EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 50-CENT 1902 ISSUE. THIS STAMP HAS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED TO ANY SCOTT 310 BY PROFESSIONAL STAMP EXPERTS.
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 perforating 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. The 50c 1902 offered here probably ranks among the five highest-quality examples in existence.
With 1998 P.F. certificate. With 2004 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $9,250.00)