US Stamps

1993 Harriet Quimby airmail variety is overlooked

Aug 15, 2019, 4 PM
Put away a few mint panes and plate number blocks of the United States 1993 50¢ Harriet Quimby airmail variety with bull’s-eye perforations gauge 11.2 on prephosphored paper with mottled tagging (Scott C128b), in anticipation of future demand.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Most collectors love a challenge, and collecting all modern U.S. stamp varieties can often be a challenge.

Many collectors try to buy new issues as they come out from the U.S. Postal Service. But oftentimes all the collectible varieties are not known at that time and only emerge as the smoke clears in the aftermarket.

One such variety is the 1993 50¢ airmail stamp honoring Harriet Quimby as the first American woman pilot, with bull’s-eye perforations gauge 11.2 on prephosphored paper with mottled tagging (Scott C128b).

The Scott major-number listed version of this stamp (Scott C128) has plate block number S1111, but this variety has plate block number S2222. The stamp was issued in panes of 50.

This variety was issued at the same time as the 40¢ William T. Piper airmail stamp with gauge 11.2 bull’s-eye perforations (Scott C132), but it has been ignored or overlooked by many collectors and dealers.

The 2019 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the mint plate number block of four of the Harriet Quimby variety at $6.50 and the ZIP block of six at $5.

This variety merits putting away some mint panes and plate number blocks because they are likely to increase in demand when more collectors notice that they need it.

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