4¢ Orange Brown
Bluish Paper (see below)
Printing Method: FLAT PLATE
Subject: George Washington
Number issued: 4,400
Watermark: Double Line USPS
Scott #: 360
Issued: June, 1909
No sales recorded
No postmark with gum (MH)
$10,000 - $20,000
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
#360 was issued with the following plate #
Imprint and number
This was a printing on special paper containing about one third rag stock. It was hoped that this grade would materially reduce the great waste due to irregular or "off center" perforating, caused by the unequal shrinkage of the ordinary paper used. This "rag" paper did not help the question of shrinkage to any extent and was soon abandoned.
Only 4,400 copies of this stamp were printed. on this experimental paper. By mistake these sheets were packed up with the ordinary stamps and delivered to various Post offices.This, next to the five and eight cent varieties, is the rarest of the "bluish paper" varieties.
Although this group of stamps have always been noted as having been printed on bluish paper, the safest check as to their proper identification is by noting the greyish, color of the paper through the gum on the back, when compared to the ordinary stamps.
SEE BELOW ON HOW TO IDENTIFY BLUISH PAPER STAMPS
The stamps being described as having bluish paper is unfortunate. It has led to generations of stamp collectors looking for stamps with blue paper. The color is, in fact, more of a dull slate grey. That is not quite gray, there is just a tiny hint of blue in there.These are difficult to identify as many Washington-Franklin stamps when turned over look grey, as can be seen in the stamp shown above on the right. In my opinion once you have seen a true (that is certificated) bluish stamp you will always recognise the bluish shade. I have illustrated above left the bluish shade, however different monitors will show different shades, on my wife's iPhone the stamp on the left is a kind of yellowish grey.
Place the stamp face down on an orange background along with a normal paper next to it. The gray is more prominent this way. This test does not guarantee the variety but it will rule out non-blue paper varieties more readily. Ensure the gum you select a pair of stamps with the same gum condition, both with gum or both without gum
Die proof on India mounted on card