Cuba 1898 - Sc 186 - (EDIFIL INTERVENCION NORTEAMERICANA No. 8) Puerto Principe 5 cents (Position 3) on 3 milesimas orange brown stamp.
This stamp is part of the Second Printing done in Puerto Principe on December 24, 1898.
The overall height of the overprint is 17˝mm and a "shiny" black ink was used this time instead of the dull ink used for the First Printing.
Parts of the cancellation are legible. It was used from Minas de Principe (159) on Dec. 28th, only four days after it was printed. December 24, 1898 fell on a Saturday and Christmas Day 1898 was a Sunday, so this stamp was cancelled on the second possible day of use.
Listed in Scott as 186 and priced at $175.00 in used condition which is $10.00 higher than the 1988 Scott Catalogue value, when a similar stamp was sold as part of the Peter A. Robertson collection of Puerto Principe stamps. (In our opinion, the Scott Catalogue has completely and absolutely given up in trying to keep up with the current market prices for these Puerto Principe stamps)
The EDIFIL Specialized Catalogue of the Stamps of Cuba lists this stamp as INTERVENCION NORTEAMERICANA No. 8 and prices it at € 500,- (US $650.00) in used condition.
A larger picture of this stamp is shown below. Also, page 32 of the book "Estudio sobre los Habilitados de Puerto Principe y sus Falsificaciones" by Jose L. Guerra Aguiar that shows the vertical alignment of the elements of the surcharges of known genuine stamps of this issue which is the key to authentication of these stamps. You could check the vertical alignment right on your computer monitor by using a ruler or anything else with a straight edge and comparing it against the Guerra Aguiar illustration. This stamp is the third position from the left.
As it is well known, the early forgers had access to the exact movable type that was used on the original printings, but were never able to duplicate the exact vertical alignment of the types when setting the molds to make their forgeries!
At the lower margin, it appears as if some of the original perforations were missing, resulting in a bit rough separation from the lower stamp. These are not short perforations since, as it can be seen in the scan with the red background, the lower margin is actually wider and not narrower than it would have been.