Monday, December 12, 2011

Tracking Used Documentary Battleship Revenue Stamp Values: 2012 Scott Catalogue Prices

A reader of this site, Sally, emailed to ask the value of some battleship stamps she discovered in an old photo album.  Expectations are always high when old stamps are found.  Is there a fortune in newly discovered old and unfamiliar stamps?  Unfortunately, with battleship revenues, hopes are usually dashed.  In Sally's stash she found the following:

5  2 cent documentaries
1  4 cent documentary
1  5 cent documentary
1 10 cent documentary

All are used on piece.  I have no information about the document or the cancels on the document, or whether the stamps are rouletted or hyphen-holed. 

The new Scott Catalogue for 2012, listing the retail values for these stamps in very fine condition when not attached to their original document, has now been published.  What are the values for Sally's stamps?  I will use examples from my own collection to illustrate.  If you are familiar with the listed prices from last year, they haven't changed. 

2 cent documentary, R 164, used with handstamp cancel

Value, used, rouletted:  30 cents
Value, used, hyphen-holed:  25 cents

Standard, round perforations were not applied to battleship stamps.  Instead, short, knife like cuts called rouletting was applied during the first year and a half of the production of the stamps.  After December 1899, the stamps were perforated with slot-shaped perforations known as hyphen-hole perforations.  The value of these stamps varies by which type of perforation was applied.  On the two cent documentary above, the difference in value between the two types is insignificant.  On the 4 cent stamp below, the difference is significant:

4 cent documentary, R166, used handstamp cancel

Value, used rouletted:  35 cents
Value, used hyphen-hole:  $1.60

5 cent documentary, R167, used with handstamp cancel

Value, used rouletted: 35 cents
Value, used hyphen-hole: 35 cents

10 cent documentary, R168, used with handstamp cancel

Value, used rouletted: 25 cents
Value, used hyphen-hole: 25 cents

For Sally's stamps, unless the document on which her stamps are located has some significance, the stamps do not have much value.  Some of the battleship stamps had 100s of millions of copies of printed, so many are quite common.  However, some of the battleship values, and many in the right condition, may have some real monetary value.  Below I will do a check on the values of the balance of the documentary battleship revenues set in the 2012 Scott Catalogue.

Half cent documentary orange, R161, used with handstamp cancel
Value, used rouletted: $17.50
Value, used hyphen-hole: not issued.
The orange half cent stamp was issued for a brief period, and no hyphen hole versions were produced.  Genuinely used stamps are far scarcer and more valuable than unused stamps.

Half cent documentary gray, R162, used with handstamp cancel

Value, used rouletted:  25 cents

Gray half cent stamps were in use for the majority of the 1898-1902 period.  They are much more common than orange stamps.  No gray stamps are known with hyphen hole perforations.

One cent documentary pale blue, R163, used with handstamp cancel

Value used, rouletted: 25 cents
Value used, hyphen hole:  25 cents

Three cent documentary R165, used with handstamp cancel

Value used, rouletted:  35 cent
Value used, hyphen hole:  $1.40

Twenty five cent documentary R169, used with handstamp cancel

Value used rouletted:  50 cents
Value used hyphen hole:  50 cents

Forty cent documentary R170, used with handstamp cancel

Value used rouletted:  $1.25
Value used hyphen hole:  $30.00

Fifty cent documentary R171 used with handstamp cancel

Value used rouletted:  25 cents
Value used hyphen hole:  $1.00

Eighty cent documentary R172 used with handstamp cancel

Value used rouletted:  50 cents
Value used hyphen hole:  $50.00

In an upcoming post I will review unused values.


  1. hello there, i got almost 3000 old stamps,from almost 60 different countries,I would like to know if somebody can help me to do the appraisal,because I would like to sale,and I have stamps from countries it does no exist anymore

  2. Hello pedro. I am a stamp collector myself and I too have stamps from countries that no longer exist. However this alone does not mean all the stamps you have are valuable. Most are Probably "common" stamps. If you need an appraisal they must be catalogued and in some sort of order for anyone to even look at them. I am looking to add to my collection and often purchase stamps sight unseen. I will give you $50 U.S. for your unwanted collection without appraisal. Chances are your appraisal may cost more than your collection is even worth. Look up "most valuable stamps" on google. If you don't have anything resembling those than you Probably won't get much. Let me know if I can purchase them from you. Good luck

    1. Hey well ol buddy wat if some stamps fell into a man's hand n Google said they r worth something big

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