US Stamps

13¢ Benjamin Harrison stamp is a good buy at less than catalog value

Dec 5, 2019, 1 PM
The United States 13¢ purple black Benjamin Harrison stamp (Scott 308) is a good buy in unused hinged condition or mint never-hinged condition at about 70 percent to 80 percent of 2020 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers value.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

The ornate frames and engraved detail of the 1902-1903 definitive stamp issues make them favorites of many U.S. stamps collectors. The stamps were produced on paper watermarked double-line “U S P S” and are perforated gauge 12.

The design of the 13¢ purple black stamp (Scott 308) features the 23rd president of the United States, Benjamin Harrison. The earliest documented use of the stamp is Nov. 18, 1902.

Harrison is sometimes viewed as the ellipsis between Grover Cleveland’s two terms. He is the only U.S. president whose grandfather (William Henry Harrison) also served as president. His great-grandfather (Benjamin Harrison V) was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Born in Ohio in 1833, Harrison moved to Indiana in 1854. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War, attaining the rank of brevet brigadier general. After the Civil War, he served in the U.S. Senate before being elected president of the United States in 1888.

Harrison lost his bid for re-election to his predecessor, Cleveland, by a substantial margin. Harrison died of pneumonia on March 13, 1901. The purple black color of the 13¢ stamp was appropriate for mourning his recent death.

The 2020 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the 13¢ Benjamin Harrison stamp at $40 in unused hinged condition and at $100 in mint never-hinged condition. The stamp is a good buy at around 70 percent to 80 percent of catalog value in either condition and very fine grade.

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