Democratic Republic of the Congo (KINSHASA) / Zaire
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Dinosaurs, prehistoric animals, Charles Darwin on stamps of Democratic Republic of the Congo (KINSHASA ) and Zaire
, also known as DR Congo, DRC, DROC,
Congo-Kinshasa, or simply the Congo is a country located in Central Africa.
From 1971 to 1997 it was named Zaire
The DRC borders the Republic of the Congo
Central African Republic
, and South Sudan to the north; Uganda
to the east;
Zambia and Angola
to the south; and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.
It is the second largest country in Africa by area, with a population of over 79 million.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is extremely rich in natural
resources, but political instability, a lack of infrastructure, deep
rooted corruption, and centuries of both commercial and colonial
extraction and exploitation have limited holistic development.
The first stamps of the Democratic Republic Congo were issued right
after its independence from Belgium
, on June 30 1960.
In 1971, the state's name was changed to Zaire.
The first stamps of Zaire were issued on 18 December 1971.
In 1997 the country's name reverted to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Since then, the country issues its stamps under this name.
In 1996, Zaire authorized Swiss-based security printing company Impressor SA
to produce and distribute stamps on the country's behalf.
Since 2003, Impressor SA started to produce stamps of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
in excessive quantities on topics mostly unrelated to the country.
As there is no evidence that these stamps are sold at post offices within the
Democratic Republic of Congo and so were never used for postage,
some major stamp catalogs skip this country.
The last stamp of DRC listed in Stanley Gibbons catalog is dated 1996.
The last stamp of DRC listed in Scott catalog is dated 2002.
Michel and Yvert et Tellier (Yvert) as well as Belgian OBP ("Officiële Belgische Postzegelcatalogus")
continue to list all stamps of DRC.
It is very likely the case that these stamps were produced and sold through affiliated dealers,
with the goal to raise some currency for the poor country.
However, the cover on the right side prove that at least
some of these stamps were sold by the local post offices.
The letter was sent to me in Germany in 2018 by a resident of the country.
Two stamps on the front side, and some more similar stamps on the reverse, with face value of 550 FC
issued in 2005, MiNr. 1843, Yvert Nr. 1620, belongs to a set of 6 "Campaign against AIDS".
Due to the facts above these stamps should be avoided from serious collections and philatelic exhibition,
therefore they are marked with a gray background as Undesired
Official stamps of Zaire related to Paleontology: dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals
|16.10.1996 "Prehistoric animals"
||xx.xx.1996 "Flora, Fauna and Minerals" (unissued set) [Z2]
||xx.xx.1997 "Hong Kong'97" [Z1]
[Z1] Overprint with silver text on block from 1996
[Z2] Unissued set of stamps.
The stamps are distinguished from the similar stamps that were issued in various Mini-Sheets with the white frame.
This set of stamps was never released into circulation and were stored for future use.
, these stamps were overprinted with a surcharge and the new country name, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Those overprinted stamps were released for sale.
The set without the surcharged text is extremely rare.
One of the stamps shows the Triassic dinosaur, Scutellosaurus
– which had also been used for a mini-sheet issued the same year.
Official stamp Congo (Kinshasa) related to Paleontology: dinosaurs
Stamps on the grey background are Undesired
|xx.xx.2000 overprinted stamps of Zaire 
||02.06.2006 "Charles Darwin"
||28.01.2013 "Comments", "Volcanoes"
 This stamp shows the Triassic dinosaur Scutellosaurus
surcharged stamp from Mini-Sheet of 4 from Zaire 1996.
In 2000, many Zaire stamps were overprinted with a surcharge.
Like other African countries, black bars were used to cross out the old country/colony name and face value.
The position of the bars and the new face values could be shifted or have been printed multiple times as in the figures below.
In some cases, not enough ink was used to cover up completely the old name or face value.
Original stamp of the dinosaur, Scutellosaurus.
Zaire 1996, MiNr.: 1140, Scott: 1451a (?)
Surcharged stamp of the dinosaur, Scutellosaurus.
MiNr.: 1526, Scott: 1547.
Normal, slightly shifted and error stamps.
All stamps of Zaire surcharged by Congo-Kinshasa in 2000.
MiNr.: 1524-1532, Scott 1545-1553.
Distinguished from the original stamps of Zaire, the surcharged Congo-Kinshasa stamps were issued in individual sheets.
Unlike the original design, it can be clearly observed on the overprinted Scutellosaurus
issues that several changes were made.
The surcharged stamps have a white margin.
They also have the year of publication in the lower left corner and the name of the printer,
Impressor SA printed on the bottom right corner.
- [R1] Democratic Republic of the Congo (KINSHASA) :
- [R2] Postal History and Philately of Democratic Republic of the Congo (KINSHASA) :
Golowe's Collector Stamps,
Links to official website of Post Authority, stamp catalog and list of new stamps of Democratic Republic of the Congo (KINSHASA)
Many thanks to
Dr. Peter Voice from Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Western Michigan University,
for the draft page review and his very valuable comments.
- Many thanks to fellow collectors
for their help finding some information about stamp issues of Zaire
the Democratic Republic of the Congo (KINSHASA).
- Mr. Dominique ROBILLARD from France
- Mr. Jeff Dugdale from the UK
- Mr. Mikhail Shakhov from Russia