The 6 cent Columbian stamps proclaim the glory of human spirit and adventure with a purple printing of Columbus being welcomed to Barcelona.
In the court of Spanish Queen Isabella, Christopher Columbus would ultimately receive funding and approval for his courageous exploration west.
As part of the negotiations Columbus would leave court without a deal but would be recalled by Queen Isabella as depicted on the 50 cent Columbian stamps.
It is hard to imagine the self-confidence, belief in science, and leadership skills that Columbus would need to persuade a group of sailors to head into the unknown and find someone else to pay for it.
The design was taken from a bronze relief from the doors of the United States Capitol building which were designed by renowned artist Randolph Rogers.
This United States stamp, identified as Scott Catalog #235, is printed in a purple ink that is notorious for fading and changing color over time.
Even worse, this was mainly used in first class mailings so most used examples have heavy cancels and are damaged. Also, this stamp is surprisingly difficult to find with extra fine or better centering.
Add all those factors together and the result is that original gum fault-free, perfectly centered (generally with a PSE certificate that has a numerical grading) 6 cent Columbian stamps have huge stamp values and can sell for hundreds to thousands of dollars.
However, there are only a few of those condition rarities that exist from the approximately 4.7 Million stamps issued and the vast majority of those remaining are damaged, used, previously hinged, off-center, or have other issues that reduce value.
This means most of these stamps are worth little to nothing and you can buy a nice used example for a few dollars and even a VF Never Hinged sound six cent Columbian can be found for $50 or less with some searching.
But the real condition rarities, those that are sound and almost perfectly centered, such as PSE graded 98 and 100 examples, do come up for sale at stamp auctions occasionally so can be bought but are highly prized by the stamp collecting world.
As with many of the 1893 stamps commemorating Columbus, mint original gum stamps must be carefully examined because the price differences between a no gum stamp and one that is never hinged original gum are substantial.
Mint stamps are frequently 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.
This is a gorgeous stamp issued in 1893 which will always be highly collectible as it is part of the most popular of all US stamps sets.