Own U.S. #10A –
Former Minor Variety Now Has Its Own Major Number!
Get U.S. #10A, the 3¢ Washington stamp of the Series of 1851-57 that recently received a major Scott number.
For decades, collectors have studied the 1851 3¢ Washington and all its minor varieties and types. In 2008, the publishers of the Scott Catalogue recognized these significant differences and assigned some of these stamps new numbers – including #10A. Scott’s recognition of #10A with a major number will likely increase collector interest and demand. So now is the right time to add this stamp to your U.S. collection. Read on to discover more...
Changes in Postage Rates Create Need for New Stamps
By 1851, record numbers of Irish immigrants were settling in the U.S., raising the national population to over 23 million. To ease the strain on postal clerks, the Postal Service introduced new rates and practices. Pre-paid postage rates dropped from 5¢ to 3¢ on letters traveling up to 3,000 miles. It may not sound like a significant difference now, but it was a big savings for the people of the time when you consider that the cost of the 5¢ stamp in 1851 would be equivalent to more than $10 in today’s wages, and the 3¢ stamp would cost over $6. The lower rate was intended to encourage people to pre-pay postage, lighten the burden on postal clerks and allow mailers to simply drop their letters in the post office mail slot, rather than wait in long lines.
With the lowered postal rates, new stamp designs were needed. The 3¢ definitive stamp served as the “workhorse” of the time, mailing the majority of America’s letters. So it’s only fitting that the stamp pictured America’s greatest patriot, George Washington.
#10A – Recently Announced Major Scott Number
If you look in a Scott Catalogue printed before 2008, you’ll notice U.S. #10A isn’t listed. That’s because prior to 2008, it was considered a minor variety. Extensive study of the 1851 3¢ Washington has revealed several varieties of color and recutting.
When the design for the 1851 3¢ Washington was created, it included a faint inner border. However, the line was drawn so thinly, it was barely visible. Some of the plates used to print these stamps were re-cut – meaning the inner line on the plate was made thicker so it would show up better on the stamps. Those stamps with the re-cut inner line were long classified as a minor variety of #10. But recently, Scott publishers have recognized that this recutting makes the stamp a different type – Type II – and have assigned it the major Scott number of #10A.
Since the recut stamp was never recognized with a major number until 2008, no one knows the exact quantity issued. We do know there were 1,710,000 U.S. #10 stamps issued, and only a portion of those were #10A. Plus, the chances of a large number of these 158-year-old classic stamps surviving the ravages of time are small. So the amount of #10A stamps is surely far less today. And even fewer have desirable fine centering, making your #10A even more scarce.