EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS MAGNIFICENT MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 1902 SERIES SPECIAL DELIVERY STAMP, SCOTT E6, HAS BEEN AWARDED THE PERFECT GRADE OF GEM 100 BY P.S.E. -- THIS STANDS ALONE AS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED TO DATE.
Scott E6 is the first of the "Messenger on Bicycle" Special Delivery designs. It was released as part of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's "Series of 1902" regular postage issues (Scott 300-313). Scott E6 is printed on double-line "USPS" watermarked paper with 12-gauge perforations. In 1908 the "Helmut of Mercury" Special Delivery stamp was issued. However, the Messenger on Bicycle design was re-issued in 1909 from new plates, and the same basic design was issued continuously until the Motorcycle Delivery design replaced it in 1922. Changes in the paper and perforation gauge for the issues from 1909 until 1922 mirror the changes in the Washington-Franklin series of the same period.
Scott E6 is not particularly scarce (it has a Scott value of $525.00 unused), but experienced collectors and professionals know that very few examples of the 1902 Issue exist with wide and balanced margins. The P.S.E. Population Report statistics support this statement, and a review of our auction records with Power Search provides visual confirmation. None of the stamps (singles or in blocks) in our database compare to this Mint N.H. Gem 100 example.
With 2009 P.S.E. certificate (Gem 100; unpriced above the grade of 98 in SMQ, SMQ $11,000.00 as 98). This is the highest grade awarded to date and the only example to achieve this desirable grade. One has been graded Superb 98, and four have been graded 95.