FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXTREMELY RARE EXAMPLE OF THE 4-CENT RED J. C. AYER & CO. "STAR" DIE CUT ISSUE. ONLY FIVE ARE RECORDED.
The 4c J. C. Ayer & Co. stamps were initially printed in six colors on old paper -- Black (none known), Red (5 known), Vermilion (3 or 4 known), Green (3 known), Purple (1 known) and Blue. The majority of stamps issued were Blue on various papers. It has been estimated that slightly over a million per year were used, over a 20-year period, so most of the Blue stamps are common, except for some paper varieties. They were generally not cancelled, since they were normally destroyed or damaged when the pill box or bottle was opened.
The Aldrich book records three examples. There are two additional examples recorded by Eric Jackson. Our census illustrates them at https://siegelauctions.com/census/US/RS8a . Part 25 of the Colonel Green collection also contained one, described as "fine looking but expertly repaired" but not illustrated -- this is likely one of the examples listed in the census.