The 1893 Columbians
The Value of the Stamp
10¢ - Black brown, dark brown or gray black
No postmark with gum (MH): $14-$45
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $45-$150
Issued:The 10¢ was officially issued on January, 1st 1893, a Sunday, and at Post Offices the following day. There are a couple of examples postmarked in New York, N.Y., on January 1st, 1893.
Plate Size: Sheets of 200 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
Quantity Issued: 16,516,950
Color: Black brown, dark brown or gray black
Common use: The stamp was most commonly used for the combined first-class rate and registered mail fee which totalled ten cents.
What you should look for
As with all the values of this issue, look for Columbian Exposition 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.
The Inspiration for the Design
The design is a reproduction of Luigi Gregori’s ‘Return of Columbus and reception at court’ , now located at the Univ. of Notre Dame in Indiana.
Varieties to look for
Brookman mentions that there is a variety that has the words ‘Columbus Presenting Natives’ in long, thin and irregularly shaped letters, however there is no recorded example of this. There are no other varieties.
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
Inside the Machinery Hall, Columbian Exposition, 1893
Notice the machinery on the right, the Polyphase System.
This was a big deal then, it was made by the Westinghouse Company.