EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 50-CENT 1902 ISSUE.
The 1902-03 Regular Issue was a great improvement over the Bureau's first efforts in 1894 and 1895. Perforations tend to be cleaner, and centering better, but the large plate layout and perforation method still resulted in a large number of poorly centered stamps. Furthermore, stamps issued in choice condition seldom stayed that way, because the boom in stamp collecting that began with the Roosevelt administration caused hordes of hinge-bearing philatelists to mount stamps over and over again. For this reason, today's collectors have grown accustomed to paying many multiples of Scott value for Extremely Fine stamps in Mint Never-Hinged state. Anyone who has pursued this set can testify that the 50c is rarely encountered in such condition. Apart from the $2.00 and $5.00 values, it is more elusive than any other value of the set in superb Mint N.H. condition. This example probably ranks among the ten highest-quality examples in existence.
With 2010 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $8,750.00). Only one has graded higher to date (at 95J) and only five others share this grade