From Me to You forever mint pane of 20 in demand
Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller
Many forever stamp issues are selling for a premium now.
Years ago when there were more stamp collectors and dealers and postage stamps had relatively low face values, most dealers and many collectors bought new issues in quantity.
The dealers wanted to have stock on hand to service their customers. The collectors hoped that if they held the stamps awhile, they would increase in value. If a dealer ran out and needed to replenish his stock, he could usually find mint panes at face value or less in the aftermarket from collectors reducing their holdings.
Things have changed. As the number of dealers and collectors decreased and the face value of new issues increased, fewer and fewer people were buying new issues in quantity. Finding recent mint stamp issues in the aftermarket has become harder and harder.
In addition to not being purchased in quantity, forever stamps have the added advantage of increasing in postage value with every rate increase.
A good example is the From Me to You forever stamp (Scott 4978) issued April 1, 2015. We last tipped this stamp in the Dec. 25, 2017, issue of Linn’s.
At the time it was issued, this forever stamp sold for 49¢. Like all first-class letter rate forever stamps, it now has a postage value of 55¢.
In our opinion, this stamp is one of the least attractive U.S. stamps ever issued. That notwithstanding, it is in demand and hard to find in any quantity.
The Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values a mint pane of 20 plus 20 stickers at $25. Expect to pay at least $22 for the mint pane.
The stamp also exists imperforate (Scott 4978a). Although the mint pane of 20 imperforate stamps and 20 stickers is valued at $40, it is much more readily available in the market than the major-number listed pane with gauge 11 serpentine die cuts.
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