World Stamps

Lithuania’s President Smetona high value tough to find unused

Oct 3, 2019, 9 AM
Lithuania’s 1937 60-centas President Antanas Smetona stamp (Scott 300) is hard to find and sells for more than the 2020 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Lithuania is one of the three Baltic States, of which Estonia and Latvia are the other two. All three gained their independence at the end of World War I in 1918. All three lost it again when they were invaded, occupied and incorporated into the Soviet Union in June 1940.

In March 1990, Lithuania declared and successfully re-established its independence. Lithuania’s success inspired other captive nations to follow suit, resulting in the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991.

Baltic States stamps from both the 1918-40 period and since the re-emergence of the independent states are quite popular with collectors in the United States, in part because of the large Baltic States diaspora living here.

In 1936-37, Lithuania issued a set of three stamps honoring President Antanas Smetona (Scott 298-300). The stamps were designed by J. Steponavicus and printed on unwatermarked paper by AB Spindulys in Kaunas, Lithuania. The issue quantities were as follows: 15 centas, 14,530,000; 30c, 14,650,000; and 60c, 4,050,000.

The 2020 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the individual stamps in unused hinged condition at $5.50 (Scott 298), $9 (299) and $10 (300). The set in mint never-hinged condition is valued at $40.

The two lower denomination stamps are readily available and usually sell at a discount from Scott catalog value. Most of the 60c stamps were used for postage.

While this stamp is quite common in used condition, it is difficult to find in unused hinged condition or mint never-hinged condition.

The 60c stamp is a good buy at around $15 in unused hinged condition and at $25 in mint never-hinged condition.

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