The 1893 Columbians
50¢ -Slate blue or dull slate blue
No postmark with gum (MH): $80-$175
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $350-$600
The 50¢ was officially was issued on January, 1st 1893,
a Sunday, and at Post Offices the following day.
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
Slate blue or dull slate blue.
The stamp was most commonly used in combination
with other values to pay heavyweight foreign rates.
A 50¢ Columbian used in combination with a
30¢ Columbian and a $1 Columbian
Philatelic use of the 50¢ Columbian
The Inspiration for the Design
The design is a copy of A.G. Heaton's 1882 oil 'The Recall of Columbus'
This painting is now located in the US Senate. A.G. Heaton also painted
"Western Cattle in a Storm" used on the 1898 $1
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.
Expo cancel socked on the nose
Varieties to look for
The color ranges from Slate Blue to Dull Slate Blue.
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.
Essay's and Proofs
Columbian large die proof die sunk on 110x101mm card
Plate Proof on Card Stock
Large multiples, such as the one above, are rare in this value
The Columbus Expo was not all about large exhibition halls and grand boulevards. In between
on a street called the 'Midway' were scores of smaller booths, tents and the like. Shown
above is the Submarine Diving Exhibit, sans water.