Sale 962 — United States Stamps
Sale Date — Wednesday-Friday, 24-26 September, 2008
Category — Columbian Issue (Scott 230-245)
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A MAGNIFICENT STAMP IN EVERY RESPECT -- COLOR, GUM, CENTERING, PERFORATIONS, FRESHNESS OF PAPER AND OVERALL APPEAL. THIS STAMP HAS BEEN AWARDED THE GRADE OF GEM 100 BY P.S.E. -- IT IS THE ONLY EXAMPLE TO ACHIEVE THIS PERFECT GRADE, AND ONLY ONE HAS GRADED HIGHER TO DATE. THIS IS ONE OF SIX COLUMBIAN STAMPS (FIVE VALUES) TO ACHIEVE A P.S.E. 100 GRADE.
With 2003 P.S.E. certificate (Gem 100; unpriced in SMQ above the grade of 98; SMQ $9,200.00 as 98). Only one has graded higher to date and this is the only example to achieve the grade of 100. The six Columbian stamps to achieve a P.S.E. Mint N.H. 100 grade are the 2c (100), 4c (100 and 100J), 8c (100J), 30c (100) and 50c (100).
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A PHENOMENAL MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 5-CENT COLUMBIAN ISSUE.
With 2008 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95 Jumbo; SMQ $2,450.00 as 95, $9,000.00 as 98).
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A PARTICULARLY HANDSOME MINT NEVER-HINGED 15-CENT COLUMBIAN.
With 2008 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $6,650.00). Only four others share this grade
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS MAGNIFICENT MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 30-CENT COLUMBIAN ISSUE HAS BEEN AWARDED THE GRADE OF GEM 100 BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED TO DATE, AND THIS STAMP IS THE ONLY EXAMPLE TO ACHIEVE THIS PERFECT GRADE. IT IS A KEY TO A SET OF HIGH-GRADE COLUMBIANS, WHICH IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR ISSUES IN UNITED STATES PHILATELY.
The scene depicted on the 30c is based on the story that Columbus stopped at the convent at Santa Maria de La Rabida on his way to France after being rejected at the Spanish Court. The friar of the convent, after hearing his plan, persuaded him to stay. While at the convent he gained support from some of the more important people in the neighborhood and, his faith renewed, decided to apply for aid from the Spanish court once again, where he was successful. This marked a turning-point in his struggles for financial backing.
Regarding this extraordinary example of the 30c Columbian, a relevant commentary was recently published in Stamp Market Quarterly (July-Sep. 2008) by master grader William A. Litle. Reflecting on the 2c Columbian Mint N.H. 100 sold in our 2008 Rarities sale for $16,675, he wrote: “The 100 Mint N.H. Scott No. 231 is the only one with this ultimate grade. In fact, to date, only four other Columbians have received a 100 grade [Editor's note: now six in total]. At $16,675 the 2c Columbian brought a tidy 290 times Scott Catalog! What would a 100 N.H. $5 Columbian be worth in today’s market? Oh heck--I’d settle for finding a 100 N.H. $4 Columbian.”
We can try to answer Dr. Litle’s rhetorical question. Auction realizations for 19th century and early 20th century commemoratives in 100 N.H. grade have been averaging 12-15 times SMQ for 95 N.H. and 5 times SMQ for 98 N.H. The multiples seem to be higher when only one or two have reached a Perfect 100 grade. So, to answer Dr. Litle, based on the available sales data, a $5.00 Columbian 100 N.H. would probably realize in excess of one million dollars, and even the $4.00 would approach the million-dollar mark. Now, we’re not saying this is a sure thing, but that is what the numbers indicate.
The highest grade we currently have for either the $4.00 or $5.00 Columbian in N.H. condition is 95. So, as of now there is no stamp to test the market. The highest Columbian value in 100 N.H. grade is the 50c (one reported). The second highest value to achieve a Perfect 100 is the 30c offered here, which is the only Mint N.H. example to reach 100.
With 2008 P.S.E. certificate (Gem 100; unpriced in SMQ above the grade of 98, SMQ $24,500.00 as 98). The Columbian denominations to achieve the grade of Mint N.H. Gem 100 are: 2c (one 100) 4c (100 and 100J, see lot 2491), 8c (100J), 30c (100) and 50c (100). Aside from these five denominations, represented by six stamps, no other Columbian has been awarded the perfect grade of Gem 100.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 30-CENT COLUMBIAN ISSUE, WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 BY P.S.E.
With 2008 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $7,600.00)
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE $2.00 COLUMBIAN ISSUE, WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED TO DATE AND IS THE ONLY EXAMPLE TO ACHIEVE THIS GRADE. ONE OF THE KEYS TO A HIGH-GRADE SET OF THE COLUMBIAN ISSUE.
The $2.00 Columbian Issue is notorious for being one of the most difficult denominations to obtain with choice centering or with wide margins. For hinged and Mint N.H. categories, the next-highest grade is XF-Superb 95 (one used copy has also been graded 98).
With 2008 P.S.E. certificate (Superb 98; SMQ $9,250.00).