The 50 cent Columbian stamps are a beautiful and intriguing issue of the most popular set of United States stamps, the 1893 issue commemorating the famous voyage of Christopher Columbus.
This stamp, identified as Scott Catalog #240, sits in an interesting position as the last stamp of the series before the dollar denominated stamps of the $1 through $5 Columbians which are highly priced in the stamp collecting world.
This unique position results in some interesting stamp values as the catalog value of this stamp is less than half that of the $1 Columbians.
50 Cent Columbian Stamp Values (Scott #240)
The catalog values fluctuate year to year but over the past few years Scott Catalog Values have been about :
Important : These values reflect retail prices for a faultless example with Very Fine centering.
This set was produced in panes of 50 by the American Bank Note Company and only 243,750 of this stamp were produced in 1893.
It's anyone's guess how many are left today but it is quite difficult to find faultless stamps that are well centered in either mint original gum condition or in used condition with a light cancel.
In my experience, many of the uncertified mint fifty cent Columbian stamps have been regummed, often skillfully, so it is especially important to be sure you know what you are paying for.
If you don't feel comfortable with the gum types used in the 1893 series or your ability to detect a regumming then you should seriously consider getting a certificate anytime you buy stamps as mint original gum.
The story behind the design goes that Columbus was a hard negotiator and walked away from Queen Isabella's offer to seek better funding and terms from other countries.
Queen Isabella, presumably recognizing the potential value of the voyage, sent an emissary to recall Columbus to her court where the final deal was signed that launched the conquests to the new world.
This stamp commemorates that famous sailing voyage west in the belief that the earth was spherical and faster, safer trade routes to the east were waiting for discovery.
This is a gorgeous stamp from 1893 which is a member of the most popular of all US stamps sets.