Collecting stamp colour varieites: stamp shades and values

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03 June 2016
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blog72020121-78336.jpg USA’s dull reds
We take a look at three stamps which can be found in a variety of shades, and reveal how the varieties can vary in value

The shade of a stamp can make a huge difference in rarity and value, as our in-depth guide in the July 2016 issue of Stamp & Coin Mart reveals. We take a look at three stamps below and reveal how a subtle difference in colour can dramatically change the value of the stamp…

 

1. Stamp shades: USA’s dull reds

In our first image we see two rare shades of the USA 3c 1861 dull red, writes John Apfelbaum. They are the ‘Pink’ (Scott catalogue number 64) on the left and the ‘Pigeon Blood Pink’ (Scott #64a) on the right.

The difference in shade is very small and yet the pink (left) is valued at $900 (approximately £617)

…and the pigeon blood pink (right) at $5,000 (£3,425).

 

2. Stamp shades: penny reds down under

The printing of the Australian KGV 1d reds (image 2) coincided with the outbreak of WWI, so access to reliable sources of pigments from the usual European sources was very difficult, writes Scott Starling.

This shortage quickly became extreme and many varied shades were produced over a relatively short period.

Colours range from pale shell-pinks to deep browns and everything in between.

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3. Stamp shades: 1935 Prussian Blue

When collectors mention the ‘Prussian Blue’ they are usually referring to the rare shade of the GB 1935 Silver Jubilee 2½d stamp.

Read more about the Prussian Blue in our Classic British Stamps section…

From correspondence between the Post Office Stores Department and the Controller of Stamps at Somerset House, in November 1935, it is clear that Harrisons printed a large quantity of sheets in error, in Prussian blue and these were destroyed with the exception of six sheets sent to Post Office Stores for inspection.

The Superintendent Warehouseman was asked to destroy the six sheets after a block of four was retained for reference. However, a further mistake was made and only two were destroyed.

The catalogue value of an unmounted Prussian Blue in mint condition is £16,000. The illustrated block of four was sold for £24,000 at Sotheby’s in 2011.

July issue of Stamp & Coin MartREAD MORE ABOUT STAMP SHADES IN OUR IN-DEPTH GUIDE IN THE JULY 2016 ISSUE OF STAMP & COIN MART.

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