Suspect Scott #321, Used Single.
Scott #321 is a ridiculously rare and expensive stamp with a catalogue value of $250,000 used on cover of which only two are known. The Scott #321 is only known as a Type I stamp – weak frame line on the laurel leave next to the left hand numeral “2” and a weak inner frame line in the bottom left corner. The #321 can be faked from the Scott #319 issue by trimming the perforations off from the left and /or right edges, from the #320V imperforate coil by adding counterfeit perforations to the top and bottom edges and the Scott #319g booklet stamps by trimming the perforations from the left or right edges of the top two stamps in a pane of six. Fakes are also known from the Scott #319F Type II issue but would fool only the inexperienced collector. Only four certified unused pairs are known with a possible fifth uncertified unused pair is known in the Miller Collection at the New York Public Library. Two unused singles are known on cover. Forgetting about the rarity and expense of this stamp, how would one go about proving that this is a fake? The first thing to look at is what type is the stamp. Below are images of the two places on the suspect that can be used to determine what type design the suspect is.
As can be seen the lower left inner frame line is a thick frame line with a blob of a Type II and is not the thin line of a Type I. The laurel leaves to the left of the left “2”, though partially covered with cancel, show they are separated from the white area to the left of the frame line by a strong line of color that indicates Type II. The laurel leaves on a Type I would have a weak line of color or no line of color separating them from the white area. Without a doubt the suspect is a Type II design.
Next to look at is the watermark which should read from left to right. If the suspects is a fake from a booklet single then the watermark would be in a vertical orientation.
As can be seen the watermark is in a horizontal orientation which eliminates the suspect being from a booklet pane.
The left edge is wavy and not parallel with the frame but the right edge is a natural straight edge showing a guide line.
Conclusion: In my opinion the suspect is a Scott #319F single with the perforations trimmed off the left edge.
As always comments and suggestions are always welcome.
To Contact Riverside Stamps: