EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A FANTASTICALLY RARE MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 90-CENT 1860 ISSUE. THIS IS THE FIRST MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THIS ISSUE WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED DURING THE PAST FOURTEEN YEARS.
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. 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. Stocks from northern post offices were returned and destroyed, and stocks in southern post offices, if not ultimately destroyed, were generally mishandled over the years.
As the highest denomination of the series, the 90c 1860 has been coveted by collectors, and almost every known example has been proudly hinged into an album at least one time. This remarkable survivor escaped the Civil War and a lifetime of hinge-happy philatelists in unscathed Mint Never-Hinged condition.
With 1994 P.F. and 2007 P.S.E. certificates (VF-XF 85; unpriced in SMQ in Mint N.H. condition). Only two have been certified by P.S.E. in Mint N.H. condition (the other is graded 30 and so must be seriously defective). To guide potential bidders through the uncharted waters of valuing a Scott 39 in choice Mint N.H. condition, we have provided a conservative estimate based on the recent realizations for other comparably rare Mint N.H. classic stamps.