From Scott’s Writing by Jay Bigalke
Many important value and editorial changes improve the historic 101st edition of the Scott Specialized catalog of United States stamps and envelopes. Before turning our attention to specific examples, we salute Scott’s Editor Emeritus, James E. Kloetzel, for working tirelessly through the thousands of value changes and hundreds of editorial changes. Kloetzel and the rest of Scott’s editors have been busy adding and expanding listings and making significant improvements to the entire catalog.
Strong auction, retail and internet sales over the past year indicate that the US market is strong and that catalog values represent the market well. Some values are moving forward in certain areas of the catalog, as always, and some of those changes are discussed here.
Most collectors will be interested to learn that the 1847 5¢ Franklin and 10¢ Washington (Scott 1 and 2) stamps are moving much further in used condition due to continued high demand. The 5¢ Franklin drops to $425 in this year’s Scott US Specialized catalog, up from $350 in the Scott’s 2023 Vol. 1A Catalog of standard postage stamps. The 10¢ Washington shows a similar move, moving from $750 to $900. The 1875 reproductions of these stamps (3 and 4) each add $100 to the values shown in vol. 1A, increasing to $1,000 unused and $1,250 unused, respectively.
The 1855 10¢ Green Type IV (16) shows a huge increase in value in the original unused gum condition, as it has become clearer that this stamp with gum and in mint condition is a true rarity. From $37,500 in flight. 1A, its value now climbs to $50,000.
A few extremely rare 20th century stamps lose some value.
1901 Pan American Exhibition issue 2¢ with reversed center (Scott 295a) drops from $55,000 to $50,000 following poor bidding for the best known used example.
The 1908 brown 4¢ coil stamp with Type III Schermack perforations (Scott 314A) goes from $100,000 for an unused single to $85,000, and a used single goes from $50,000 to $45,000. And the dark pink Type Ia 2¢ with Type III Schermack perforations (482A) drops from $65,000 to $55,000.
On the other hand, a number of unused 20th century reel pairs and line pairs are going up in value. See especially Scott 385-388 resistors.
In 20th century sheet stamps, the 1929 2¢ issue of Channeling the Ohio River in Rare Lake Shadow (Scott 681a) added value for the six-plate block, which had been graded with a dash before. The new value is $6,000 for a plate block without a hinge. This rare item is unregistered hinged.
For unused stamps in the Postage section with a minimum value of 25¢, most, if not all, have been updated to 30¢. Values used remain at a minimum of 25¢.
Forever stamp values have also been updated to reflect the new 60¢ postage rate that came into effect in July.
Collectors of recent new issues will also want to pay particular attention to a number of se-tenant issues and wedding-related stamp issues from the past decade. Many have seen notable increases in this edition of the catalog.
Among book spine stamps, the section that stands out showing increases in value is the Newspaper and Periodical Stamps section. Fine auctions of these unused, high-quality stamps caught the attention of some serious collectors, and lively auctions resulted in near-general increases in value for the 1875 issues (Scott PR9-PR32 and PR36-PR50) .
The Vending Machine Perforations and Appositions section was another active area for value increases and editorial improvements. Complete collections are rarely offered, but this year was an exception.
Occasional items have lost value, but the vast majority of value changes made are up, significant, and visible across the section. Interested collectors and dealers will want to carefully consider this section of the catalog this year.
Essays, proofs and specimen stamps see more changes in value than usual, and specimens in particular show a large number of changes, being universally increases and very often large increases.
The Test Stamps section sees its normal editorial and value change improvements, with more value changes than in recent years. Here we see a mix of increases and decreases.
And for boxed postage stamps, for the second consecutive year, it has been possible to review new full auctions of this material, resulting in more value changes than usual, almost all of which are increases .
Numerous editorial improvements have been made to the Scott US Specialized 2023 catalog.
Notes have been added in the Introduction regarding cancellation premiums on classic stamps, issues of scrap rotary press sheets and unofficial bisects.
Many footnotes have been added or expanded to make the understanding of lists and values even clearer.
Nine new oldest documented uses have been added, from Scott 153 to 554c in the Postage section and 384H in the Unperforated Flat Reels section.
An important long note has been added in the Newspaper and Periodical Stamps section regarding the so-called Colman “special printing” newspaper stamps of 1894. These stamps, although not officially issued, exist both unperforated and unofficially perforated, and they are in great demand among newspaper stamp specialists.
The note explains what they are and why they were produced, how they arrived on the market, how to identify them and how to value them.
In the Perforations section of vending and affixing machines, a huge number of additions have been made in the lists. This is due to the auction of Melvin Getlan’s complete collection of vending machine perforations and affixes. Collectors in this area will want to examine these changes in depth, as well as the revaluation of existing items.
It’s been common in recent years to see a lot of new listings in the Essays section, and this trend even seems to have accelerated for 2023. New listings are appearing in some back issues as well as many in the modern period.
A major overhaul of the 1873-1876 Security Paper Essays has been completed and should be carefully considered by collectors of this interesting field.
In the proofs, among the many additions, stand out many major lists and new minor lists in letters for shades in the Officials section. And the Specimens section sees some pretty significant editorial improvements that are worth looking into.
Finally, the Test Stamps section is again under extensive review, with new listings (both major and minor) and fixes based on new research. One major addition should be mentioned: the precursors of the 1995 Antique Auto test stamps to the issued stamps (Scott 3019-3023). These test pads have been researched for several years, and now complete listings can be viewed in the 2023 Scott US Specialized Catalog.
Finally, the United Nations, which usually appeared on the last pages of American specialized catalogs, was removed. This section became its own separate specialist catalog in May 2022.
However, the UN specialist pages will remain in the Scott Digital Catalog subscription.
To purchase Scott’s 2022 catalogs, print or digital, call Amos Media at 800-572-6885 or visit Amos Advantage online.
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