Appeal of Ray Charles reaches beyond the collecting community
Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller
One of the recent trends in the U.S. stamp market is the popularity of full mint panes. This is especially true of se-tenant (side-by-side) issues, but also applies to many one-design panes as well. Stamps issued for popular culture icons have appeal beyond the regular stamp collecting community.
On Sept. 23, 2013, the U.S. Postal Service issued a nondenominated (46¢) Ray Charles stamp (Scott 4807) in panes of 16.
Charles (1930-2004), who was born in Albany, Ga., was blind by the age of 7 due to glaucoma. As a recording and performing artist, he had remarkable crossover appeal to pop, soul, blues, and country and western music fans.
The stamp was designed by Ethel Kessler and printed by Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products. The tagged, self-adhesive stamp has gauge 10½ serpentine die cuts. It was also sold to the public as uncut press sheets of nine panes without die cuts.
The Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the mint pane of 16 at $17.50. It has a current postage value of $9.60. Mint panes are currently selling for $14 to $15.
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