World Stamps

Values for stamps of Cuba rise significantly in 2016 Scott Classic Specialized catalog

Oct 30, 2015, 7 AM

Values for stamps of Cuba have undergone a thorough review in the 2016 Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940, with many values increasing substantially. The catalog will be available in mid-November.

Almost 700 values for Cuba stamps have changed, with significant increases throughout, beginning with stamps issued under Spanish Dominion up to United States intervention (the Puerto Principe issue).

Classic Cuba stamps in the grade of very fine, as valued by the Scott catalog, are rare. Few dealers carry stamps of Cuba, and most stamps are off-center and in poor condition, exhibiting the tropical stains found on stamps from countries with hot and humid climates.

Collectors who seek stamps of Cuba in the grades of fine to very fine or very fine can expect to pay high premiums, and the new values assigned in the Scott Classic Specialized catalog reflect the difficulty in finding sound stamps in these grades.

Catalog users should pay special attention to the editorial note at the beginning of Cuba that states, “Values for stamps of Cuba are for examples with very fine centering. Stamps of most early issues prior to 1950 are almost always poorly centered and sell for less than very fine examples. The very fine examples that are valued during this period are fairly well centered.”

How the design is centered on a stamp plays a significant role in determining the grade of a given stamp. The introduction to the catalog explains that “very fine stamps may be slightly off center on one or two sides, but the design will be well clear of the edge. Imperforate stamps will have four full margins. However, early issues of many countries may be printed in such a way that the perforations may touch the design on one or more sides.

Also important are the color and general condition of the stamp. It should be fresh in appearance and free from defects.

To find stamps of Cuba with these qualities, collectors can expect to pay significantly higher premiums than for stamps in the grade of fine or less.

As the 2016 Scott catalog season draws to a close, I thank the many advisors and contributors to the catalogs. Their advice and help enable us to improve the catalog listings each year.

Our special thanks to consultant Sergio Sismondo who works tirelessly to expand the editorial content and listed values for classic stamps. Bill Jones, a former Scott associate editor, provides substantial input by updating thousands of values and making significant editorial enhancements throughout the catalog.

I also take this opportunity to thank the Scott editorial staff, a talented group of editors and production specialists whose knowledge, dedication and attention to detail make the Scott catalogs trusted reference works for collectors and dealers. They are: managing editor Charles Snee, senior editors Martin Frankevicz and Steven Myers, printing and image coordinator Stacey Mahan, and administrative assistant Eric Wiessinger.

If you notice a problem that needs correcting, or you have suggestions for future editions of the Scott catalogs, please contact me at