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The editors surveyed a rather slow market and found almost 9,000 value changes for Vol. 1 of the 2016 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, which provides listings for the United States, United Nations and countries of the world, A-B. In the Postage section, which most catalogue users focus on, there are approximately 1,000 value changes. The true scarcity of the 3¢ rose Washington, type II (Scott 25A) in used condition is reflected in a solid value jump: from $950 last year to $1,100 this year. A few early classic stamps see no-gum values decline somewhat. Typical is the 30¢ orange Benjamin Franklin, which moves from $1,000 to $950. Values for several of the Bank Note “I” grill stamps have been adjusted, and accompanying footnotes have been updated, to reflect new discoveries. A new color variety of the 1908 2¢ Washington booklet pane — scarlet — has been added to the catalogue as Scott 319Fl. There appears to be some speculation going on with the 1942 5¢ Chinese Resistance stamp, Scott 906. Accordingly, the $2.75 value for this stamp in mint, never-hinged condition is now italicized. For many years, the editors have known that some of the listed colors for 3¢ stamps of the 1940s are not correct. Specifically, many stamps described as “violet” or “deep violet” are anything but. A careful analysis of the stamps in question has resulted in a number of changes to listed colors, beginning with Scott 708 and concluding with Scott 965. For example, the 3¢ Mothers of America, Scott 737, formerly described as deep violet, is now called purple. Please take your time to acquaint yourself with the new color descriptions. A large number of values for recent nondenominated forever stamps have been adjusted upward to $1 in mint, never-hinged condition, to keep the Scott catalogue double-face values in line with the stamps’ current face value of 49¢. In the back of the book, values for the special printings of the 1879 postage due stamps (Scott J8-J14) have softened about 10 percent. The 3¢ deep brown descends from $25,000 last year to $22,500 in the 2016 catalogue. On the other hand, values rise for selected newspaper stamps. The $6 ultramarine special printing, Scott PR50, jumps from $80,000 to $85,000. The value for used personalized postage stamps issued during 2006-11 (Scott 1CVP62-1CVP138) is now 45¢, up from the minimum catalogue value of 25¢. In postal stationery, the cut square of the 1887 2¢ green on manila paper (Scott U308) is now valued at $12,500 unused for the first time. Finally, there is a new listing for Fort Valley, Georgia, in the Confederate States 3¢ 1861 Postmasters’ Provisionals section: Scott 7AXU1.
Belgium reigns supreme in the value-change category this year, with 2,020. The editors looked closely at the Postage section, beginning with the 1922-27 definitives, Scott 144-161. No distinct patterns emerged, with increases and decreases recorded in roughly equal numbers. The 1924 International Philatelic Exhibition souvenir sheet (Scott 171) shows a nice jump in value, moving to $225 unused and $200 used from $140 both ways last year. In never-hinged condition, the sheet rises in value more than 50%: from $260 to $400. The footnote for No. 171 has been expanded to clarify that sheets with wrinkles, toning or excessive gum skips sell for much less than Scott values, which are for very fine sheets with the normal pin holes and a cancellation-like marking in the margin.
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