Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

When the Civil War erupted in 1861, the United States government demonetized all previous postage stamp issues to prevent stamp stocks in the seceded states from being used.

The stamps issued to replace the demonetized issues bore portraits of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

In part to appeal to Unionist Democrats fighting for the North alongside the Republicans, in 1863 a new 2¢ black Andrew Jackson stamp (Scott 73) was issued. Jackson had been both a transformative figure in the Democratic Party and a staunch Unionist.

Known to collectors as “the Black Jack,” this is a key stamp for any U.S. collection. The 2018 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the stamp at $325 in unused original gum condition and $55 in used condition.

The printing quantity for this issue was huge, and it is still readily available. But it is much harder to find in grades of very fine or better.

The margins around the design are miniscule. As a result, if the perforations are only slightly misaligned they touch or cut into the design on one or more sides. Stamps in truly very fine grade are a good buy at full Scott catalog value.

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