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Another catalog season is upon us as we continue the journey of the 151-year history of the Scott catalogs. The 2020 volumes are the 176th edition of the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. Vol. 1A includes listings for the United States, United Nations, and countries of the world Aden through Australia. Listings for Austria through B countries of the world can be found in Vol. 1B.
Although almost three times as many value changes for the United States were made in Vol. 1A of the 2020 Scott Standard catalog compared to the number of changes made in the 2019 Vol. 1A, the general pattern throughout shows a “steady as she goes” result, with stamps in very fine grade consistently selling at or close to Scott values. A majority of the value changes occurred among more recent issues, to reflect increasing values of forever stamps.
Auction results from the first Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries sale of the William H. Gross U.S. collection impacted just three listings. The Annapolis, Md., 5¢ postmaster’s provisional (Scott 2XU1), one of two recorded (both used and very fine), drops in catalog value to $500,000, from $600,000 in the 2019 catalog.
A second change in value because of the Gross auction resulted from the sale of the finer of the two known covers bearing single examples of the 1908 2¢ Washington coil stamp (Scott 321). No singles off cover, either unused or used, are recorded. This great rarity moves up in value to $300,000, from $250,000 in the 2019 catalog.
Australia received a thorough review, resulting in a drop in used values for many issues.
A review of Argentina resulted in increases overall. Some increases were modest, but topical sets had larger increases.
Among the duck stamps, former Scott RW1a and RW1b have been deleted from the listings. A new footnote reads: “It is almost certain that examples of No. RW1 offered as imperforate vertical pairs or as vertical pairs imperforate horizontally are from printer’s waste. Additionally, it is almost certain that all imperforate vertical pairs are pairs imperforate horizontally that have had the vertical perforations trimmed off. No horizontal imperforate pairs are known. All recorded pairs are vertical, with narrow side margins. most examples exist without gum and with faults. Some pairs have gum on the front (which in some cases appears to have been removed). The stamps imperforate vertically are recorded as a unique block of eight, with the other recorded varieties being the manufactured imperforate vertical pairs.”
New listings for errors have been added. Included among the color-omitted errors are the 1985 25¢ Jack London booklet stamp (Scott 2182h) and the 2017 nondenominated (5¢) USA Star with Blue Frame (5172a).
Belgium stamps issued after 1930 received a thorough review. Special attention was given to back-of-the-book issues, where selected values showed substantial increases and decreases. The 1895-1909 Numeral postage due set of nine (Scott J3-J11) in mint never-hinged condition increased from $175 in the 2019 catalog to $225.
Belgian Congo also received a significant review. In general, there were more increases than decreases in value. The 1888 3.50-franc-on-5fr King Leopold II parcel post stamp (Scott Q4) jumped from $950 unused to $1,100, and from $550 used to $600.
For Brazil, the editors focused on stamps issued after 1990. Several 2000-04 issues increased in value.
Several modern stamps from Burkina Faso, previously with dashed values, are valued for the first time in the 2020 catalog. Also, 54 new surcharge varieties were added to the Benin listings.
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