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Suspect Scott #352 Used Single.

This stamp was part of a larger collection of larger collection of Washington/Franklins I bought at auction in January of 2014. If real this is a modestly expensive stamp with a Scott Catalogue value of $190.00 used. The Experts Book states that the #352 is often faked by adding perforations at left & right and trimming top & bottom a Scott #343, adding perforations at left & right to a Scott #343S or trimming perforations off at the top & bottom of a Scott #331.

A check of the watermark reveals a normal double line “P” near the top of the stamp that reads horizontal which eliminates the possibility of a #331 booklet single being used to make the suspect (Fig.1).

Fig. 1

The height of the suspect is 24.25mm on the right side and 24.25+ mm on the left side, slightly less than the ideal height of 25mm but according to The Experts Book height is not a determining value for the #352.

Below is a comparison of the suspect’s perforations against the known good perforations of a Scott #405. As can be seen from the images below the suspects perforations are a perfect match with the known genuine perforations


Doing a flip comparison of the suspects perforations reveal a perfect match.


There is also evidence of pressure ridges on the third and ninth perf hole down from the top left edge perforations.


Based on the evidence I believe the perforations are genuine, the straight edges on the other hand are a completely different story. The top edge is definitely a genuine natural straight edge showing the guide line. The horizontal guide line at the top only tells me that the edge is genuine and it does not disqualify the suspect from consideration of being a genuine coil. I did a certificate search of the Philatelic Foundation and got back 295 certificates with 12 showing a guide line at the top or bottom edges that were deemed genuine. The bottom edge on the other hand looks nothing like the top edge. Remember, the two edges would have been created at the same time and the wear and tear of time would have aged the two edges the same way but the bottom edge looks like it was cut yesterday – it looks clean and crisp and does not have the soft worn look of the top edge. The bottom edge is not parallel with the top edge; it slants up from left to right. There is also evidence of perforation remains on the bottom edge.

Conclusion: In my opinion the suspect is a Scott #331 with a natural straight edge at the top showing the horizontal guide line with the perforations trimmed away from the bottom edge.

Reference material used:  used: 

  • The Expert's Book. A practical guide to the authentication of United States stamps. By Paul W. Schmid.

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