US Stamps

Embossed revenue stamp paper offers a piece of history

May 24, 2020, 11 AM
Collecting United States embossed revenue stamped paper is a great way to learn the history of our early republic and the War of 1812. The $5 stamp of the third federal issue is shown.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

One thing most stamp collectors have in common is a love of history.

For collectors who are looking for another way to scratch that historical itch, we recommend exploring embossed revenue stamped paper.

This type of revenue stamp is listed in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers with catalog numbers prefixed with the letters RM.

We have previously tipped these revenue stamps in the Stamp Market Tips columns in the Feb. 8, 2016, and April 22, 2019, issues of Linn’s, but we would like to bring them to your attention again.

Some American Colonies began issuing embossed stamped revenue paper as early as 1755. The first federal issue came in 1798.

The stamps were usually colorless embossed impressions on paper to be used for documents, newspapers, pamphlets, etc.

This is a seldom-seen area of collecting that few nonspecialist dealers ever have on offer.

Prices start as low as $10 for embossed stamps on full documents in good condition.

When you buy the full document, you can hold history in your hands that can reveal many interesting details of the period. It is a great way to learn about the early republic and the War of 1812.

You can do business with a specialist revenue dealer or look online for the types of stamps that interest you. The least expensive ones are probably undervalued, and you might have to pay more than Scott catalog value for them.

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