Mint United States

The relative popularity of mint and used United States stamps has been constantly changing during the history of our hobby. The first generation of collectors had little relish for mint stamps. Philately was hardly more than a diversion then and few collectors had the seriousness of purpose to seek quality let alone mint. These collectors were usually satisfied with the cheapest specimen they could find. The increasing value of mint US relative to used has been a long term phenomena. The two stamps illustrated above are mint examples of #27 and #67 respectively (both with fresh William Weiss certificates). The changes in the relative popularity of mint over used can be seen by comparing the catalog value of these stamps at different times during philatelic history. The Brick Red #27 cataloged in the 1900 Scott catalog $75 mint and $11 used for a ratio of 7-1. In the 1929 Scott the ratio of mint to used hadn’t changed ($200 vs $32.50) but by 2011 the ratio had swung dramatically to a 12-1 ratio for unused, no gum ($20,000 vs $1650) and a whopping 50-1 for original gum ($80,000 vs $1650-Scott didn’t list gummed and ungummed prices before about 1990). The #67 also had a 7-1 ratio in 1900 ($50 vs $7) and also in 1929 ($175 vs $27.50). This had changed in the 2011 Scott to 9-1 for no gum ($10,500 vs $1150) and 25-1 for original gum ($27500 vs $1150). If you are collecting United States stamps over the short term (say 20-30 year) period, such slowly evolving popularity trends make little difference. But if you want your great great grand children to think how prescient you were, then you should probably collect only mint classics.

Share on:
Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top