United States — The 2014 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the 1910 imperforate 1¢ green Benjamin Franklin stamp on paper with the “U S P S” watermark in a single line (Scott 383) at only $4.25 in mint never-hinged condition, $2 in unused hinged condition and $2.25 in used condition.
Wholesale demand for this stamp in all three conditions is greater than these Scott catalog values would suggest. I would buy this stamp in any of the three conditions at Scott catalog value or less anytime I saw it offered.
Because the stamps are imperforate, there is no reason to accept an example in less than a grade of very fine.
Centerline blocks (only one per full sheet of 400) and matched sets of arrow blocks (one set per full sheet of 400) command modest premiums above their values as singles and are well worth buying when you see them offered. For those wishing to specialize, there are dark green, yellowish green and bright green varieties all valued the same as the major-number listed green stamp.
A Linn’s editor found this week’s recommended stamps on the ZillionsOfStamps.com website at the following price ranges:
United States, 383 — $12, centerline block of four, unused hinged, very fine; $7.50, vertical pair, never hinged, extra fine; $7, horizontal pair, never hinged, very fine;
New Zealand, B3-B4 — $130 unused hinged, very fine.
Tip of the week
New Zealand — New Zealand is a popular collecting area with both single-country and British Commonwealth collectors. The market for New Zealand stamps is active both in the United States and throughout the world.
New Zealand has been a prolific issuer of semipostal stamps. One of the key sets to a New Zealand collection is the 1931 set of two Smiling Boy health semipostal stamps (Scott B3-4).
The 2014 Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 values the stamps in unused hinged condition at $200 and in used condition at $165. I think that the stamps in used condition are the better buy and are well worth $150 in the grade of very fine. Examples bearing full, legible bull’s-eye cancels bring a premium.
A set in unused hinged condition usually sells for around $125, while mint never-hinged sets are worth $250 or more per set.
If you are buying unused stamps, make sure that the gum is not toned. — H.G.
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.