By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller
The back-of-the-book has been one of the more active segments of U.S. collecting for the past several years. While they might not have the glamour of airmails or special delivery stamps, U.S. postage dues are an integral part of any general U.S. collection, and they offer ample range for specialization.
The first set of U.S. postage due stamps (Scott J1-J7) was issued in 1879. The engraved brown Numeral stamps were printed on unwatermarked paper and perforated gauge 12. The 2016 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the 1¢ stamp (Scott J1) at $90 in unused original gum condition and at $260 in mint never-hinged condition.
The stamp is a good buy in unused original gum condition at around $75. If you find it offered at Scott catalog value in mint never-hinged condition, that would be an excellent buy.
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