In this week’s Bluesheet we take a review of Franklin half dollars, which have been performing well in high certified grades. Many dates in MS66 and MS66 Full Bell Lines see higher bids, as more and more collectors recognize the scarcity of certain dates in these grades. The few decreases in price are found at the MS67 Full Bell Lines grade level, which may be impacted by varying grading standards. The standout dates include 1950-D, 1952-S, 1953, 1954-S, and 1961-D. It should be noted that more than a few coins in this series are unknown in MS67, which makes competition for MS66 specimens all the more fierce amongst registry collectors.

Spink USA announced on April 1 that a recovery was made of a long-lost 1918 24¢ Jenny air mail with center inverted when a prospective consignor, who had inherited the stamp, delivered it to their auction galleries for sale. After careful expert examination the rarity was determined to be the bottom right stamp from the famous McCoy block of four, which was stolen out of its exhibition frame in 1955 during the American Philatelic Society convention in Norfolk, Virginia. The owner had purchased the block, from positions 65-66, 75-76, in 1936 for $16,000. After the theft, the block was broken into four singles, and each copy was altered to disguise its appearance. This stamp, “Position 76,” was recovered by Spink In 1979, the victim assigned all her rights to the block to the American Philatelic Research Library at the American Philatelic Society. One of the other 3 stamps turned up in 1958 at a Chicago dealer’s shop, and a second was recovered in 1982. So one is still missing. George Eveleth, Head of the Spink Philatelic Department said: “This is one of the most exciting events in my 38 year career in the stamp auction business.”

Editor’s note: even though this is a “stamp” story, we think this great story about loss and recovery of a rare collectible. Kudos to the team at Spink for their keen eye and integrity in this matter.