Table of Contents (click to open/close)

Table of Contents

All Document IndexesRailway Post Office (RPO) Cover with Washington-Head Stamp
IntroductionRailway Post Office (RPO) Cover Addressed to Denmark
U. S. Three Cent StampIllegal Use of Savings Stamp on Cover
Mr. ZIPIllegal Use of Revenue Stamp on Cover
U. S. Parcel Post Stamp Used for First Class on CoverOrange County, California Postal History
U. S. Five Dollar Stamp of 1922U. S. Special Delivery Stamp
Example of American Flag Machine CancellationSwiss Airmail Stamp
Christmas Seals Used on a Postcard 'Tied' by a Cancellation DeviceRalph Williams Ford License Plate Holder, c. 1965
Perfection Mechanized HandstampEarly Teddy Bear Postcard
Washington-Head StampsEarly Return Address Labels
Privately Perforated Washington-Head Stamp

U. S. Three Cent Stamp

[Three Cent Stamp]

Early U. S. Three Cent Stamp (Scott 214)

This three cent stamp (Scott number 214) is printed in a particularly striking vermillion color. It was first issued in this color in 1887, after being printed with the same design in green for many years. The green versions, such as Scott number 207, are quite common.

Finding this later vermillion version of the stamp in decent condition can be a life-long quest for the collector of classic U.S. stamps. Finding it on cover is more difficult yet, since the First Class rate had been lowered to two cents four years before (1883). Thus, this 3 cent stamp was less likely to be used on ordinary mail.

There is an interesting sidelight to this postage rate. Before the 1883 rate drop, letter postage was 3 cents for a number of years. However, it was hard to make change for a 3-cent purchase, so the United States issued a 3-cent coin during this era of the 19th century. I am told that the entire purpose of this coin was to simplify the purchase of 3-cent stamps for first-class postage.


Picdocs Summary and Links

Picdocs Index

Postal History Page

Swanson Group Main Page


6/16/23, 11:41 AM