Philosateleia
Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

1893 Columbian Exposition

The 16 stamps that make up the Columbian Exposition issue were the first true commemorative stamps issued by the United States. Produced for the Columbian Exposition held in Chicago, Illinois, the stamps were officially created to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s discovery of America, even though Columbus technically arrived in the New World in 1492, not 1493.

The face values of the Columbians ranged from 1¢ to $5 for a total of $16.34—a heady sum for the 1890s, especially when one considers that it was more than 800 times the first class postage rate of two cents. In comparison, were the United States to produce a series of proportionate value today, the most expensive stamp would cost $112.50, and the set would have a total face value of $367.65!

Blue 1-cent U.S. postage stamp picturing Christopher Columbus in sight of land
Columbus in Sight of Land
Brown violet 2-cent U.S. postage stamp picturing Landing of Christopher Columbus
Landing of Columbus
Green 3-cent U.S. postage stamp picturing flag ship of Christopher Columbus
Flag Ship of Columbus
Blue 4-cent U.S. postage stamp picturing fleet of Christopher Columbus
Fleet of Columbus
Brown 5-cent U.S. postage stamp picturing Christopher Columbus soliciting aid of Isabella
Columbus Soliciting Aid of Isabella
Purple 6-cent U.S. postage stamp picturing Christopher Columbus being welcomed at Barcelona
Columbus Welcomed at Barcelona
Magenta 8-cent U.S. postage stamp picturing Christopher Columbus being restored to favor
Columbus Restored to Favor
Black brown 10-cent U.S. postage stamp picturing Christopher Columbus presenting natives
Columbus Presenting Natives

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Published 2018-06-18 Last updated 2018-06-19