US Stamps

United States, China collide on handsome 12¢ claret-brown Benjamin Franklin stamp

May 4, 2021, 3 AM
24¢-on-12¢ claret-brown Benjamin Franklin stamp (Scott K11a) is on many want lists and is a good buy at the 2018 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values. Image courtesy Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries.

Tip of the Week — By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Generally speaking, the market for U.S. back-of-the-book stamps is more active than for regular postage stamps. This is likely because many collectors work on the regular postage sections of their collections before moving on to the back of the book.

While many intermediate-level collectors have concluded their regular postage collections up to the point that they can afford, they are still working on the back-of-the-book-issues.

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Stamps produced for the U.S. Postal Agency in China have catalog numbers prefixed by the letter “K.” They are attractive because of their low issue numbers, limited period of use, and appeal to collectors of both China and the United States. A good one to look for is the 24¢-on-12¢ claret-brown Benjamin Franklin stamp (Scott K11a), which we last tipped in the Sept. 17, 2007, Stamp Market Tips. Only 8,000 were issued, and we find it on many want lists.

The 2018 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the stamp at $100 in unused hinged condition, at $260 in mint never-hinged condition, and at $225 in used condition. The stamp is undervalued and a good buy at Scott catalog values; however experitzation is a must when buying stamps offered as mint never-hinged or used.