$3 - Yellow green or pale yellow green
Scott #243 - 1893
Issued: Jan 2nd 1893 but first placed on sale at
the Columbian Exposition on Jan 3rd 1893


Used: $280-$435
No postmark with gum (MH): $550-$850
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $1,350-$2,200

$3 -Olive green
Scott #243a - 1893


Issued: The $3 Columbian was officially was issued on January, 1st 1893, a Sunday, and at Post Offices the following day.

Earliest known use of #243

Plate Size:Sheets of 100 subjects (2 panes of 50). There are no plates or sheets left in existence. Only four plate blocks are left.

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: Yellow green, pale yellow green and olive green.

Usage: The $3 Columbian is often seen on its own on covers, mostly for philatelic use, it is rarely seen in combination with other values. It is often seen with the registered fee cancel.

243 cover

Quantity Issued: 27,650

The Inspiration for the Design

The design was based on the painting by Jover 'Columbus Before the Catholic Kings'

"Columbus before the Catholic Kings"
Frances Jover

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.

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.

Varieties to look for

The color has a wide range of hues, from yellow green through to olive green. There are the occasional double transfers.

The Essay's and Proofs

Print vignette essay
Stiff card

243 p1
Large Die Proof on card

243 P4 US Stamp Proof

Plate Proof on Card Stock


The Ferris wheel at the Columbian Exposition