The stamps.

Most sources use a few numbers from Chapman to indicate the quantities of stamps issued. However, they often use the number of stamps sent to the various districts without modification. It is perhaps more accurate to subtract the number of stamps returned from the districts as unused, to come up with the quantities that were actually sold and possibly used. Some confusion also comes from the fact that the number of stamps printed is unknown. The quantities Chapman derives for stamps printed are simply the sum of all stamps accepted as satisfactory and accounted for.

Action Date 1/2 real 1 real 2 reales 4 reales 8 reales
Accepted from printer July 30 835320 527790 285780 69660 89220
Accepted from printer December 30 146700 118340 247000   11220
Accepted from printer January 31   348800 345420 5580  
Bought from V. Segura? March 21 64 36 50 11 3
Accepted from printer November 20     91960    
Accepted from printer December 24     34770    
Accepted from printer January 9     34960 11820  
Accepted from printer February 15     92340    
Accepted from printer April 12       23880  
Accepted from printer May 10   25800 29640    
Accepted from printer June 5     72390    
Accepted from printer July 20   93200      
Accepted from printer July 28   94000      
Accepted from printer August 19     88730    
Accepted from printer August 28     87590    
Accepted from printer November 5       56220  
Accepted from printer February 7   49600 88160    
Accepted from printer February 15   43200      
Accepted from printer December 1     86640    
Accepted from printer December 10   91000      
From stock February 5 5200 19944 36808   180
From stock March 19   5635 906    
From stock March 20 44 199 389   29
Accepted total   987328 1417544 1623533 167171 100652
Sent to districts   825573 1424275 1629773 157189 100784
Returned   57213 20892 13438 4542 6324
Total used Sent - Returned 768360 1403383 1616335 152647 94460
Remainders Accepted total - Total used 218968 14161 7198 14524 6192
Burned April 18, 1861 165986     10526 1465
Burned & written off From April 18, 1861 to 1863 52982 15055 7390 3998 4727
Total destroyed   218968 15055 7390 14524 6192
Unaccounted for Remainders - Destroyed 0 -894 -192 0 0

The quantities of stamps accepted are not the total number of stamps printed. It is plain to see from the fact that some of these numbers are not evenly divisible by 60, for example, and therefore could not correspond to a number of whole sheets.

The first delivery of 1 real stamps is believed to have consisted of stamps printed from plates of 60 subjects. The first delivery then corresponds to 8796½ sheets. It is a bit more reasonable to use individual consignments when trying to determine the size of the sheets delivered, as it is commonly assumed that only whole sheets were normally delivered to the districts.

The number of accepted stamps is mainly of interest to check the balance of the remaining numbers. The numbers marked "Sent to districts" are the numbers commonly used as the issue quantity. However, the number "Total used" is perhaps a better reflection of the true number available to the public, and indicate the theoretical maximum of stamps that could have been sold and used.

The difference between "Accepted total" and "Total used" is marked "Remainders". Perhaps not the correct term, it does indicate how many stamps were produced but unsold and unused. This number should then correspond to the number of stamps destroyed. Except for a very small number of 1 real and 2 reales stamps, all stamps are accounted for. This is in itself quite remarkable, indicating that the very rigorous accounting system was working, even under difficult circumstances.

The numbers used here for the quantities issued are the numbers labeled "Total used" in the above table.

One small point could be made of the fact that all stamps from the first issue are accounted for - they could never have been used with the Gothic overprints. The stamps used in 1867 with the Gothic overprint are always from the 1861 issue or are made from reprints with the same plates used for the 1861 issue, on different, watermarked paper. It is currently not known if the small, early plates were used for these reprints.

A note on surviving stamps.

On the following pages the number of surviving stamps is a theoretical maximum, assuming a fixed survival rate. Many factors influence this rate. Business letters may have been preserved to a greater extent, while newspaper wrappers were often discarded. The numbers are perhaps most useful as an indication of relative scarcity than as the true number of stamps available to collectors.  When a comparison is made to the number of stamps used in Mexico D.F., it is not an accurate indication of relative scarcity, since survival rates could be different from district to district.