The new and improved 16th edition of the Scott Catalogue of Errors on U.S. Postage Stamps is now at hand.
If you collect United States errors, this detailed, well-illustrated reference work is a must have for your philatelic library. Since the 15th edition of the errors catalog was published in 2009, many new errors have been discovered. Market conditions have fluctuated, and collectors’ interests have changed.
Author Stephen R. Datz weighed each of these factors when determining the values that are listed.
“Valuations are fresh and newly updated for this edition,” Datz explains in the introduction.
“Valuations were arrived at by tracking auction realizations (more than 2,000 separate lots), dealers’ retail price lists, and prices advertised in philatelic periodicals.
“We weighed frequency of appearance, timeliness, and market events in determining catalogue values.”
Overall, the recession tended to depress values for modern error stamps that are readily available.
On the other hand, values for classics and rarities fared well during the market downturn.
Datz reports that values were changed for more than 900 listings, and more than 200 items previously listed with a dash are now valued for the first time.
A dash indicates that an item is known to exist in a given condition (unused or used), but not enough market data is available for the editors to establish a catalog value. In general, the listings in the error catalog mirror those found in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers. However, the error catalog often provides additional details, such as quantities known, that are not found in the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog. More specific information is found in the more than 400 footnotes that accompany the listings.
Users also should pay attention to the many caution notes scattered throughout the catalog.
These notes often point out subtle characteristics, such as blind perforations, that disqualify an item from being a genuine error. Almost all of the errors are illustrated in vibrant color. Very few black-and-white images remain to be replaced. Ilustrations with a black border show an actual error. In the absence of an illustration of the error, the normal stamp design is pictured without a black border.
To get the most out of the catalog, spend some time reading the introduction. Here error terms are explained and, in some cases, illustrated. There also is a section titled “How To Use The Catalogue,” which should be read in its entirety. For the 16th edition, the pages are spiral bound and affixed to the rigid outer cover. This new configuration allows the book to lie flat when opened.
by Charles Snee
Scott Catalogue of Errors on US
Postage Stamps, 16th Edition
Publications - Scott Catalogue of Errors on US Postage Stamps