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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Stamp Investment Tip: U.S. 1909 Lincoln Centenary Issue (Scott #367-69)

Scott #367 and 369
  In 1909, the U.S. issued a stamp honoring the centenary of President Abraham Lincoln's birth in three different formats - perforated with white paper, imperforate, and perforated with bluish paper (Scott
#367-69). Lincoln is portrayed in a sad or reflective mood, which is appropriate given the tragic events which darkened his presidency. The issuance quantities for these stamps were approximately 148 million, 1.274 million, and 637,000, respectively. I've always felt that #369 should be described as having grayish rather than bluish paper, but if one squints while looking at the stamp, its "bluishness" is barely discernible.

   Lincoln may have been America's greatest president, and this issue certainly qualifies as a Famous Men/Women topical (the second most popular topical category, after Animals).

   As these stamps were issued in panes of 100, with one plate block of 6 per pane, the approximate number of plate blocks issued was 1.48 million (Sc.#367), 12,740 (Sc. #368), and 6,370 (Sc.#369) and the Scott '15 Catalog values for these are  $275.-  for NH,  $390.- for NH, and   $4,250.- for NH, respectively. Obviously, a far greater proportion of #367 were used as postage than of the other stamps. Nevertheless, I consider #368 plate blocks to be the best investment of the three, especially if purchased in VF NH condition and with none of the  annoying gum bends that are commonly found on this and the other 1909 imperforates.

 I recommend purchase of the imperforate plate block in F-VF+ NH condition, as opposed to purchasing it hinged due to the complexities involved in grading the gum of a hinged plate block based on the degree of hinging.

Those interested in learning about investing in stamps should read the Guide to Philatelic Investing ($5), available on Kindle and easily accessible from any computer.  


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