US Stamps Columbians

This three dollar Columbian depicts Columbus describing his voyage to the royal court of Queen Isabella.  Fewer than 25,000 of these stamps were purchased after they were released in 1893 which, when combined with the gorgeous engraving, explains why this is such a scarce and valuable stamp today.

Perhaps the most famous of all US Stamps Columbians are always in demand.  

This set of stamps is the standard by which most US collections are judged and the $5 Columbian is the most sought after stamp of the set.

This 6 cent Columbian design is a copy of a relief from the door of the US Capitol and depicts the arrival of Christopher Columbus in Barcelona, Spain.    This is a gorgeous purple stamp and is one of the most difficult stamps of the set to find well centered and its deep purple coloring is often faded.

Printed in 1893 by the American Bank Note Company, this set was controversial and caused quite a stir at the time.  

Many stamp collecting experts believed these were printed just to make money from stamp collectors that would feel compelled to buy this expensive set of stamps.  In 1893 the $16.34 face value of the set was far more than an average person could afford.  

Luckily for us, these stamps were kept on sale and we now have these beautifully engraved pieces of art today.  

The set consists of 16 stamps from 1 cent through 5 dollar denominations and, for the most part, the higher the denomination the more valuable the stamp. 

These stamps were designed to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' famous voyage.  The designs tell the story of the relationship between Columbus and Queen Isabella of Spain culminating with is return from the Americas. 

The low value denominations of Columbians are very common which is why an entire page of one cent Columbians (Scott #230) like this is worth far less than even a single stamp of any of the dollar value denominations.

An interesting side note is that this set was highly purchased by speculators expecting stamp collectors to drive up prices of the stamps.  Boy, were they wrong.  

As hard as it is to imagine today, the $1 to $5 stamps in this set were oversupplied in mint condition until about 1910.  Yep, until 20 years after they were issued, you couldn't even sell a $5 Columbian for $5.

Of course, things would change over the next 100 years.  Eventually prices had to rise because the dollar value Columbians were only produced in quantities in the tens of thousands.  Contrast this with the 2 cent Columbian which had 1.5 Billion stamps issued.  Yes, Billion with a B!

This is why the low denomination stamps can be worth little to nothing and a plate block of the $5 Columbian can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

US Stamps Columbians Issues - Click for more

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