US Stamps

This pre-Civil War stamp is exquisite, valuable

Jan 9, 2019, 10 AM
The 1860 United States 30¢ orange Benjamin Franklin stamp (Scott 38) is one of the most attractive pre-Civil War issues.

By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

There is no denying the appeal of classic U.S. stamps. From the often beautiful and intriguing designs to the fine engraving and printing, they appeal to the eye and make the heart beat a little faster. However, many of them are quite expensive.

One of the most attractive of the pre-Civil War issues is the 1860 30¢ orange Benjamin Franklin stamp (Scott 38). The 2019 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values an example in very fine grade at $1,900 in unused original gum condition, $425 in used condition, and $700 in unused no-gum condition.

The margins on this issue are tiny, leaving little room for misalignment. Examples without faults and in truly VF grade are a good buy at full Scott catalog value.

However, if that is a bit rich for your budget, step down a grade to fine-very fine.

The 2019 Scott Stamp Values U.S. Specialized By Grade section of the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog values the stamp in F-VF grade at $1,225 in unused original gum condition, $285 in used condition, and $440 in unused no-gum condition. We think an unused no-gum example in F-VF grade without faults would be a great buy at around 80 percent of catalog value.

When buying, check the perforations very carefully. This stamp is perforated gauge 15½ giving ample opportunity for short, pulled or blind perforations.

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