Editor's Insights — By Donna Houseman
Ken Lawrence skillfully addresses the history and facts surrounding the imperforate 1908 4¢ Ulysses S. Grant stamp with Schermack type III perforations.
In this month’s Spotlight on Philately column, Ken Lawrence presents an engaging research piece in which he elegantly presents the facts surrounding one of the scarcest and most valuable United States stamps of the 20th century.
Lawrence’s story focuses on the imperforate 4¢ Grant stamps of 1908 with Schermack type III perforations (Scott 314A). The stamp is one of the most sought-after gems among U.S. stamps, and for that reason, deceitful sellers have produced fakes by altering genuine examples of Scott 303, the 1903 perforated 4¢ Grant sheet stamp.
As always, Lawrence is meticulous in his research and takes painstaking efforts to present the facts in a manner that even a novice collector can understand. This Spotlight on Philately column will serve as an important reference for collectors of U.S. stamps for years to come. For this reason, Linn’s also is posting this article in its entirety on our website www.linns.com.
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In the quarterly Linn’s Graded Stamp Report, found on page 48, Jim Kloetzel gives a sobering account of the U.S. stamp market in recent months. As Kloetzel states in the report, it is our obligation to the stamp hobby as a news organization and as catalog editors to “report marketplace reality.” The reality is that we are seeing an overall softening of the U.S. stamp market, and the values in Linn’s Graded Stamp Report reflect this.
The 2018 Scott Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers, which will be on sale in October, will reflect a similar softening of values for very fine stamps.
As Kloetzel reports, the values show overall softening, but we are not seeing a dramatic lowering of values.
A softening in the stamp market for some countries can be looked upon as an opportunity to buy stamps at favorable prices to fill spaces in your stamp albums. United States stamps are no exception.
More details on the new Scott U.S. Specialized catalog will be revealed as the catalog’s publication date nears.
The Scott catalog editors also are hard at work on the 2018 Scott Classic Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 and the 2018 Scott United States Pocket Stamp Catalogue. Both will be published in November.
We believe the Scott Classic catalog is most comprehensive, essential one-volume worldwide catalog available for the classic period. The Scott United States Pocket catalog is a low-cost, portable alternative to the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog and the listings of U.S. stamps in Vol. 1 of the Scott Standard Postsage Stamp Catalogue.