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United States/Stamps : Determining Grill or Paper Type

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StanC
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14 Dec 2014
09:29:47pm
I'm trying to identify the stamps below, and would like some information on how to look for grills, "secret marks", or various paper types on the following stamps:

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Every time I turn around, I'm trying to identify some stamp that's printed in two or three different times on different papers, with grills, etc.

I've narrowed down the left stamp to either: Scott US #145 or Scott US #156.

Thanks in advance for helping or pointing me where I can go to get more information.

Stan
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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
14 Dec 2014
11:30:53pm
re: Determining Grill or Paper Type

Check the Scott US Specialized Catalog for illustrations and photographs of grill and secret marks.

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
14 Dec 2014
11:48:22pm
re: Determining Grill or Paper Type

The one on the left has the secret mark, so it's not 145.

To answer your question more generally, you can find a description of what the secret marks are in the Scott Specialized Catalog. If you are going to sort a lot of 19th Century stamps, I suggest getting a good reference. I personally like the 3 volume series "The United States Postage Stamps of the 19th Century" by Lester G. Brookman.

As far as identifying what a grill looks like, just look at any 1869 Pictorial stamp. The grill should be evident looking from the back. (If you can't see any hint of a grill, you might have a rarity!) The problem with grills is when you get into the Banknotes after the 1869 Pictorials. Many legitimate grills are faint and fake grills abound. I believe I read one estimate that HALF of all Banknote grills are faked.

Happy hunting!

Lars

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michael78651
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15 Dec 2014
10:06:24am
re: Determining Grill or Paper Type

Sometimes, if just for sanity's sake, the "simplified" method of collecting sounds like the way to go.

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StanC
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15 Dec 2014
12:16:03pm
re: Determining Grill or Paper Type

I'm thinking I'll go to the simplified method of collecting. 😉. All these variations make my head hurt.

I'll keep looking and studying though. Thanks for the good information.

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
15 Dec 2014
05:12:16pm
re: Determining Grill or Paper Type

The Third Bureau (Washington/Franklin) is even worse, in my opinion.

Lars

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michael78651
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15 Dec 2014
05:38:22pm
re: Determining Grill or Paper Type

Quote:

"The Third Bureau (Washington/Franklin) is even worse, in my opinion."



Not if you follow the "simplified" method. Big Grin

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
16 Dec 2014
01:27:26am
re: Determining Grill or Paper Type

I actually follow the modified-simplified method, and I like it.

Secret marks indicating change of printer? Yes
Coils? Yes
Booklets? Yes
Flat Plate/Rotary/Offset? Yes
Type differences after Civil War? Yes
Grills? No
Paper Type? No
Watermark? No
Perforation? No (although perf differences can identify press differences sometimes).

It eliminates all of the really nasty ones but provides plenty of stamp identification work. The highest CV is the 356 coil (unless you include 314A)

Lars

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mbo1142
16 Dec 2014
02:32:46pm
re: Determining Grill or Paper Type

Lars,

If I understand your methods, you do not check watermarks on Washington/Franklins?

Mel


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littleriverphil
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21 Dec 2014
03:52:20pm
re: Determining Grill or Paper Type

The grills, paper types, and re issues are just part of what make the U. S. Bank Notes so interesting. The papers are fairly easy, Hold it up to light, if it's translucent, its white wove paper, if it's mottled it's soft paper, and if it is inbetween it is Intermediate paper, but you don't usually see imtermediate unless you're dealing with Official stamps.

The Secret Marks aren't. Lots of pages on the web show the "Secret Marks". The biggest secret is that the mark on the 2 cent very rarely shows up, and the same with the 15 cent, those are differentiated by color, there are no marks on the 24, 30 a nd 90 cent stamps, a mark was added to the National plates but they were never used to print any stamps. The 24 cent Continental is on ribbed paper.

Two types of grill, H and I. The H grill is sometimes faint showing only a few points. Easist way to see grills is to look at the back of the stamp sideways with strong light shining across the back of the stamp. Or to dust the back of the stamp with powdered graghite. The test used to be rub graphite onto the back of the stamp, which most folks did by shading a piece of paper with a pencil and then rubbing the back of the stamp over the pencil shading.

Various people are now trying to get scans of grills, by changing the direction that the scanner light passes under the stamp ( really just turn the stamp) in much the same way that Ken Scrail photographed ribbed paper.

This is a U.S. Sc 136 I grill on cover that I tried to get a clear scan of to show the grill, not only did I turn the stamp 90 degrees, the edge towards the source of the light is also elevated 3mm which would be the top of the stamp in the first scan and the rigth side in the second scan. Can you notice any improvement in the apperaence of the grill?

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
21 Dec 2014
04:51:28pm
re: Determining Grill or Paper Type

Quote:

"Lars,

If I understand your methods, you do not check watermarks on Washington/Franklins?

Mel"



I try to minimize the amount of watermark checking I have to do, but a bit is unavoidable. I want to accurately identify my stamps, so even though a 338 or a 381 will do for the 10c Washington sheet stamp, I want to identify which I have.

I intentionally select stamps that can be easily identified without checking watermarks:

498 through 507 - 1c to 7c Washington - simply check perf (11)
508 through 518 - 8c to $1 Franklin - simply check perf (11)

I used 337 through 342 for 8c to $1 Washington. No need to check watermark except 8c, 10c, and 15c. I did check watermark on those 3 and did spot a double line watermark on the 8c and 15c, but I cannot find a HINT of watermark on the 10c. And yet it HAS to be SL or DL. I will probably buy a 338 with a clear DL watermark some day.

Lars
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