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Monday, August 15, 2011

Stamp Investment Tip: Hawaii 1893 Black Provisional Government Overprints (Scott #65-73)

In 1893, following the contrived planter's rebellion that ultimately resulted in Hawaii's annexation by the U.S., Hawaii overprinted some of its earlier 1883-86 Kingdom stamps for use by its new provisional government (Scott #65-73). All stamps of this set with the exception of #66 are scarce and undervalued, and #66C is rare. I've listed the better stamps, along with their Scott '11 values for unused and printing quantities, below:

-1893 2c Rose Vermilion (Scott #65; Sc. '11 CV =$80.00-$200.00 NH ; 6,250 issued)
-1893 6c Green (Scott #66C; Sc. '11 CV = $14,000.00 ; 50 issued)
-1893 10c Vermilion (Scott #67; Sc.'11 CV= $ 20.00-$50.00 NH; 25,000 issued)
-1893 10c Red Brown (Scott #68: Sc. '11 CV= $ 10.00-$25.00 NH ; 31,200 issued)
-1893 12c Red Lilac (Scott #69; Sc. '11 CV = $325.00-$525.00 NH ; 3,750 issued)
-1893 15c Red Brown (Scott #70; Sc.'11 CV= $25.00-$55.00 NH ; 20,000 issued)
-1893 18c Dull Rose (Scott #71; Sc. '11 CV= $35.00-$75.00 NH ; 5,830 issued)
-1893 50c Red (Scott #72; Sc.'11 CV = $80.00-$175.00 NH ; 11,499 issued)
-1893 $1 Rose Red (Scott #73; Sc.'11 CV=$140.00- $300.00 NH ; 6,099 issued)

Despite the fact that these are overprints, it's not necessary to purchase them conditional on obtaining expertization, because the basic Kingdom stamps are never significantly less expensive than the overprints (in fact, they are generally more expensive). The 6c Green (Scott #66C), is the notable exception to this rule.

It is surprising that there are still many undervalued stamps of Hawaii, given that it is the most popular U.S. Possession among U.S. collectors, and that it is an important cultural and economic nexus between the U.S. and the Far East.

Many of the definitives of the Kingdom Period and the later Provisional Government overprints may be found quite well centered. As the P.S.E. (Professional Stamp Experts organization) now grades U.S. Possessions stamps, I advise selecting for condition and centering when purchasing them. Should the current grading fetish persist, Hawaiian stamps that grade XF-90 or higher will sell at auction for multiples of their catalog value.

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