Japanese definitive set scarce in fine-very fine grade
Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller
Japanese stamps are popular with many collectors in the United States.
The differences in languages and writing systems can make its stamps a challenge to collect, especially those from the classic period, many of which lack Latin letter and Arabic numeral inscriptions. But it is a challenge well worth accepting.
Dealers of Japanese stamps usually base prices on a percentage of Scott catalog value. Market prices for Japanese stamps are complicated because the standard percentages of values vary widely from period to period and, in some cases, even from stamp to stamp.
In 1888-92, Japan issued a set of 10 definitive stamps (Scott 75-84). The stamp designs show various versions of the imperial crest, kiri branches, a sun and kikumon.
The kiri tree (Paulownia tomentosa) is a symbol of imperial power and authority. The kikumon is the imperial chrysanthemum seal of Japan.
The Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 values the set in unused, original gum condition at $631.
This set is very scarce in fine-very fine grade with fresh-appearing gum that is not cracked, darkened or toned. The full set or individual stamps in that grade and condition are well worth their full Scott catalog value.
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