United States Stamp Values


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1879-87 American Banknote - Soft Paper

The National, Continental and American Bank Note Companies ultimately merged under the name of the American Bank Note Company which assumed the contract for printing stamps in 1879. When American first took over the contract, it used the Continental plates. The original plates were imprinted Continental, so it should be noted that the imprint on these issues does not always accurately reflect the printing firm. The American stamps are distinguished from the Continental printings by paper type. American used paper that is described as “soft porous.” When held to a light, soft porous paper looks mottled or quilted.







Denom. Description Mint Used
1 cent Franklin - dark ultramarine $115.00 $2.40
2 cent Jackson - vermilion $50.00 $1.65
3 cent Washington - green $37.50 $0.45
5 cent Taylor - blue $200.00 $7.75
6 cent Lincoln - pink $375.00 $13.50
10 cent Lincoln - brown - no secret mark $1,200.00 $16.00
10 cent Lincoln - brown - secret mark $900.00 $16.00
15 cent Webster - red orange $130.00 $13.00
30 cent Hamilton - full black $400.00 $37.50
90 cent Perry - carmine $900.00 $170.00


1882 New Design

Issued to honor President James Garfield who was shot July 2, 1881 in the waiting area of the Baltimore & Potomac Railroad in Washington by an angry former supporter. Garfield suffered two bullet wounds and lingered for more than two months ultimately dying September 19.



Denom. Description Mint Used
5 cent Garfield - yellow brown $115.00 $5.00






1881-82 Re-engraved

The American Bank Note Company re-engraved several denominations in 1881. The stamps printed on soft porous paper can be distinguished from the earlier printings by subtle design changes.



Denom. Description Mint Used
1 cent Franklin - gray blue – vertical lines in background heavier – lines of shading added to ornaments in upper corners $25.00 $0.55
3 cent Washington - blue green – shading of central oval half previous thickness – horizontal dash added just below TS of CENTS $27.50 $0.35
6 cent Lincoln – rose – only three vertical lines in the left border (vs. four lines) $200.00 $55.00
6 cent Lincoln – brown red $185.00 $80.00
10 cent Jefferson - brown – only four vertical between the left side of the stamp and the edge of the shield (vs. 5 lines) $55.00 $3.50
10 cent Jefferson - black brown $800.00 $150.00


1883-87 New Designs

In 1883 the domestic letter rate was reduced to 2c per half ounce. To accommodate the change two new stamps were issued: 2 cent Washington (Red Brown) and 4 cent Jackson (Blue Green). In 1887 the 1 cent Franklin was redesigned with a frame similar to the 2 cent and 4 cent stamps.



Denom. Description Mint Used
2 cent Washington - red brown $16.50 $0.35
4 cent Jackson - blue green $115.00 $11.00
1 cent Franklin - ultramarine $42.50 $1.15






1887-88 New Colors

Previous designs re-issued with color changes.





Denom. Description Mint Used
1 cent Franklin - ultramarine $42.50 $1.15
2 cent Washington - green $16.50 $0.30
3 cent Washington - vermilion $25.00 $31.50
4 cent Jackson - carmine $90.00 $11.00
5 cent Garfield - indigo $95.00 $8.00
30 cent Hamilton - orange brown $160.00 $65.00
90 cent Perry - purple $450.00 $135.00


1890-93 Regular Issue

These are the last regular issue stamps printed by the American Bank Note Company. Although similar to previous issues, they are smaller and different in their shades of color, introducing the look and style of U.S. definitive stamp issues for the next 50 years.







Denom. Description Mint Used
1 cent Franklin - dull blue $40.00 $0.60
2 cent Washington - lake $325.00 $1.50
2 cent Washington - carmine $40.00 $0.55
2 cent Cap on left "2" $200.00 $9.00
2 cent Cap on both "2's" $875.00 $25.00
3 cent Jackson - purple $120.00 $6.25
4 cent Lincoln - dark brown $150.00 $3.75
5 cent Grant - chocolate $135.00 $3.75
6 cent Garfield - brown red $120.00 $19.50
8 cent Sherman - lilac $95.00 $11.75
10 cent Webster - green $300.00 $3.75
15 cent Clay - indigo $375.00 $21.75
30 cent Jefferson - black $600.00 $27.50
90 cent Perry - orange $950.00 $110.00


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These prices for U.S. stamps are provided as a service to Hobbizine readers. They are derived from numerous sources such as dealer price lists, advertisements in philatelic publications, and public auction results. Use these values as a guideline for evaluating the reasonableness of dealer prices, setting up trades with other collectors, and estimating the worth of your collection. The value of an individual stamp is dependent on its centering and condition. The prices listed here are for well centered, undamaged stamps. A particularly nice example might sell for more than the amount listed, while a poor copy might be worth less.

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