Paper Colors

The big headache of this series!

One of the most frustrating emotions that a collector can feel is not knowing what exactly is out there. We need to know that we either have a complete collection… or the pieces our collections are missing.

That wasn’t possible with Venezuelan Formular Cards. For decades, collectors had always had second thoughts about them. We still don’t have certainty about all the colors available, but I believe we are getting really close. If you have a color not listed here, please let me know!


Why there are so many colors is another of the many mysteries around these cards. The lack of official documentation about the printer or the printing orders makes it a next-to-impossible task.

There are many theories about it: The initial thought was that they were there only to please collectors. This can hardly be true because magazines talked about the multitude of colors only weeks after their release. Also, these cards have never been that desired among collectors and the amount of colored paper found these days is not despicable so the market has always been saturated (I hope this website and my catalog helps change this!)

Some people thought that was the result of a lack of inventory of the right paper colors. I found that hard to believe given that there are multiple paper colors in all printings from II to VI. If that were the reason, I’d accept it happened on one printing, not all. Also, I can’t imagine a printer deciding what paper to use on an order. That’s always decided by the customer: The government in this case.

I’m a firm believer that the reason was no other than just an attempt to make these cards more appealing to the customers. Given that the first printing can be found on three different ink colors, it tells me that they were experimenting since the beginning. The first experiment (changing ink colors) failed so they tried to change the papers. And the history has proved that it was a successful move!

However, mine is just another theory. What’s yours?

Next, I’ll post an image of every paper color in my collection by printing. Again: If you have other colors than the ones shown here, please let me know!

Printing II

Printing III

Printing IV

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