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233a – Error of Color (BLUE) Compared to a 233 Ultramarine.


Here is an example of the BLUE error of color variety for the 4c Columbian – 233a. Also attached is a 4c Colombian – 233.




This is an image of a 233 which is Ultramarine.


One of the most valuable 19 Century U.S. stamps in 1893 is the 4c (ERROR OF COLOR) variety. Many collectors confuse the 233 and the 233a. As you can see from the images, there is a definite difference in the shades of the 233a BLUE and the 233 Ultramarine and Dark Ultramarine. The 233a is a much sharper imagery on this ERROR OF COLOR stamp. Collectors have thought they owned this stamp; however, very few people have seen one or let alone owned one. An interesting background on the 233a can be found in “The United States Postage Stamps of the 19th Century” by Lester G. Brookman, Volume III. This explains further how the 233a was originally found.


The current Scott value of a 233a Unused Hinged is currently listed at $17,500, the 233a Used is currently listed at $16,500 and the 233a og NH is currently listed at $32,500, as opposed to a 233 Ultramarine goes anywhere from $8 - $140.


Hopefully you will find one of these in your collection.


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