US Stamps

Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Philippines stamps overprinted ‘Guam Guard Mail’ worth pursuing

March 25, 2017 07:00 PM

  • The 1930 Guam Guard Mail stamps (Scott M5-M11) are a good buy at 2017 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values in mint never-hinged condition, unused hinged condition, and used condition.

Stamp Market Tips — By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

The United States acquired the Pacific island of Guam in the Marianas Islands as a result of the Spanish-American War. The United States Post Office Department assumed responsibility for mail delivery to and from Guam on March 29, 1901. However, there was no local mail delivery service on the island.

On April 8, 1930, the military governor of Guam initiated local mail delivery with stamps of the Philippines overprinted “Guam Guard Mail” for prepayment of delivery.

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Two overprinted stamps were issued Aug. 21, 1930 (Scott M5-M6), and five more were issued Dec. 29, 1930 (M7-11). We last tipped these stamps in the Nov. 16, 2009, Stamp Market Tips. It is time to tip them again.

The 2017 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the seven stamps at just $19 in mint never-hinged condition, $12.65 in unused hinged condition, and $23.25 in used condition. We believe that these stamps are overlooked and seriously undervalued: Catalog values have not changed in decades.

They are a great buy in all three valued conditions at Scott catalog value. Because the lowest print run for any stamp in the set was 25,000, only that many complete sets could ever have existed. It is guaranteed that more than 80 years later nowhere near that number actually still exist.

To our knowledge, the overprints have not been forged, so no worries on that score. Centering for the issue was generally substandard, and you are unlikely to find complete sets in very fine or better grade in any condition. Don’t hesitate to buy up any well-centered examples you find in building your set.