By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller
Postal stationery is an envelope, card, or lettersheet on which the postage stamp image has been printed directly on the paper of the stationery. Postal stationery has a strong following among U.S. collectors. Most modern postal stationery is collected as entires. However many older items are only readily available as cut squares.
One of the more eye-catching postal stationery designs is the 40¢ black and red George Washington envelope issued in 1861 (Scott U45). The 2017 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the unused cut square at $300 and a cut square in used condition at $400.
These items are more than 150 years old. If they were not properly stored, the ink colors faded. A nice fresh example with good margins and bright colors is well worth the Scott catalog value. Faded out examples sell at a deep discount.
Unused examples are encountered much more frequently than used, and a used example must have a genuine contemporaneous postal cancel to be worth the Scott catalog value.
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