The U.S. Notes column in the Nov. 19, 2012, Linn’s highlighted a 1901 penny postal card with an offer to buy used stamps from the Columbian issue.
After that article was published, reader Bob Young sent a related card, shown back and front in Figure 1.
This card is dated December 1895, and is from the New York Coin and Stamp Co., on Broadway in New York City. The card itself is an 1891 1¢ Grant postal card (Scott UX10).
It appears to be a response to someone offering high-denomination Columbian stamps from the 1893 issue. The 16-stamp set ranges from 1¢ to $5, including $1, $2, $3, $4 and $5 stamps. Three of the stamps are shown in Figure 2.
The store manager responded by writing: “Dear Sir, We do not keep the Columbian stamps above the 30¢ as they will all be cheaper in a few years. Can supply from 1¢ to 30¢ at about double face value; and can offer $3, $4, $5 stamps at $1 each over face.”
What led the manager to believe the prices would drop in coming years? Or might this have been a negotiating ploy? We do know that the Columbians were not met with universal praise when issued.
Some serious collectors even called for a boycott on the set as being largely unnecessary. The dollar denominations especially were thought to be excessive to any postal need, with no other purpose than to raid the wallets of collectors.
It is possible that dealers expected that collectors who bought the stamps right after issuance in 1893 would actually be stuck with high volumes that would be tough to sell even at face when the boycott took hold.
Here we are 120 years later. We can all afford the used values up to about the 50¢ stamp, but beyond that, it is difficult to fill those spaces.
What it proves, if anything, is that the collecting public is diverse enough to hate a stamp upon issue, but can grow to love it as time goes by.
blogIn this column in the Aug. 24 issue of Linn’s, I referred to the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Pa., as a “gift to stamp collectors.” The BNAPS library and the APRL are two of many libraries available to stamp collectors, and some philatelic libraries are available online. Read More ›
blogIt’s often been said that one of the salutary benefits of collecting stamps is the friendships made along one’s philatelic journey. If I were asked to place a value on the bonds thus forged with collectors in locales near and far, I would be rich beyond measure. A few of these hobby friends I have never met in person. Read More ›
blogToday, Nov. 11, 2015, is Veterans Day. Over the years, a number of United States stamps honoring those who have served in our nation’s armed forces have been issued. Read More ›
blogMy previous blog post focused on a mystery: the apparent indentations of paper clips on United States Purple Heart forever stamps that were used to mail payments to the circulation department of my employer, Amos Media in Sidney, Ohio. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses Great Britain’s final stamp issue for 2015, a Star Wars prestige booklet, and reveals what is included in its stamp program for 2016.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses a registered 1967 cover from Qatar that recently sold for almost $1,200 and the latest discovery of an Upright Jenny Invert pane.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman announces that Linn’s has been named official daily publisher of World Stamp Show-NY 2016 and provides an update on the reorganization of the Scott catalogs.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Marty Frankevicz reports on the suspension of Canada Post’s cluster box conversion plan after the election of a new prime minister.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.