Price History for US Scott 30A in Used 80 Grade
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Three things to keep in mind when looking at the above results (unsolds are not included):
- It is important to look at the individual data points listed below. Price swings up may be due to varieties such as broken hat or other positives such as cancels. Price swings down may be due to factors such as faults on items that would have graded higher if they were sound, and may not be considered as desirable as a sound copy in this grade.
- When looking at multiple grades on the graph, grades with the same population numbers may show overlapping.
- At the time of an auction, the SMQ value has already been published and is available to bidders. Increases or decreases in SMQ value prior to the auction may affect the price realized.
This information is provided for hobbyists and is not intended to represent philatelic material as an investment or financial instrument. Past performance is neither an indication nor guarantee of future performance. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, but Siegel Auction Galleries (including its representatives and affiliates) is not liable for errors or omissions of any kind. "SMQ" refers to Stamp Market Quarterly, a copyrighted publication, and the information is used with the copyright holder's permission.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS IS WITHOUT QUESTION THE FINEST USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1861 5-CENT TYPE II. A STUNNING STAMP IN EVERY RESPECT -- LONG AND FULL PERFORATIONS, ENORMOUS MARGINS, PERFECT CENTERING AND A BEAUTIFUL COLORED CANCEL. THIS STAMP HAS BEEN GRADED GEM 100 BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED TO DATE AND THE ONLY EXAMPLE TO ACHIEVE THIS GRADE. THIS IS ALSO THE ONLY STAMP OF THE ENTIRE 1857-60 ISSUE TO BE AWARDED THE GRADE OF GEM 100.
This offering of the only P.S.E.-graded Gem 100 stamp of the entire 1857-60 Issue gives us an opportunity to explain why such a stamp is so rare and extraordinary. We will begin with the historical background of perforated stamps in the United States and then delve into the specifics of 5c perforated stamp production.
The use of postage stamps in the U.S. doubled in the two years after enactment of the 1855-56 laws mandating compulsory prepayment and use of stamps. Postmaster General James Campbell anticipated that such high-volume use would render the act of cutting stamps apart with scissors inconvenient. In response to seeing examples of British stamps, which had been perforated on an Archer machine since 1854, the Post Office Department requested that Toppan Carpenter investigate and report on the means used to perforate stamps in Great Britain.
Toppan Carpenter officials solicited advice from friendly competitors, the English firm of Perkins Bacon, who printed stamps for the British government. Perkins Bacon was at odds with Henry Archer and referred Toppan Carpenter to another manufacturer, Bemrose and Sons. In October 1855 both Toppan Carpenter and Perkins Bacon placed orders for two Bemrose rouletting machines at once, benefiting from a price reduction. In March 1856 Toppan Carpenter received its Bemrose machine, but was forced to convert it from a rouletting device to a round-hole perforator, which proved to be difficult and time-consuming (Perkins Bacon never succeeded in converting its own machine).
Toppan Carpenter soon realized that the spacing between stamps in the 1851-56 sheets was not wide enough to accommodate perforations. To create more space, Toppan Carpenter trimmed the transfer reliefs to reduce the width and/or height of the printed designs. New plates were made from the modified reliefs. The 5c design required only moderate trimming at top and bottom, and the vertical rows were spaced far enough apart to leave room for the gauge-15 perforation holes. As multiples demonstrate, there is approximately twice as much space between the vertical columns of stamps as there is between the horizontal rows. The imbalance in spacing produced stamps with margins that are almost always wider at the sides than at top and bottom, even if the rows of perforations were placed at the equidistant point between stamps. Only when the horizontal perforations are unusually wide apart (with balanced margins on all sides) is it possible to achieve a numerically perfect grade of 100.
Therefore, the statistical odds against a Gem 100 example of the 5c Type II perforated issue are enormous even at the point of conception. Once that rare child is born, it must survive distribution and use, dormancy while awaiting discovery and entry into the philatelic market, and finally years of collector handling. The stamp offered here made that journey and stands alone as proof that it is indeed possible for an 1857-60 Perforated Issue stamp to achieve Gem 100 status.
Ex Dr. Morris. With 1991 and 1997 P.F. certificates and 2009 P.S.E. certificate (Gem 100; unpriced in SMQ above the grade of 98, SMQ $8,900.00 as 98). This is the highest grade awarded to date and the only example to achieve this grade. It is also the only stamp of the entire 1857-60 Issue to be awarded the grade of Gem 100 in any condition (NH, OG or Used).
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A PHENOMENAL USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1861 5-CENT BROWN TYPE II, WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E.
With 1980 and 1998 P.F. and 2007 P.S.E. certificates (Superb 98; SMQ $9,000.00). Only one has graded higher (at 100, offered in our Natalee Grace sale where it realized $18,000 hammer), and no others share this desirable grade.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1861 5-CENT TYPE II, SCOTT 30A
With 2014 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $2,800.00). Only three grade higher -- one each at 95J (we have never offered it), 98 (ex Bowman, realized $14,500) and 100 (ex "Natalee Grace", realized $18,000). We have offered only one other at this grade since 2012.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM EXAMPLE OF THE 1861 5-CENT TYPE II.
Ex Merlin. With 1999 and 2004 P.F. and 2005 P.S.E. certificates (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $2,800.00). Only three have graded higher -- one each at 95J (we have never offered it), 98 (ex Bowman, realized $14,500) and 100 (ex "Natalee Grace", realized $18,000). This is the first in this grade we have offered since 2012.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1861 5-CENT TYPE II.
With 2012 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $2,700.00). Only three have been graded higher
EXTREMELY FINE GEM EXAMPLE OF THE 1861 5-CENT TYPE II.
With 1999, 2004 P.F. and 2005 P.S.E. certificates (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $2,700.00). Only three have graded higher.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1860 5-CENT BROWN TYPE II.
Ex Gore. With 2009 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $2,950.00). Only two have graded higher to date: one at 98 and one at 100 that we recently submitted for a client.