Suspect Scott #394 Used Single.
This coil is rarely faked because there is no fully perforated stock of the Type I 3c in which to trim off the top and bottom perforations to make a coil and the only imperforate stock in which to add perforations to fake a coil is #483 (Type I, unwatermarked) and #484 (Type II, unwatermarked). To use a #483 to make a #394 a fake watermark would have to be added which is usually covered up by Regumming. To use a #484 not only would a fake watermark have to be added but the Type II design would somehow have to be convincingly altered to match the Type I design. The Philatelic Foundation has 560 certificate on file for the #394 and no fakes of any kind were found. In my opinion the chances of a used single of the #394 being a fake is next to zero.
Since there is no fully perforated sheet stock from which to trim the left and right sides it stands to reason that if the perforations are found to be genuine then the suspect must be genuine.
The height of the suspect is the correct 25mm at the left and right and the two cut edges are parallel.
A search of the Philatelic Foundations certificate database, as of 2/8/15, returns 568 certs with none being deemed not genuine.
Next, is the suspect a Type I design? The following images highlight five areas that allow determination of Type.
The toga rope shading lines are larger at the bottom than at the top and the fifth line from the left is missing.
The two lines of shading in the lock of hair are different length, the bottom one being shorter.
The eye brow shading lines are weakly engraved, the line forming the mouth is thin, straight and curves up at the end (Washington smiles), and the two shading lines in the chin are strongly engraved. All of the features shown in the above images are all Type I traits.
The images below show the suspects perforation overlaid on genuine perforations.
A visual inspection shows that the perforations show all of the correct characteristics of being genuine – slightly oval in shape, hints of pressure ridges on a few of the perforations.
Conclusion: In my opinion the suspect is a genuine #394.
Reference material used:
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