The 1893 Columbians
6¢ - Purple or dull purple
No postmark with gum (MH): $11-$20
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $30-$110
6¢ - Red Violet
Issued: The 6¢ was officially issued on January, 1st 1893, a Sunday, and at Post Offices the following day. There are no examples of this value being used on the 1st January, 1893.
Plate Size: Sheets of 200 subjects (2 panes of 100)
Printer: The American Bank Note Company, thereafter, with one exception of the Overun stamps of 1943 all stamps have since been printed by the Bureau of Engraving
Color: Purple or dull purple and red violet.
Common use: The stamp was most commonly used for paying three times the standard first class rate.
What you should look for
As with all the values of this issue, look for Columbian Expo cancels, they increase the value of the stamp or cover. Any stamp is more desirable with a clean cancel, preferably a town cancel, heavy cancels can detract from the value.
The ink in this value, fades quickly in sunlight, which is a shame as they were originaly printed in an attractive bright and vibrant red violet, dull purple or purple. If at all possible select a stamp which has not faded. See below
The less desirable faded colors
Occasionally postmarks from states that had tiny amounts of mail in this year can add to the value. This is particularly true of Alaska and the Territories. For a list of the number of stamps issued by each state in the year ending 30th June 1894 click here.
The Inspiration for the Design
The design was taken from one of the panels of the Bronze doors designed by Randolph Rogers. These are located in the Capitol building in Washington DC.
Varieties to look for
The Essay's and Proofs
The US Government Building, Columbian Exposition, 1893