First Issue Genuine Cancellations

Why are the first issues so rare used?

This issue was basically delivered and largely stored for the 11 years that it was monetized. There was very little demand for postal letter delivery internally. The bulk of the demand was for governmental or Church mail for which no postage was paid. In spite of a decree to the contrary people continued to pay without stamps. Letters were marked franqueado or franco if prepaid and porteado or porto if the letter was paid by the addressee. Also the postal rate was higher than that of private carriers, the more common and reliable method of transporting letters.

A genuine dated-canceled cover using this issue doesn't exist. In fact, there are only a few known covers/fronts using the first issue. None of them is dated.
 1865 known covers Since the unused stamps were literally auctioned by the millions to stamp dealers they are essentially wallpaper. This created an easy route for counterfeiters. Buy a sheet of 100 for $10, get some black ink and add an "X" and a tiny checkmark to each. Sell them to suckers on ebay and retire to a life of leisure.

Genuine used are very, very few and in large private collections of the privileged. Internet or dealer sales claiming "used and certified" means fake without a written certificate from the American Philatelic Society or better yet, the known expert, Richard Washburn. (Yes I have seen errors in Honduran certificates sold by other American agencies.)

Article 3 of October 18, 1865 Decree states " prevent fraud Postmaster who receives mail will immediately cancel stamps by a pen-struck cross or with inked-rubber handstamp..." The pen-struck cross could extend over multiple stamps or more commonly cover one individual stamp. The cross could overlap to the adjoining stamp. A small hook at the end of the cross was commonplace. The cross is very easy to duplicate. Now that one catalog has elevated the used price to over $200 you will see more and more of these "discovered." Don't be fooled by the internet claims. Make sure it has an APS or Washburn certificate.

1865 hooks

Notice the characteristic hooks. Well-faded with time, this one is from an 1877 cover above.

1865 used part 21 1865 transit

Here is what an APS certificate looks like.

APS certificate ----------------------------------------
1865 prices -Anderson Catalog of Classic Honduran Stamps by Craig Anderson © 2013.
-Anderson Catalog of Classic Honduran Cancels by Craig Anderson © 2016.
-Communication from Brian Moorhouse dated 13/08/2016.
-Honduras Report by Richard Washburn The Oxcart, summer 1989.
-First Stamps of Honduras by Bertram Poole in Stamp Spec #4 1940 pps 72-78.
-Postal History to 1877 Part 4 by Irving Green in Collectors Club Philatelist Vol 45:1 January 1966 p. 27, and Part 7 Vol45:4 July 1966 p. 232.
-Washburn, Richard. Gold Medal 1992 exhibit Early Postal History of Honduras.