US Stamps

Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

When the Post Office got into the banking business, these elusive stamps were in use

March 19, 2017 07:00 PM

  • The United States 1¢ Official mail postal savings stamp (Scott O124) is a good buy in mint never-hinged condition or unused hinged condition at the 2017 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values.

Stamp Market Tips — By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller 

In the past, many postal service departments have operated postal savings systems as an alternative to banks. Quoting the U.S. Postal Service’s website: “An Act of Congress of June 25, 1910, established the Postal Savings System in designated Post Offices, effective January 1, 1911. The legislation aimed to get money out of hiding, attract the savings of immigrants accustomed to saving at Post Offices in their native countries, provide safe depositories for people who had lost confidence in banks, and furnish more convenient depositories for working people.” The system remained in operation until July 1, 1967.

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The authorizing act directed the postmaster general to produce and issue Official mail postal savings stamps for transmittal of Official mail sent in connection with the postal savings system. Six stamps (Scott O121-O126) were issued and were in use until discontinued in October 1914.

In the Sept. 28, 2015, Stamp Market Tips, we tipped the 1¢ dark violet Official mail postal savings stamp (Scott O124). It’s time to tip that stamp again.

The 2017 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the stamp at $10 in used hinged condition and at $22.50 in mint never-hinged condition. This stamp is surprisingly elusive in grades of very fine or better.

Examples that are truly VF are worth full Scott catalog value. Stamps in the grade of fine-very fine are much more readily available and are a good buy at 50 percent to 65 percent of Scott catalog value. If buying the stamp in mint never-hinged condition, look for examples that don’t have gum creases or skips.