The 1893 Columbians
15¢ - Dark green, green or dull green
No postmark with gum (MH): $25-$60
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $80-$175
The 15¢ was officially issued on January, 1st 1893, a Sunday,
and at Post Offices the following day. There is no copy of a
first day cover of the 15¢ issue. The earliest
known cover dates from January 26th, 1893, shown below.
Earliest known cover of the 15¢ Columbian
A half pane of #238
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
Dark green, green or dull green.
The stamp was most commonly used to pay triple the standard foreign mail rate of 5¢.
An example of a foreign of a foriegn destination triple rate usage, the majority
of 15¢ Columbians can be found on uprated foreign mails with the associated heavy cancels
Quantity Issued: 1,576,950
What you should look for
As with all the values of this issue, look for Columbian Expo cancels or on
a Columbian Expo cover, 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 and are common on this value.
The Inspiration for the Design
The design came from a painting with the same title by
Ricardo Baloca y Cancico.
The painting was destroyed in the Spanish Civil War.
"Columbus announces his discovery"
Ricardo Baloca y Cancico
Varieties to look for
The color is a fairly consistent dark green, and although Scotts lists three
different shades I am more of a belief that there aret three different stages
of fading. There are the occasional double transfers.
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 Essay's and Proofs
Watercolor and ink essay for the 15¢
The vignette was used on the $3 value instead.
Columbian large die proof die sunk on 110x101mm card
Trial Color Proof
Proof on thin card