2189a or ?

Unusual find: I have two of these Hubert Humphrey stamps that appear to be unused. They have what appears to be low gloss, unhinged uneven gum. The double lines on the front appear as if to be precancel lines since the are in the same approximate location on both stamps.
Anybody have a clue to what these may be? No mention in the Scott Specialized under the listing for this one.
Ken W.

2189 MM - 1 Precancel
2189 MM - 2 Precancel


  • 7 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Ken,
    Can you provide a back scan as well?
  • I think those are precancels ( my autocorrect says precancerous).
  • Ken,
    Gum descriptions in Scott are really not the definitive ID for this stamp. The true identifier is it's tagging. You need a UV light (I think this requires short wave UV, as opposed to long wave UV, but many of the handheld UV lights available provide both). The luminescence of the tagging will tell you if it's a 2189 or a 2189a.
    Rene is right, these are pre-cancelled, which is why they still have full gum in tact. In this case, they are also considered "used" and not "MNH".
  • These are not especially unique . There are folks who collect precancels with city designations ( some LOVE those ). Tagging is the key, and hand held UV light sources are abundant and inexpensive to determine .
  • Here is a scan of the backsides. They are tagged, on uncoated paper. The tagging appears to be solid but the gum is not shiny, but similar to "low gloss" gum types. I was not able to locate a reference in the Specialized catalog for any of the Great American Series being pre-cancelled.

  • edited March 8 2 LikesVote Down
    Definitely not a bureau cancel, Possibly a National or silent precancel. Maybe from a FDC - saw some blocks of 4 where the cancel line on a block of 4 seems to be in the same place as yours. Also, the perfs on the bottom stamp have some writing - canceling?
  • Scott Specialized doesn't specifically track precancellations. The only notes for precancels are for rarities like the 905b where all known examples carry precancels from specific cities. (These are to help identify this rarity, because it's otherwise a color shade).
    This type of precancel isn't uncommon. I know you're trying to determine if you have some kind of scarce variety, but having a precancel doesn't make it such. Precancellation is still in use today in many applications, including mailing service bureaus. You mentioned its block tagged, so this is just a garden variety 2189 with a precancel (gummed or not, this is considered a used stamp). Sorry.
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