VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A SCARCE USED EXAMPLE OF THE SHORT-LIVED 90-CENT 1860 ISSUE.
The 90c stamp was issued in 1860, along with the 24c and 30c values, all of which were needed to prepay high international letter rates established by various postal treaties. The basic 24c and 30c rates to England, France and Germany created a volume of mail franked with those values. However, the 90c saw much more limited use, partly due to the rates in effect, but more because of the American Civil War. When supplies of current postage stamps were declared invalid in the South and ultimately demonetized by the Federal government, the 90c had been in use for only one year. For this reason, genuinely cancelled copies are scarce, and covers bearing the 90c are extremely rare.
Approximately 180 used examples have been certified by The Philatelic Foundation, of which one-quarter are sound. With 1995 P.S.E. and 2013 P.F. certificates