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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Stamp Investment Tip: U.S. 1929 Electric Light Perf 11 Plate Block of 6 (Scott #654)

   In 1929, the United States issued a stamp celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the invention of the electric light bulb. The stamp was issued in three different formats (Scott #654-56), and was meant to honor the inventor Thomas Alva Edison. Actually portraying him was forbidden, since the law prohibited placing a living person's face on a U.S. postage stamp.

   About 31.6 million of the Perf. 11 Flate Plate stamp (Scott #654), 210 million of the Perf. 11x10 1/2 Rotary Press stamp (Scott #655), and 133.5 million of the Perf. 10 Vertical Coil (Scott #656) were issued. Though I'm not recommending investing in any of these as singles, I believe that the plate block of 6 of #654 is undervalued. Since the stamps were printed in sheets of 100,
only about 316,000 plate blocks of #654 were issued. I think it likely that at least 90% -95% of these were broken up and used as postage, leaving between about 16,000 and 32,000 plate blocks remaining.

   Scott '15 prices the unused, Never Hinged plate block at $42.50, and I recommend purchase of it in that condition. Avoid plate blocks with poor centering, or those for which the selvedge has been trimmed.

   This issue holds great appeal and is of historical significance, as Thomas Edison is generally considered America's greatest inventor thus far.

     Those interested in becoming part of an international community of stamp collectors, dealers, and investors are encouraged to join the "Stampselectors" group at Facebook. The group hosts lively discussions concerning stamp investment and practical aspects of collecting, and provides a useful venue for those who wish to buy, sell, or trade stamps.   

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