The 1893 Columbians
15¢ - Dark green, green or dull green
No postmark with gum (MH): $25-$60
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $80-$175
Issued: The 15¢ was officially issued on January, 1st 1893, a Sunday, and at Post Offices the following day. There is no copy of a first day cover of the 15¢ issue. The earliest
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
Color: Dark green, green or dull green.
Common use: The stamp was most commonly used to pay triple the standard foreign mail rate of 5¢.
What you should look for
As with all the values of this issue, look for Columbian Expo cancels or on a Columbian Expo cover, 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 and are common on this value..
The Inspiration for the Design
The design came from a painting with the same title by Ricardo Baloca y Cancico. This painting was destroyed in the Spanish Civil War.
Varieties to look for
The color is a fairly consistent dark green, and although Scotts lists three different shades I am more of a belief that there aret three different stages of fading. There are the occasional double transfers.
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