US Stamps

Early U.S. booklet panes tough to find in very fine grade

Feb 25, 2020, 11 AM
Early United States booklet panes in very fine grade and mint never-hinged condition are surprisingly scarce.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

A postage stamp booklet is made up of one or more small panes of postage stamps usually with a cardboard or thick paper cover. Many collectors collect single panes from postage stamp booklets.

In the 2020 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers, values for booklet panes are for complete panes with selvage. Early U.S. booklet panes in very fine grade and mint never-hinged condition are surprisingly scarce.

There are two components to the centering: the outer cut around the stamps and the overall centering relative to the perforations as usual. To have both components in very fine grade is unusual. It is much more difficult to find such a pane than it is to find a corresponding single stamp.

The Scott U.S. Specialized catalog values both the 1912 1¢ green George Washington booklet pane of six (Scott 405b) and the 2¢ carmine George Washington booklet pane of six (Scott 406a) at $65 in unused hinged condition and at $110 in mint never-hinged condition.

Either pane in very fine grade and unused hinged condition is well worth $50 or more, while a pane of either in very fine grade and mint never-hinged condition is easily worth $110 or more.

The Scott U.S. Specialized catalog values a 1¢ green pane in used condition at $75 and a used 2¢ carmine pane at $90, with both values in italics. Quoting the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog: “Many early booklet panes are scarce to rare in used condition and they are valued higher to much higher than the corresponding panes in unused condition.”

You can expect to pay more than catalog value for these two panes in used condition. Finding a used pane with full tab in very fine grade could take many years regardless of the price you are willing to pay for it.

Watch out for perforation reinforcement. Looking at the pane against a strong light will reveal any reinforcements.

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