2¢ Carmine, Rose-carmine
Subject: George Washington
Printing Method: Rotary Press (see below)
Perforations: 11 x 10
Scott #: 539
Issued: June 28th, 1919
BEWARE OF REPERFORATED STAMPS
$5,000 - $12,000
No postmark with gum (MH)
$2,000 - $3,000
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$4,000 - $16,000
#539 was issued with the following plate #'s
Number followed by S30
These stamps had already been perforated 10 vertically when saved from destruction. Several reasons were given for saving the stamps: previous orders had been filled, leftovers were too small to make the correct sheet size and some kind of defect in the sheets themselves. The waste was saved and when enough of it was accumulated and needed, the waste was processed in the flat plate perforating equipment with the horizontal perf 11 gauge and sent out as sheet stamps. 538 was coil waste of 490, 539 was coil waste of 491, 540 was coil waste of 492 and 541 was coil waste of 494. The plate size for sidewise (horizontal orientation) printed stamps was 170 subjects. For stamps printed endwise (vertical orientation) printed stamps was 150 subjects.
Credit: Steven Unkrich
As can be seen from above the difference between the type II (#539) and type III (#540) is subtle. Look for evidence of the first of the two lines having been scraped off, thereby making a stamp worth just a few dollars to a stamp worth thousands of dollars.
The earliest known use of, and the unique cover of #539, June 30th, 1919
As the curved plates of the Rotary press made the stamps slightly larger it is relatively easy to discern which stamp is flat plate and which is a rotary press stamp. First select any perf Washington Franklin stamp or the first issue Washington Franklin 1 cent or 2 cent. These are the stamps with the numbers one and two spelt out, instead of numbers being displayed. I chose the latter alternative as shown in the first image above.
Then cut out squares at each corner. As shown in the second image above. Placing the stamp you wish to test under your cut out stamp you can see if the frame lines match. If, as in the last image shown above the frame lines are outside the top stamp in either the top, bottom or sides then you have a rotary stamp. If the lines are in the same place, as shown in the third image, you have a flat plate stamp.
This test works with any value stamp.
The image above is a perfect example of the reverse of a flat plate stamp. The flecks of carmine ink on the reverse can be found on flat plate and are very rare on rotary press stamps. The cause of the flecks of carmine ink is that during the flat plate process the sheets were placed on top of each other before the ink had a chance to dry properly.