I learned something new the other day. Iíll share it with you.

Scott #499 (Type I) and Scott #500 (Type Ia) are very similar in appearance. Scott #499 (Type I) has a very thin toga rope. Scott #500 (Type Ia) has a thicker toga rope. However, Scott #500 is scarcer and more valuable than Scott #499.

All stamps for Scott #500 were only produced from two printing plates: 10208 and 10209. If you have a plate number single, a plate block, or some other multiple with either of those 2 plate numbers, the stamp must be Scott #500.

Here is one more tidbit. A plate block of Scott #500 catalogs at $2000. However, there are two stamps in the lower left pane of plate #10208 that are Type I, Scott #499. If you find a plate block of 10208 that shows the combination pair of Scott #499 and #500, that plate block is worth $15,000. A mint pair of stamp with the #499 and #500 combination is valued at $1250 in the Scott catalog.

When looking at plate blocks or multiples of Scott #500, it may be worth a second look to see if you have the scarcer #499 and #500 combination. If so, you made a lucky find that will reap some financial reward too.