World Stamps

Value for 1¢ Magenta among many changes in the 2015 Scott Classic specialized catalog

Oct 30, 2014, 10 AM

The 2015 edition of the Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 contains slightly more than 15,000 Classic-only value changes, more than double the total recorded last year.

Among the value changes made in the six-volume 2015 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, 14,800 of these were carried over into the 2015 Classic specialized catalog, for a grand total of almost 30,000 value changes.

“The editorial additions include separate listings for never-hinged stamps, values for on-cover uses, and values for multiples that are popular with collectors, such as pairs, strips of three and four, and blocks of four. Such listings are found only in the Classic specialized catalog,” said Scott catalog editor Charles Snee.

Perhaps the most significant addition in decades is the assigning of a value to the unique British Guiana 1¢ Magenta (Scott 13), often called the world’s rarest stamp. After extensive and careful deliberations among the Scott editors, it was decided that an actual value would be beneficial to catalog users. A value of $9.5 million has been assigned to the rare stamp.

This unique stamp was auctioned June 17 at Sotheby’s in New York City for $9.48 million, including a 20 percent buyer’s commission. It is featured on the cover of the 2015 Classic specialized.

In the Aegean Islands, more than 2,000 value changes were made, with modest increases across all sections. The 1932 St. Anthony of Padua stamps (Scott 12-18) each rise from $30 unused last year to $32.50 in the 2015 catalog.

There are substantial increases for on-cover values in Italy, where more than 1,650 value changes were made. Each of the three 1923 Fascist Oath semipostals (Scott B17-B19) is valued at $550 on cover, a $200 jump from the 2014 value of $350.

Activity was also heavy for Italian Offices Abroad, with almost 1,400 value changes.

Other countries with significant numbers of value changes include: Russia (1,386), Germany (1,367), Eritrea (1,039) and Libya (1,035).

For the first time since the 1941 edition of the Scott catalog, the Colombia Cubiertas are listed and valued again (Scott G1-GO37). The Cubiertas stamps were affixed to the backs of letters that contained valuables (typically money) and were insured through the post office.

The origin and the date of dispatch were written in the appropriate lines on these stamps, and a description of the values enclosed and destination were written in the cartouche below. The denomination indicated the payment of insurance and functioned as a receipt.

The recipient often signed the stamp and handed it back to the postman, indicating completed delivery.

One of the items that makes the Scott Classic specialized catalog different from other catalogs is the listings for the treaty port stamps. The 2003 catalog introduced the listings of the China treaty port stamps, complete with values. The 2015 catalog lists Hong Kong treaty port stamps for the first time.

The General Post Office in London, England, was in control of the postal operations in the treaty ports until 1868, when administration of the program was turned over to Hong Kong. Stamps of Hong Kong were canceled with Hong Kong postmarks or circular datestamps.

For many years, these stamps have been popular with China collectors, but because most catalogs do not list them, they are relatively unknown to many collectors.

The cover price for the 2015 Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 is $169.99. The pages are bound in a handsome, hardbound leatherette cover, and almost all of the stamps are illustrated in full color.

For more information about the 2015 Scott catalogs, write to Scott Publishing Co., Box 828, Sidney OH 45365, or call 800-572-6885. Information also can be found online at

Scott catalogs also are available for your mobile devices and tablets online at Each volume is available, as well as selected individual countries.