Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Postage

This series of colonial stamps, showing a Fang warrior, were first printed in 1910.  After 1924, they were overprinted with "AFRIQUE EQUATORIALE FRANÇAISE" in accord with a reshuffling of the French African colonies. 

According to allworldstamps.com, both of the above stamps -- since they are in pristine, unused condition -- are worth £0.10. If the 2c one had been used, it would command four times that price.  Too late now.


dhkendall said...

Strange, I'm just an amateur philatelist, more amateur than you, but I thought that used was *always* less-valuable than new (even in the case of, say, the famous British Guiana 1c magenta, where only used examples are known, if a new one suddenly arose, it would be worth more.) Why is used worth more in this case?

And, what's stopping you from putting that stamp on a letter and mailing it to yourself, thereby making it used, and increasing its value? (This "trick" was what made me believe all stamps are worth more new, as that would be an easy way of making it used.)

Aviatrix said...

I would imagine that it would have to have an authentic era postmark to count properly as used, and that this is one of those stamps that was sold far more often to collectors than to literate residents of the colony, thus there are far fewer used stamps in existence. Think of the used stamp a bit like a first day cover.

I don't collect stamps at all, but I once had a stamp album and a bunch of sticky hinges that I used to stick stamps that my uncle gave me in. It wasn't so much collecting as organizing. And licking.