Riverside Stamps

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Suspect Scott #534B Used Single.

This is an expensive stamp if it were real - $1400 catalog value and is sometimes faked. According to the Experts Book the best fakes are made from genuine Type VII stamps that have had the Shermack Type III perforations trimmed off. The fully perforated #528B can also be used to fake the #534B by trimming the perforations off or by altering the design of the imperforate #534 Type Va.

The suspect is indeed an offset printing due to the lack of raised printed features.  The foil method or "drag your tong tip across the background lines" method can be used to determine whether the printing method is flat plate or offset. Determining what type the suspect is it is a simple matter of looking at five features that determine a Type IV, Type Va, Type VII, and a Type VII. If the suspect does not show any of the features for the other type then the suspect must be a Type V.

First to look at is the toga button. The Type IV has a distinctive design resembling . The following pictures show the distinctive feature on the left and the same feature on the suspect on the right.


As can be seen the suspects toga button does not resemble the Type IV toga button.

The next feature to look at is the Type Va nose dots. There are seven rows of dots in Washington’s nose and the fifth row of dots down from the top only has four dots instead of the usual five.


As can be seen here the fifth row of the suspect’s nose has five dots instead of the four of the Type Va nose.

The next feature to look at is the Type VI “2” at the left of CENTS. The center line is very thick.


Type IV, V and Va

Type VI

Type VII

The center line of the suspects left “2” is not as strong when compared with the Type VI Left “2” but is is also not as weak as the Type IV, V and Va Left "2".  The center line of the suspects left “2” most closely resembles the Type VII Left "2".

The last features to look at are the dots in the upper lip and top of the head of the Type VII. The upper lip will have four rows of three dots and the top of the head has numerous extra dots added.


Type VII Lip Dots

The suspect’s upper lip has same four rows of three dots like that found on the Type VII though the fourth row is weak.


Type VII Top of Head Dots

There are numerous dots in the top of the head of the suspect like that found in the top of the head of a type VII.

As can be seen from the above images the dots at the top of the head are an exact match to the known genuine Type VII pattern as well as the dots in the upper lip match the Type VII upper lip dots, the left 2 also matches the Type VII Left 2. I’m of the opinion that the suspect is indeed a genuine Type VII.

The height of the suspect is just under 23mm which allows it to fit well within the confines of horizontal perforations. The width is at most 20.75mm wide with the top slanting in towards the design.

A search of the Philatelic Foundation’s certificate database returned a total of 481 certificates.  The list below breaks down the ones that are trimmed #528B or were declined an opinion for one reason or another.

  • Six were deemed #528B that had the perforations trimmed off.
  • Four were declined an opinion with no reason given.
  • Four were deemed genuine Type VII but opinion was declined as to whether the patients were imperforate or not.
  • Eight were deemed genuine Type VII but opinion was declined as to whether the patient was imperforate or not because of inadequate and/or insufficient margins.
  • Six had opinions declined as to whether the patient was imperforate or not because of inadequate and/or insufficient margins.

The best way to collect the imperforate offset printed issues is to get margin singles or multiples to insure that the stamp is genuinely imperforate.

Conclusion: In my opinion the suspect is a genuine Type VII but I decline to give an opinion as to the Scott number due to insufficient / inadequate margins.

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:
Email:
Mike Girard - Owner / Operator / Web Master: g1rardmn1099@comcast.net


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