Large Banknote stamps are postage stamps of the United States issued from 1870-1888 displaying portraits of famous Americans.
This set of stamps was issued in a brilliant range of colors during an experimental period including orange, purple, vermilion and dozens of others.
To add intrigue to beauty, there are some stamps that can only be identified through slight differences in color of the inks used.
The best example of this is the 90 cent stamp of Oliver Hazard Perry with two stamps only an expert can differentiate as one is Carmine in color and the other is Carmine Rose in color.
Which does sound relatively straight forward until you start thinking about how much the color may have faded or changed over the past 150 years.
Is that Carmine stamp really Carmine Rose or is the paper just slightly toned after a century and a half of exposure to air and light?
Questions like these are key to both identifying a stamp correctly and determining Stamp Values.
Large Banknotes were produced by three private companies, in chronological order
National Bank Note Company
Continental Bank Note Company
American Bank Note Company
These gorgeous stamps were first issued in 1870 in denominations from 1 cent to 90 cents by the National Bank Note Company.
Initially they were produced with experimental grills as small ridges impressed into the stamp paper to prevent illegal reuse of postage stamps. Now, grilled examples of the higher denomination stamps are scarce and hard to identify with steep stamp values if genuine.
The same designs were produced through much of the next 20 years, with only a few minor design changes and a couple of new design additions, by the Continental Bank Note Company and then finally the American Bank Note Company.
This was the heyday of private stamp printing in the United States and the Banknotes are in high demand by stamp collectors. This, combined with the fact that many of the surviving higher denominations are scarce and usually damaged or off-center, continues to drive prices upwards for the highest quality stamps.