Riverside Stamps

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Suspect Scott #500 Used Single (2/19/17).

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 appears to be a watermark present that looks like part of a “P” or “U” in the lower right hand corner but there is no corresponding watermark fragment in the upper left edge.

Natural Light


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:

Here is an example of a Type I toga rope and button:

As can be seen the suspects toga rope is stronger than a typical Type I toga rope.

  Siegel Sale #562, PF Cert # 516929, notice the very strong line around the toga button  

As can be seen the suspects toga rope and button are 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 an extra third line in each of the ribbon folds. A third shading line in each fold could also mean that the suspect is a Type III rotary press issue.

Overlaying the suspect on the US Specialty Multi Gauge Flat Plate/Rotary Press gauge proves the suspect is a flat plate printed issue and therefore can’t be a Type III design which was only used on rotary press issues.

At first I was puzzled by the mix of design types, especially the extra lines in the left and right ribbons. I showed the suspect to my mentor at APEX and he felt that the suspects ribbon folds do fit Dr. Prothero’s description of what is found on the Type Ia design.

Conclusion: In my opinion the suspect is very likely a Scott #500, used.

Reference material used:

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

As always comments and suggestions are always welcome.

To Contact Riverside

To Contact Riverside Stamps:
Mike Girard - Owner / Operator / Web Master: g1rardmn1099@comcast.net

I am a member of the American Philatelic Society

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APS #: 205494
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I am a member of the United States Stamp Society

Member of the USSS
USSS #: 16733
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Member of the IPDA
IPDA #: 231
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