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Europe/Great Britain : What is a good price for a penny black?

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Sabaeza2
08 Feb 2011
03:18:38pm
what is a good price for the penny black if i were to buy one???
I have seen other issues of the great britan one penny that are simalar but with different colors and marks.. witch ones should i get. Pics would be great!!
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Bobstamp
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08 Feb 2011
03:41:49pm
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

There's only one Penny Black. I'd suggest eBay or almost any dealer who specializes in GB & Commonwealth stamps. Hard to say what a good price is, these days. I'd probably be content with $150 for an average stamp.

Bob

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Sabaeza2
08 Feb 2011
03:43:21pm
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

ok thanks

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Pdougherty999
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08 Feb 2011
03:53:57pm
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

If you really want a "Hey look what I got!" kind of stamp, the Penny Black is definitely one of them as it was the "First" in a lot of stamp categories. It’s no crown jewel of a collection, but it’s history makes it one of those “special” ones to own. I myself am hoping to add one to my collection soon.

And the price is not too bad considering. I just searched an there was one on eBay for $110 plus $2 shipping.

You need to be VERY careful though that you are buying from a well established seller otherwise you have a really good chance of being taken for a ride. And even those well established guys sometimes make mistakes. Actually, that is the case with any kind of online auction, including here.

Case in point, I bought a Penny Black from a certain seller and am still waiting for it, which is what's held me back from buying another.

Pat

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Rgnpcs
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08 Feb 2011
04:31:51pm
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

Regarding Penny Black, I have two.
I am working on a scan, and as soon as I have it will post under Wanted to Buy
Just wait a few minutes.
Richaard

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Rgnpcs
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08 Feb 2011
05:21:26pm
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

Scans have been posted under Wanted to Buy.
Dropped one of the stamps, and had a devil of a time finding it.
Richaard

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Rgnpcs
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08 Feb 2011
06:37:04pm
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

That was very good advice that Bob gave about being very careful from whom you buy this stamp. When you see a low price, think twice, as no one gives something away for nothing. There is one on eBay now that has a decided crease running from top to bottom,and is noticeable in the scan, but nothing mentioned in the description.
Here is a picture of a phony one. You could tell right away when holding it as paper is too heavy and it is not engraved, but if it was in an auction you could be fooled.
Richaard

penny_black_p

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Parkinlot
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09 Feb 2011
08:52:30am
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

Scott only has one number for the Penny Black but Stanley Gibbons has 3. 1 - Intense Black, 2 - Black, 3 - Gray Black. Then there are several different plates if you want to get specialized. Different cities had different shaped Maltese Cross designs. All these factors can affect the price of the stamp.

Of course price depends on condition. A well centered 4 margin, no fault with unobtrusive cancel will cost you more than a miscut, creased, heavy cancel stamp.

bidStart.com has a monthly contest to win a Penny Black. You don't have to buy anything. Just be registered.

(Message edited by parkinlot on February 09, 2011)

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Bobstamp
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09 Feb 2011
09:24:00am
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

I once passed up a Penny Black that was offered to me for a relatively small amount of money, and I've always regretted it. The stamp had not been cut out of its sheet, but torn out after being creased on all four sides. The creasing had not been very vigourous, because the edges were quite ragged. I thought that it was a nice postal artifact, illustrating both the need for perforations and the fact that the person who needed the stamp did not have scissors, or at least didn't have scissors available.

Scissors were being manufactured as early as the 2nd Century, and the first trademark for a company manufacturing scissors was granted in 1791, according to Wikipedia. It would be interesting to know how common it was for households and even businesses to have scissors when the Penny Black was issued.

Bob

P.S. After sending the foregoing comments, I decided to send an email to Stanley-Gibbons to see if they might have a "torn-not-cut-out" Penny Black. I'll let you know. I recently ordered some stamps from Stanley-Gibbons. Excellent service!



(Message edited by Bobstamp on February 09, 2011)

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Stampaholic
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09 Feb 2011
09:30:59am

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re: What is a good price for a penny black?

1st prize at 2000 FSDA show in Orlando was a penny black. Best thing I ever won in my life.
Almost never win anything.

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Cdj1122
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09 Feb 2011
09:43:25am
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

I won a prayer book once. A lot of good that did for me !!

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Stampaholic
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12 Feb 2011
06:11:38am

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re: What is a good price for a penny black?

My condolences. must be depressing. not being able to see any light at the end of the tunnel.
Life's a beach & then we die,right?

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Cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
12 Feb 2011
10:04:47am
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

I have seen lots of lights all through the tunnel. I'll worry about the end of the tunnel when I get there.
Charlie Jensen

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Bobstamp
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12 Feb 2011
10:29:13am
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

I expect that the light I will see at the end of the tunnel will be a train.

boB

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stampchi
17 Aug 2015
09:37:32pm
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

Some things you must do before buying a penny black stamp:-
1. Look at the back for the watermark...a small crown.
2. Gently place your little finger on the stamp and run it across the stamp. If the surface is raised, then that is good. If the surface is smooth, it is a forgery, even a photocopy.
3. Check that the stamp has 4 clear margins, no thins, no tears. A crisp, clear, Maltese Cross postmark (usually red or black), not smudged. A good quality stamp is a good investment in pleasure and value.
4. Try to determine which plate it was printed from. There were 12 plates (Plates 1a,1b, 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 and 11. A copy of "Penny Black Plates" by Edward B. Proud is useful. It shows the corner letter positions of every stamp and details of the characteristics of each one. Stanley Gibbons "Great Britain, Vol 1, Queen Victoria" should also be consulted to check for varieties. You want to know what you are getting for your money. If the dealer has identified the plate, ask for an explanation. Some plates are worth much more than others.
5. You should be able to buy a stamp from plates 4,5 or 6 from $150 to $200 dollars.
On cover you should expect to pay up to twice that price. An entire letter would cost more, but would really impress. Those posted from London are by far the most common.
Buy from a respectable dealer and you won't regret it. You will get what you pay for.
I have more than 200 penny blacks and many of them are matched with red stamps from the same plates. Red stamps were printed from the Black plates of 1b,2,5,8,9,10 and 11.
Plate 11 was printed in red first and then sheets were printed in black.

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philb
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17 Aug 2015
10:57:06pm

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re: What is a good price for a penny black?

I wanted a representitive penny black for my collection..about 20 years ago i paid thirty bucks for one..top margin is very good he others are a little tight but not into the frame. How much does a penny black cost ? i guess thats a bit like asking what does a pickup truck cost ? Happy

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khj
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18 Aug 2015
01:10:13am
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

Wow, this thread popped up again after 4 years!!!

Quote:

"i guess thats a bit like asking what does a pickup truck cost ?"



I agree with Phil. It really runs the whole spectrum, depending on what you want and how badly you want it.

My first 2 Penny Blacks were both used with 2 margins each and no other major faults. Very presentable in my opinion. Both cost me 5¢ each.

I didn't think I would ever top that. Turns out, I was one of the winners of the StampWants Penny Black giveaways. So I got that free. It came in a nice presentation folder. However, it had a major pinhole -- or should I say, pellet hole. Can't complain and never mentioned this publicly until now because I didn't want to sound ungrateful. I use it as an example of how dealers used to pin stamps to a sales board.

Enjoy your Penny Black if you have one -- no matter what it looks like. Sometimes just having one is fun enough!


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cdj1122
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18 Aug 2015
10:13:51pm
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

My wife bought me a really nice four margin, red Maltese Cross Penny Black about thirty five years ago for around $50. To me, it is the treasure of my UK album, part the first.



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Rob1956
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18 Aug 2015
10:21:45pm
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

Depending how much you want to pay for a penny black also defines the condition of one. I have two at the moment which are shown below.

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The stamp on the left has three borders with a red Maltese cancellation with two full borders top and bottom, three quarters of a border on the left and a near non-existent border on the right.

The stamp on the right has three full borders and the border on the top is 95% intact, it has a faint cancellation mark that leaves the face very clean.

The stamp on the right is worth a lot more than the stamp on the left.

The stamps were printed in sheets of 240 (20×12) and the stamps had corner letters (bottom left and right of the stamp) corresponding to its position on the plate.

Starting with AA, AB, AC to AL for the top row, the second row goes from BA to BL and the twentieth row from TA to TL. Four different alphabets were used in the course of time to form the corner letters.

The positional letters are very important as this also determines the value of the stamp.

Condition, centring, positional letters, even the colour of the cancellation mark (black is rare), the amount of borders determine the cost of a penny black; and any fault such as thinning, tearing, creasing, or stains will lower the value.

The stamp on the left with "MF' was from the 13th row down and the 6th stamp in. The stamp on the right with "LA" was from the 12th row down and the first stamp on that row.

If you own a penny black where the cancellation literally blankets out the image of the Queen, that is known as an obliterator cancellation or killer cancellation.

Is the 1840 penny black rare? No, as there were 68,808,000 issued. Only a few with exceptional centring, bordering etc will make it into the big time; but if you have a penny black that was printed from what was known as plate 11 (registered January 27, 1841 which was originally intended for the penny red), then you will have one of only 168,000 ever printed and that can run into tens of thousands of dollars.

So to put it into a nutshell, a badly damaged penny black may set a collector back about $20 - $30; the top left stamp shown set me back $135 in poor condition (got ripped off) and the stamp on the right also cost me $135 (in very fine condition with 4 borders). If the one on the left was mint unhinged with the same borders it would set me back $2,500 and the one on the right $4,000 in mint unhinged condition with 95% of it's borders intact.

stampchi also has good advice on the penny black.

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cocollectibles
19 Aug 2015
09:40:57am
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

Very comprehensive guidance on the Penny Black! I encourage everyone to mail Tim and let him know what letters your stamps have, so he can add these to our Penny Black page.

I was wondering if anyone has a mint PB? I have yet to see one, let alone one MNH. I would imagine they would be very rare.

Peter

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StampCollector
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30 Sep 2015
10:45:34am

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re: What is a good price for a penny black?

Why is the position so important if every stamp is unique and the same number of stamps were issued?


Tony

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BobbyBarnhart
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30 Sep 2015
11:12:25am
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

"Why is the position so important if every stamp is unique and the same number of stamps were issued?"

I would imagine because some positions are scarcer than others. Remember, 100% of the stamps did not make the journey from 1840 to the present. I heard a story (perhaps someone can verify or refute) that one person in the late 1800s pasted thousands of penny blacks on her walls (the first philatelic wallpaper?). And, of course, the majority of envelopes with used stamps were likely discarded and destroyed.

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michael78651
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30 Sep 2015
11:18:45am
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

I heard that it was more than one person who used the sheets of those stamps for wall paper.

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nl1947
30 Sep 2015
11:54:59am
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

If you really get into penny blacks, the different plates used are a factor of the 68+ million printed

1a, 1b 15 Apr 1840 10,052,400
2 22 Apr 1840 7,659,120
3 9 May 1840 4,786,800
4 19 May 1840 6,701,760
5 1 June 1840 8,616,480
6 17 June 1840 9,095,040
7 8 July 1840 8,137,680
8 31 July 1840 7,180,320
9 9 Nov 1840 3,840,000
10 9 Dec 1840 1,920,000
11 27 Jan 1841 168,000
Plate 11 was intended for the penny red only

Not to mention variations in the alphabet, some inverts, letters re-punched & special printings to name a few.

Anyone REALLY interested I can send you a a 150 page book written by Perkins Bacon in 1920 detailling all the aspects of the printing. (Private PM only)

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Rob1956
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Member ACCC (Australian Commonwealth Collectors Club of NSW)
22 Nov 2015
06:53:42am
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

Some plates are rarer than other plates and plate 11 is the scarcest. Plate 11 is unusual in that the first printings were made in red ink at the end of January 1841. However, they were followed on the first and second of February by a short two-day run of 700 sheets. Despite this, plate 11 is still considered one of the ‘black’ plates.

The stamps were printed in sheets of 240 stamps. Each sheet consisted of 12 vertical columns and 20 horizontal rows.

As a forgery precaution, "check" letters were placed in the corner squares of Penny Black stamps. The letters identified the position of each individual stamp on a sheet.

The right square letter indicates the vertical column. The letter A indicates the first column. The second column is B and so on across to L for the last (twelfth) column.

The left square letter indicates the horizontal row. So the first row is A, the second B, the third C and so on until row 20 which is indicated by the letter T. For example, the stamp in the upper left hand corner was lettered AA and the stamp in the lower right hand corner of the sheet was labelled as TL.

Each letter combination is just as common or as rare as any other.

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AirmailEd
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22 Nov 2015
02:17:08pm
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

Very interesting, Rob. How are the plates identified?

Ed Foster

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sheepshanks
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22 Nov 2015
04:00:06pm
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

The plate numbers on the early 1d and 2d. stamps have the number in the curvy/wavy design on the sides around middle of stamp. If you check a catalogue there will be an example for you to see.

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Poodle_Mum
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22 Nov 2015
10:12:20pm
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

I recently became the proud owner of a Penny Black due to the generosity of two fellow SOR members. The price for me was out of this world!

It was quite interesting to see that the Penny Black I have, which I've always suspected to be Grey Black and since receiving the second Penny Black, my mind is at ease that I was correct. This "new" Penny Black is definitely darker black than my original one.

It's interesting to see the two sitting side by side in my album.

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Rob1956
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Member ACCC (Australian Commonwealth Collectors Club of NSW)
24 Nov 2015
09:43:53pm
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

Sorry Ed, been a little busy which kept me away from replying; I'll reply better in my next post.

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cocollectibles
25 Nov 2015
06:43:51am
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

Gibbons has a good book dedicated to plating the penny black but it is quite expensive. A Google search on plating the penny black reveals many websites; check out this site and this site for example.

Peter

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Charlie2009
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25 Nov 2015
07:06:49am
re: What is a good price for a penny black?

There is a cheaper option:
Paul Townley,has an E-Bay shop.
He sells CD's with all the Penny Blacks on it I always use for plating.Works obviously for the 1st 11 Penny reds too.Can't remember how much, but Approx £ 20.00 or thereabouts

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