1¢ Grey green, green
Subject: George Washington
Printing Method: Rotary Press (see below)
Perforations: 11 (19 x 22½mm)
Scott #: 544
Issued: December 17th, 1922
$8,500 - $9,500
No postmark with gum (MH)
$14,000 - $22,000
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$16,500 - $30,000
There are no known plate blocks
Earliest known date of use, December 17th, 1922
This stamp was one of the experimental issues. The rotary press coil sheets of 170 stamps as featured in #543 were perforated vertically 11, they were fed into a flat plate perforating machine, which was also set at 11 perfs. The stamp is perforation 11 on all sides. A very important maker of this stamp is its size. The stamp design measures 19 x 22½ mm. The measurement has to be exact, down to the ¼mm (for the dedicated I recommend the accurate Phil-a-meter gauge as a measuring tool). If it measures differently it is the flat plate printing #498 or rotary press printing #545, the latter measures 19½-20 x 22 mm.
If the stamp has offset color (green flecks of ink) on the back it is a flat plate printing and is #498.
If you still believe it is #544 then I highly recommending certificating it. If you are wrong , and it turns out to be #498 the cost of the certificate will be minimal.
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.