Suspect Scott #500 Used Single (2/17/17).
This issue is sometimes faked and can be made from a #499 by altering the Type I design to resemble the Type Ia design or a #482 by adding fake perforations on all four sides as well as altering the Type I design to resemble the Type Ia design, can be confused with #499 Type I and any of the offset printed issues. Catalogue value is $240.00
The suspect is intaglio printed; tongs dragged lightly across the upper left background lines reveals the raised ink design.
There is no trace of a watermark present. What looks like an “S” in the upper left corner is part of the cancel, so are the two strong horizontal lines at the top and bottom.
Need to determine the design type. There are very subtle differences between the Type I of the #499 and the Type Ia of the #500.
The toga rope and button is where the two types can be differentiated:
As can be seen the suspects toga rope and button are not as strong as the Siegel sale image.
My mentor at APEX made me aware of a USSS Specialist article (Volume: 69 Number: 2 Year: 1998 Specialist: 816) written by S. Richard Prothero, M.D. where he describes another unique feature that can distinguish a Type I design from a Type Ia design. Dr. Prothero describes a partial third shading line in the first fold of the left and right ribbons that will always be present in the Type Ia design. Dr. Prothero also states in his article that color is no longer a determining factor for identifying a Scott #500.
Here is a close-up of the left and right ribbons:
As can be seen there is no hint of an extra third line in both ribbon folds. The small “X” mark in the right hand fold is an ink artifact and not indicative of an extra third line. This means the Suspect is a Type I design.
Conclusion: In my opinion the suspect is a #499 Type I, used.
Reference material used:
As always comments and suggestions are always welcome.
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