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Winchester Discounts

1894 50¢ Jefferson - U.S. #260

1894 50¢ Jefferson - U.S. #260

SKU:SS059

Regular price $219.99
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U.S. #260 1894 50¢ Jefferson

  • Issued: November 1, 1894
  • Issue Quantity: 175,330
  • Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
  • Watermark: None
  • Perforation: 12
  • Color: Orange

Only 175,330 of the 1894 50¢ Jefferson stamps were distributed to postmasters nationwide. Interestingly, years later, U.S. postage stamps were surcharged for use in the Philippines, and it was discovered that the unwatermarked paper of the 1894 series was utilized for these surcharged 50¢ Philippines issues. This finding suggested that a small additional stock of U.S. #260 stamps had been overlooked, as it was previously believed that the inventory had been exhausted with the original distribution.

Due to its rarity and limited availability, U.S. #260 is exceptionally difficult to find in good postally used condition. When encountered, it often commands a significantly higher premium.

The issuance of the 1894 series marked the beginning of the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) printing postage stamps. Previously, contracts had been awarded to private companies for stamp production. Established in 1862 during the Civil War, the BEP's creation was prompted by the urgent need for government-issued paper money and a system of domestic taxation proposed by Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase during a special session of Congress.

Initially, the BEP focused on printing revenue stamps for items such as beer and cigars. However, by 1878, nearly all revenue stamps were produced by the BEP. In 1894, with approval from the Secretary of the Treasury, the BEP submitted a bid to print the new stamps, securing the contract despite protests about its capability to do so.

Since then, with few exceptions, the BEP has printed most U.S. postage stamps. Today, it stands as the world’s largest securities manufacturing firm, operating 24 hours a day with over 3,300 employees, located in Washington, D.C.


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