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
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)
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.
The stamp was most commonly used for paying three times the standard first class rate.
This 6¢ Columbian was used to pay part of the standard first-class
rate and registered mail fee which totaled 10¢
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.
A 6¢ Columbian postmarked on the closing day of the Columbian Expo.
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 more desirable vibrant 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.
The Essay's and Proofs
Columbian large die proof die sunk on 110x101mm card
Proof on thin card
The US Government Building, Columbian Exposition, 1893