The New Gold Rush

On a typical day at the market a full page of US postage stamps can be had for just a few pounds. And there’s no better time to get in on this trade since interest levels in American stamps is on the rise – along with prices. The recent sale of a red 2 cent example for £900 is just one reason why people are checking their collections!

Featured here are two 5-cent Jefferson stamps, specifically the issue known as the “Buffalo Bill” due to the cancellation mark often found on it that resembles the famous showman. They feature a portrait of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. These particular stamps are from the mid-to-late 19th century, likely between 1861 and 1881, a period that saw various designs for the 5-cent denomination.

The design of these stamps is intricate, with a central vignette featuring Jefferson’s profile surrounded by an elaborate frame that includes the text “U.S. Postage 5 Five Cents.” The left stamp has a lighter cancellation mark, allowing for a clearer view of the portrait, while the right stamp has a heavy, dark cancellation that obscures much of the design. Collectors often seek stamps with clear cancellations for their aesthetic and historical value, and the condition, as well as the type of cancellation mark, can significantly affect a stamp’s value. These stamps represent a time when postage was a vital part of communication, and each stamp has its own history of travel and use.