1869 10¢ Shield and Eagle is a good buy
Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller
Many collectors whose collections had lain dormant for years have recently returned to the stamp market. Demand for classic U.S. has been on the rise and is likely to remain hot for some time.
The 1869 Pictorial issue (Scott 112-122) was the first set of U.S. stamps to include images other than a portrait of a statesman and was also the first to include bicolor stamps.
Three denominations, the 1¢ Benjamin Franklin, 2¢ Post Horse and Rider and 3¢ Locomotive stamps (Scott 112-114), are relatively inexpensive and within the budget of many collectors, at least for examples in used condition.
The high-denomination stamps are a good deal more pricey. One that is more affordable is the 10¢ yellow Shield and Eagle stamp (Scott 116), and many collectors are looking for this stamp.
The Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the stamp in unused original gum condition at $1,850, but a used example is valued at $110 and an unused no gum example is valued at $725.
A used example in true very fine grade without faults, such as a heavy cancellation or nibbed perforation teeth, is a good buy at up to full Scott catalog value. Check for flaws by placing the stamp in watermark fluid.
Reperforated examples are common. Match each side against an inexpensive stamp, such as the 3¢ Locomotive stamp (Scott 114), to make sure the gauge is correct.
The yellow orange color of the 10¢ stamp is subject to oxidation. We recommend putting a square piece of glassine on top of the stamp inside the mount to prevent this. Oxidation can be reversed with hydrogen peroxide, but prevention is generally better than a cure.
Many classic orange yellow U.S. stamps are susceptible to oxidation because of humidity and storage conditions. We especially recommend glassine under plastic for plate number blocks and multiples stored in plastic cards.
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