Confederate States 1¢ John Calhoun stamp a good buy
Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller
Collecting the Confederate States of America is popular with a dedicated group of collectors. Although there are only 14 major number, general issue Confederate stamps listed in the 2019 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers, the addition of minor number varieties, postmasters’ provisionals and postal history gives a wide range of specialization possibilities.
One of the major number stamps listed in the Scott catalog, the 1¢ orange John C. Calhoun imperforate stamp (Scott 14), was never actually put into use.
A towering political figure, Calhoun (1782-1850) held enthusiastic support for slavery and an extreme position on states’ rights, factors that would eventually lead to the Civil War.
Calhoun began his political career as a congressman for South Carolina (1811-16) and later represented that state in the U.S. Senate from 1832-43 and 1845-50.
He served as vice president of the United States twice (1825-29 and 1829-32) under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. He also served in three other Cabinets: as secretary of war (1817-25) under James Monroe and as secretary of state (1844-45) under John Tyler and James K. Polk.
The Scott U.S. Specialized catalog values the stamp at $100 in unused original gum condition and $60 in unused no gum condition. The stamp is a good buy in very fine grade at 80 percent to 90 percent of catalog values.
The color is often very weak and the design faint on Scott 14, so many collectors prefer the deep orange variety (Scott 14a), which is much more attractive and shows the design details more clearly.
The deep orange variety is slightly more expensive with catalog values of $140 in unused original gum condition and $85 in unused no gum condition.
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