The Value of the Stamp



President James A Garfield (biography)
6¢ - Dull brown
Scott #256  - Un-watermarked - 1894

Value

Used: $1-$5
No postmark with gum (MH): $20-$40
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $90-$150



Scott #256a - Imperf vertically between
Less than 100 copies exist
Spring 2004 Auction: MH $600
Spring 2009 Auction: MH $1,100
Fall 2009 Auction: MH $650
Fall 2010 Auction: MH $850

Facts and Statistics

Issued: Issued July 18th 1894, Earliest recorded date of use, August 11th, 1894.

James Kennedy - Stamp Engraver
James Kennedy
The engraver

Plate Size: Sheets of 400 subjects (4 panes of 100)

Printer: The Bureau of Printing and Engraving, their first contract

Watermark: None

Quantity Issued: 5,120,800.

What you should look for


Below is an example of the 1894 Bureau Issue, you will notice the blind perfs and rough appearance of the perforations. This is less typical in the 6¢ than the lower denominations as it was produced later in the year. The machines for perforating the stamp had just been relocated from New York to Washington DC and did not have the old operators from the ABC, consequently the new operators took some time to get used to perforating the large sheets of 400 stamps. By the next issue, in 1895, they had got the practice down to a science, hence that issue has nice clean cut perforations. The untidy perforations of this issue does not detract from its value.

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 Inspiration for the Design

The source photograph of James Garfield is shown below, followed by the Bureau of Engravings Master Die of the President, folllowed by the design used in the stamp.

Varieties to look for

There are no known varieties.

The Essay's and Proofs

#256 is different from the rest of the 1894 Bureau's in that the top line runs all the way to the right edge of the stamp. Shown on the left is the 6¢ stamp, on the right any other Bureau issue.

256-E1
Essay
Die Sunk on Card
Dim Dusky Red



256-E2
Large Die Essay on India
Dim Dusky Red

256-P1
Large Die Proof on India

256-P4
Plate Proof on Card

256-TC1
Large Die Trial Color Proof on India
Chestnut Brown