US Stamps

Tip of the week: embossed revenue stamps

Apr 3, 2019, 11 AM
The 1798-1901 United States First Federal Issue of embossed revenue stamped paper offers unusual and historic collecting opportunities at affordable prices.

By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

If you like unusual and historic stamps, try finding any of the relatively inexpensive examples of 1798-1801 First Federal Issue embossed revenue stamped paper (Scott RM45-RM247). Although these embossed stamps were issued by the federal government, they bear the name of the state intended for use in the stamp design.

The stamps exist for Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.

We last tipped these embossed revenues stamps on document in the Stamp Market Tips column in the Feb. 8, 2016, issue of Linn’s.

The least expensive stamps are for states with the largest populations at the time, such as Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. You can find some stamps from these states in the $15-to-$20 price range.

Stamps from smaller states, such as Vermont or Delaware, are often a good deal more expensive.

There is no collector interest in stamps cut from documents. They must be on the full document, but minor faults do not detract from the value.

Reading the documents on which the stamps are embossed is a fascinating slice of American history.

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