Stamps (Philately)/#C22?




I have another question here. I'm not sure what this quad would be worth. It seems like some blocks are going for a lot online, whereas others aren't. Again, I'm totally lost on what the differences are. Does it have to do with where the outside block edge is w/relation to the stamps?


Hi Robbie,
  There are a number of things that can contribute to increased value in blocks.  Let's talk about blocks for a second.

Blocks are any group of stamps 4 or more in a contiguous block, of at least 2 rows and 2 columns.  (So minimum for a block is 4, not in a "strip").

Block Types:
Any group of at least 4 as described above is a standard "Block".  That may be a "Block of 4", a "Block of 10 (2 x 5) a "Block of 12" (3 x 4 OR 2 x 6) -- you get the idea.

Then you have "Margin Blocks"
Margin blocks appear on some stamps, and they are blocks which show either a horizontal or a vertical "guide line" which was used in lining the sheet up for perforation, or for imperforate sheets, where to cut.

"Center Line Blocks" are very attractive to many collectors, because there is only 1 per page.  It is where the Vertical and Horizontal guidelines cross, at the center of the sheet.  So there can only be 1 "Center Line Block" on any sheet of stamps.  Where you may be able to get 4 or 8 horizontal or vertical margin or "guideline" blocks out of them.

There are also sometimes "Arrow Blocks" on some stamps, which will have a selvage margin, and diagonal lines that lead to the "guide line".  Not all sheets have these, but some plate block definitions can get specific about these.  

Then there are "Plate Blocks".  This area is sometimes confusing to collectors, because plate block sizes can vary, and in order to be officially a "Plate Block" of a particular type, it MUST meet all the criteria.  About 80% of "Plate Blocks" will be 4 stamps with either left, right, top or bottom outer selvage attached and the PLATE number visible on printed on the attached selvage.  However, some block definitions are rather complex, and my require 6 or 8 stamps in a particular arrangement in order to qualify as a "Plate Block" of that stamp issue.  In some cases as well, larger blocks are also recognized, like in the case of Scott #703 which recognizes Plate Blocks of 4, 6 and 8.  (With increasing value).

Now, your block, is just a block of 4, which does have selvage attached still.  By "book value" definition, it's just a block of 4, appears never hinged.  A block of 4 C22 Never Hinged has a catalog value of $45.

For the C22 to qualify as a Plate Block, it must have 6 stamps attached 2 x 3 or 3 x 2 with the selvage attached and a printed plate block number.  That would have a catalog value of $90.

BUT... this one is special.  SCOTT catalog notes that "‭Wide full selvage top margin plate blocks of No. C22 are extremely scarce and sell for $1,750 or more."

So what you would need there are 3 x 2 (3 wide x 2 deep) with full selvage attached at the TOP margin of the stamp (Plate # in the center).

For blocks, the Scott Specialized Catalog is a must have, as it has extensive information about blocks that can't be found elsewhere.
Hope that helps,

Stamps (Philately)

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Scott Payton


My expertise is in US, but I have a lot of exposure to worldwide, and with wide reference material, I will do what I can to answer questions about global stamps. In US I have extensive experience in all aspects (does include Administrative overprints for Cuba, China, Puerto Rico etc.). Also, Hawaii general issue and Revenue (pre-statehood). Of course still building knowledge but have been collecting since 1980. Air Mail is a favorite area, but not a limitation. Two specialty areas are Large Banknote issues, and Washington/Franklin identification. Strong experience in Carrier & Locals, Private Die (Also known as M&M for "Match & Medicine" but also includes some playing card and perfume stamp issues.) Recently have been building more back-of-book experience, especially around Official, Newspaper, Revenue and tax editions. Some covers, and cancellations, but not my strong suit. Another area I'm recently diving into. What I can't do: Anything non-US, as it's just not an area I focus on.


30+ years of learning the hard way. A lot of passion for collecting and dealing (as I do both). I don't consider it a hobby... I consider it a serious pursuit that I'm able to do in the hours I'm not occupied by annoying things like sleep. I work closely with some of the global leaders in the expertizing and identification field. Have co-authored several papers (with Mr. William Weiss Jr.) related to identification, as well as tool set to help with quickly identifying the more challenging areas of Washington Franklin. Strong experience in paper types and coil validation.

Member of APS #222356.

1870 - 1879 Large Banknote Issues - Easy Identification (co-authored with William Weiss Jr). Washington-Franklin - Easy Identification (co-authored with William Weiss Jr.) Detecting Fakes, Alterations and Counterfeits (APS Summer Session Expertizing Session materials with William Weiss Jr.)

Thousands and thousands of hours of pouring over hundreds of collections. 30+ years as a collector-to-dealer, avid student of philatelic study. Pre-1900 variation is fascinating, and it seems even after all these years, that I make some discovery every time I look at a new example. APS Summer Session - Fundamentals of Expertizing 2014

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