the category of the Nymphidium (part of the Nemeobiidae group). Family Nemeobiidae is one of the largest butterfly families in existence. This family contains over 2000 species, which are mostly found in the tropical portions of the world.

As far as coloration of wings, this family has one of the widest ranges of colours and patterning in existence: ranging from whites to yellows, to metallic blues, to reds, to blacks, and several clear-winged beauties.


Guyana's coat of arms establishes the value the country places on its natural resources to spearhead its economic future. It is constructed with a white shield bordered on the sides by jaguars, an Indian headdress at the top, and the country's motto inscribed on a red and gold ribbon at the bottom.

The shield is divided by three blue, wavy lines. At the bottom is the hoatzin, the national bird. At the top is the Victoria Regia water lily, the national flower. One of the jaguars holds a pickaxe, representing the valuable bauxite mining. The other holds a sugarcane stalk representing the importance of sugarcane farming. Representative of gemstone mining is the diamond found in the Indian headdress. Last, but not least, is the national motto on the ribbon, ONE PEOPLE, ONE NATION, ONE DESTINY, a slogan meant to represent the unity of the various races and regions of the country.

The design was adapted by the Royal College of Arms in England from three Guyana’s artists.

The set of two ICAO stamps illustrated here shows the complexity of the Guyana overprints. The Flowers definitive set (of which two examples are shown here) comprises a large number of stamps that proved amenable to receiving numerous overprints and surcharges. Almost 300 different types of overprints exist on these stamps.


In 1981, the stamp-issuing policy of Guyana underwent a drastic change. From 1981 through 1985, Guyana was always in the top 10 of the most prolific-issuing countries in the world. A few years later, it became several times the most prolific stamp-issuing country in the world.

Guyana has often had problems, and these became more pronounced by the end of the 1970s. The country’s economy was always rather weak, and by the 1970s, it was in sharp downturn. The Guyana dollar was subject to great inflation, hurting the country’s ability to import goods. Sometime in the early 1980s, the Government of Guyana made the decision to ease some of its foreign exchange shortages by issuing far more stamps for sale to collectors than were required for postal needs. Unlike most countries that produce speculative and abusive stamp issues, Guyana chose to create most of its new issues by overprinting existing stocks of previously issued stamps. The local overprinting did insure that almost all of these new issues were at least available in Guyana for postal use.

Between 1981 and 1989, the majority of Guyana stamps were created by overprints and surcharges. By 1990, the deluge of overprinted and surcharged stamps in Guyana had come to an end. One suspects that there were no stamp stocks remaining to be overprinted. At this point, Guyana began to order new stamps produced abroad; the flood of new stamps continued however.