A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Friday, February 23, 2024

USA Official Stamps, Hawaii additions

Hawaii 1864 Scott 24 2c black

 Into the Deep Blue

Our local club had an in-house auction recently, and I picked up some new specimens. In addition, I will show off some of the USA 1873 Official stamps.

USA 1869 Scott 119 15c brown & blue
"Landing of Columbus"; Type II

It turns out I already had an example in my collection, but this local club auction specimen has a particularly rich blue & brown color. CV = $190.

Hawaii 1864 Scott 24 2c black

It is not the best of copy with the tear, crease, and hole, but I did pick this up at our local club auction for very little. CV = $1,050. These "Numeral"  stamps were typeset in Hawaii between 1859-1865. 

USA Official 1873 Scott O3 3c yellow "Washington"

Each Department of Government were issued stamps to use on official correspondence between 1873-1884. Most of the stamps were produced by the Continental Bank Note Company (Hard paper). Some were produced by the American Bank Note Company (soft paper). The ABNC stamps are given separate major numbers, and often have a higher CV. 

I believe this is a CBNC stamps @ CV $17+.

USA Official 1873 Scott O20 12c vermilion "
"Henry Clay"; Interior

The "Executive" Department stamps (carmine color) have a high CV ($225-$$1,000), and I don't have any.

But I do have this "Interior" 12c CBNC stamp @ $90 (unused).

USA Official 1873 Scott O27 3c purple "Washington"

The "Justice" 3c purple is CV $35.

USA Official 1873 Scott O40 10c ultramarine
"Jefferson"; Navy

I already had a 10c "Navy", but I picked up this better copy. CV $45.

USA Official 1873 Scott O51 10c black
Post Office

The "Post Office" stamps do not have a portrait. CV $55.

USA Official 1873 Scott O61 7c dark green
"Edwin Stanton"; State

Since my daughter is a Foreign Service Officer with the State Department now, I am partial to these lovely green specimens. Here, the 7c is CV $290 (unused).

USA Official 1873 Scott O72 1c brown
"Franklin"; Treasury

This is a new specimen for me. CV $10.

USA Official 1873 Scott O114 1c rose red
"Franklin"; War; ABNC

I believe this is an ABNC specimen. CV $7+.

Out of the Blue

I have always liked the 1873 "Officials", and think collecting them on cover would be a fun (but sadly too expensive) sub-specialty. :-)

Comments appreciated!


  1. How to distinguish "hard" and "soft" paper? Is it the thickness?

  2. Axel - I wish there was an easy answer but it is "complicated'. The CBNC paper for the "Officials" is described as "Thin, Hard". The ABNC paper is described as "Soft, Porous", Also the CBNC paper shows often the characteristics of "ribbed paper". I usually flick the stamp with my fingers. Also, find a stamp that only comes in one paper variety, and check it out for characteristics.