US Stamps

U.S. 1¢ Official postal savings mail stamp a good buy

Dec 14, 2020, 11 AM
The United States 1910 1¢ dark violet Official postal savings mail stamp (Scott O124) is a good buy at full Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values in very fine grade and unused hinged condition, and in mint never-hinged condition.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Postal savings depositories were established by an act of Congress approved June 25, 1910. Under this act, the U.S. Post Office Department created a savings bank system that paid 2 percent interest annually on deposits.

Initially the maximum amount allowed to be deposited was $500, but the limit was raised to $1,000 in 1916 and raised again to $2,500 in 1918.

Until 1933 the postal savings bank had an advantage over other banks in not being vulnerable to bank runs. In 1933  the federal government insured all deposits of all banks up to $250,000, ending this advantage.

As an accounting measure, the act of 1910 required the postmaster general to produce and issue Official postal savings stamps for use on all government correspondence generated by the administration of the postal savings system.

Beginning in December 1910, Official postal savings mail stamps were issued in denominations of 1¢, 2¢, 10¢, 50¢ and $1 (Scott O121-O126). Use of the stamps was discontinued in October 1914, and unused stocks in the hands of local postmasters were returned and destroyed.

The Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the 1¢ dark violet Official postal savings mail stamp (Scott O124) at $10 in unused hinged condition and $22.50 in mint never-hinged condition.

This stamp has been previously tipped, most recently in the Sept. 28, 2015, issue of Linn’s. The catalog values have not changed since then.

For a supposedly common stamp with such relatively low catalog values, you would think examples of it would be all over the marketplace, but that is not the case.

The stamp is a good buy in very fine grade at up to full catalog value. Examples in fine-very fine grade are a good buy at up to 65 percent of catalog value.

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