30¢ - Orange brown or bright orange brown
Scott #239


Used: $12-$35
No postmark with gum (MH): $40-$100
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $125-$225


Issued: The 30¢ was officially issued on January, 1st 1893, a Sunday, and at Post Offices the following day.

Plate Size: Sheets of 200 subjects (2 panes of 100)

239 pane

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

Watermark: None

Color: Orange brown or bright orange brown.

Quantity Issued: 617,250

Usage: The stamp was most commonly used in combination with other stamps to pay high foreign mail rates.


The Inspiration for the Design

The vignette design was fashioned after Felipe Maso de Falp painting “Columbus Before the Franciscans at La Rabida”.

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.

Varieties to look for

The color ranges from Orange Brown to Bright Orange Brown. The stamp fades easily so try and avoid purchasing the dull brown copies as this was not the original color. 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


Proof on thin card

Trial Color Proof on card (239TC4)

The Columbian Expo was massive, far bigger than Walt Disney world.
Part of the reason for the size is that everything, including the
kitchen sink was on display. For instance here is the Windmill exhibit.