EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A MAGNIFICENT ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE $1.00 TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE, WHICH HAS BEEN AWARDED THE PERFECT GRADE OF GEM 100 BY P.S.E. THIS IS THE ONLY EXAMPLE OF THE $1.00 TRANS-MISSISSIPPI TO ACHIEVE THIS GRADE, AND, IN FACT, IT IS PRESENTLY THE ONLY DOLLAR-VALUE COMMEMORATIVE STAMP WITH A P.S.E. GEM 100 GRADE FOR ANY ISSUE.
The focus on stamps with a Gem 100 grade is growing more intense as collectors strive for the highest possible ranking in the P.S.E. Set Registry. We are now about four years into the start of the bull market for graded stamps, which some track to the Siegel firm's 2005 record-breaking sale of an XF-Superb 95 Inverted "Jenny." During this period, the P.S.E. Population Report has grown significantly. P.S.E. currently has a total of 6,348 Columbian and Trans-Mississippi stamps in the Population Report. Of these, 1,169 dollar-denominated Columbian and Trans-Mississippi stamps have been graded in any category of unused condition. Remarkably, only one stamp has achieved a Gem 100 grade, and that stamp is the $1.00 Trans-Mississippi offered here. Only twelve other dollar-value stamps with original gum have achieved 98 (all of them hinged, and none with the Jumbo appellation). It is difficult to argue with these statistics. The rarity of perfectly-centered 98-point-plus dollar-value commemoratives is obvious: the one Gem 100 stamp represents 0.086% of the P.S.E. graded population of all unused dollar-value commemoratives.
With 2008 P.S.E. certificate (Gem 100; unpriced in SMQ above the grade of 98, SMQ $8,700.00 as 98). This is the only $1.00 Trans-Mississippi to grade Gem 100 (followed by one 98). The highest Mint N.H. grade is 95. The SMQ value for a 98 seems conservative, and the premium for Gem 100 should be a multiple of the 98 value.