$100 - Then and Now

Discussion in 'United States Stamps' started by Molokai, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. Molokai

    Molokai Moderator Moderator

    This is a Scott #PR125 Newspaper & Periodical stamp from the late 19th C. I've explained how these were used in another post here on StampExchange.


    The stamp itself is unremarkable - it catalogues for $65.00 but I bought this one for $7.50 because of a nasty thin. Without the thin, it might go for all of $20.00 as it is nicely centered and the colour is somewhat brighter than here appears. (En Passant, there must still be quite a few collectors of N & Ps as the bidding on most items is quite robust on eBay.)

    But it got me to thinking (which is often dangerous!) about the value of $100.00 then-and-now. The best calculation I have is that $100.00 in 1895 would be just shy of $3000.00 today, anno domini 2018. I purchase and sell a lot of books, so I know $3000.00 media mail would ship quite a few boxes of books! I wonder how many newspapers this $100 stamp would have mailed back in 1895?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
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  2. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    The last rate I could find (from a Linn's link) was initiated in 1885 and was 1c a pound so a $100 stamp would pay for a lot of pounds!
    Makanudo and Molokai like this.
  3. Molokai

    Molokai Moderator Moderator

    Indeed! Today, media post looks like the lowest rate is about $0.43/lb. If a penny then is $0.30 now, about a 50% increase? Still, the $100 stamp did send a lot of newspapers!
    Makanudo likes this.
  4. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator


    How did the PO handle usage of these stamps. Was it similar to postage dues for large mailers? i.e., the stamps in the appropriate amount were affixed to a sheet of paper and canceled and handed back to the mailer.

    Are the newspaper and periodical stamps readily available in used condition?

  5. Molokai

    Molokai Moderator Moderator

    Hi, Don - The first issues of 1865 the stamps were affixed to the parcel. Legitimate used copies of them are quite rare; they were typically destroyed when the parcel was opened. Doc Pepper runs a census on them. Later issues postage was paid by the mailer the stamps were cancelled and affixed to a receipt book held by the post office and later forwarded to Washington to be recorded and destroyed. But quite a few of both cancelled and unused (with a couple of exceptions not for sale to the public) got to collectors. George Sloane proffered that the N & Ps were the most complicated of U.S. stamps - even more so than the Washington-Franklins. I did a short piece on the N & Ps with a biblio here sometime last year. I am writing my own guide to them to help sort it all out in my mind!
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  6. Werner Salentin

    Werner Salentin Well-Known Member

    Hallo Molokai,
    do you have any idea why the 1895/97 Newspaper Stamps are
    so cheap ? Were they sold for less than face-value ?
  7. Molokai

    Molokai Moderator Moderator

    I think generally they are in line with other U.S. issues of the period. It appears a sound VF goes for around 35% Scott. There are obviously less of them available than some other issues, but also less demand. (Although, the small group of those who do collect them can be very aggressive bidders on the more HTF items.) There are two of the earlier reprints for which records show only one or two sold to the public.

    They are almost twice the size of a typical U.S. issue, so you do get more for your money. ;)
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  8. Werner Salentin

    Werner Salentin Well-Known Member

    I don´t think you are right.The stamp has a face of $ 100.-,but a
    Scott-value of $ 65.-.All other US-stamps,very much those of the
    19th century,including all earliar newspaper-stamps,are worth
    very much more than face.
    The higher values of 1895/97 newspaper stamps are the only
    US stamps what are valued not much over,or in the case of the
    $ 100.- - value even lower than face-value.
    Strange to me is also the note in Scott,that the reprints are
    "virtually indistinguishable" from the earliar printings.
    Michel gives seperate prices for the reprints and states,that the
    reprints have slightly different colours (than the originals) and
    have a clean white gum.
    So my best guess still is,that the stamps were sold for less than
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