8¢ - Magenta, dark magenta or light magenta
Scott #236


Used: $1-$4
No postmark with gum (MH): $9-$27
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $35-$100


Issued: The stamp was issued on March 1st 1893. Note that this was issued three months after the rest of the Columbian series. This was issued as it was planned to have an 8¢ rate for registered letters. It is the first 8¢ stamp issued by the Post Office.

Plate Size: Sheets of 100 subjects (2 panes of 100)

Printer: The American Bank Note Company, thereafter, with one exception of the Overun stamps of 1943 all stamps have since been printed by the Bureau of Engraving

Watermark: None

Quantity Issued: 10,656,550

Usage: Paid the 8¢ registry fee so therefore quite common, you will see a lot of registry target cancels on this issue.


What you should look for

As with all the values of this issue, look for Columbian Expo cancels, they increase the value of the stamp or cover. Any stamp is more desirable with a clean cancel, preferably a town cancel, heavy cancels can detract from the value. As this value was used for the registered mail rate expect to see a lot of target cancels when looking for a copy.

The target cancel used for registered mail

The Inspiration for the Design

The design is a reproduction of Francisco Jover y Casanova’s painting “The Affectionate Reception of Columbus by Ferdinand and Isabella”, now located at Valladolid University, Valladolid, Spain.

jover y casanova

Varieties to look for

The only variety known are examples from one sheet that was printed on both sides.

Occasionally postmarks from states that had tiny amounts of mail in this year can add to the value. This is particularly true of Alaska and the Territories. For a list of the number of stamps issued by each state in the year ending 30th June 1894 click here.

The Essay's and Proofs

236 P2 Small Die Proof Stamp
236 P2
Small Die Proof

236 p4

236 P5
Plate Proof on thin white card


A map of the Columbian Exposition, 1893

Below is a fairly extensive history of the fair, done by students
the result is informative