EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS STUNNING STAMP HAS BEEN AWARDED THE HIGHEST GRADE POSSIBLE OF GEM 100 JUMBO BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE ONLY EXAMPLE TO ACHIEVE THIS GRADE.
According to Brookman, a circular by the Third Assistant Postmaster General, dated August 15, 1887, stated that "The five-cent stamp will be dark blue instead of chocolate brown, and will contain the head of Grant instead of Garfield." This stamp, issued in the spring of 1888, still shows the head of Garfield; as a compromise the Garfield Postal Stationery designs were withdrawn and superseded by an embossed profile of Grant.
The 5c was in plentiful supply, as it satisfied postage requirements for the Universal Postal Union rate to overseas destinations. However, it is a difficult issue to obtain in Gem-quality used condition.
With 2003 P.F. and 1997 and 2009 P.S.E. certificates (Gem 100 Jumbo; unpriced in SMQ above the grade of 98, SMQ $680.00 as 98). This is the highest grade possible on the grading scale, and it is the only example to achieve this grade. As another indication of the difficulty of finding this issue in Gem condition, the next-highest grade awarded to date is 95 Jumbo. This is also one of only six used Bank Note stamps (five Scott numbers) between Scott 134 and 218 to achieve this perfect grade (two others are also offered in this collection).