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3c bank note plate varieties

You want another subject, here it is. It does not have to do with grading. I have been doing research on the 3c bank notes and part of my research is identifying and starting a census of double transfers. I have two categories of double transfer, distinct and minor. Distinct DTs consist of multiple marks in various parts of the design that would make it unlikely that a second plate position would be found with the exact same markings. Minor DTs consist of just a few marks in one spot of the design that could possibly be duplicated in another position on the plate.

I just finished writing up the distinct double transfer and already have 4 from the National printings, 16 from the Continental printings, and 5 from the American printings. I am not including the reengraved design in my research.

I am starting the listing of minor DTs and I have at least 24 of them.

One of the things I am working for is to build a census of the distinct ones. I already have some input but will be looking for more individuals that have collections of plate varieties.

A future part of the research is to build a census of cracked plate varieties. I am also looking for a good example of a cracked plate for my collection.

That's it for now. You wanted some activity on the board and here it is.

P.S. Still waiting for my results from PSE.



  • I'll have to keep an eye out for DT's. I found a rather distinct example of doubling on a 2c Columbian a few months back, I think that is the first I have found(or noticed) I'll ahve to keep an eye out for these.

    BTW there are 2 gigantic 184's in the Siegel Sale 975 happening 6-23rd to 25th. Check out lot #'s 1416 and 1417 (one graded 95J).

  • The Columbian 2c is another stamp that is loaded with varieties. I have about 8 now but I am not really pursuing them.

    I look at the cost of graded stamps and also the stamps I need to fill my collection and realize I need to do something else for collecting. Fancy cancels and varieties are a very good collecting area until the right stamps come along for my collection. Maybe some of the stamps I sent in for grading will come back with high grades and I can use them to buy other stamps that I need.

    Thank you for the link to the 184s. I will definitely watch the prices realized and hope that I will have stamps that will bring about the same price.

    For information I also have a small postal history collection with some nice EKU/LKUs, some Doanes included.

    I still prefer the 19th century material for stamps and postal history, and I also have a strong interest in grills.

  • Well some good news , depending on what your perspective is; nearly all the prices for graded stamps have dropped in the new SMQ. No + or - signs though which makes it tricky to find what changed and what didn't.

    Graded selling is pretty slow right now, especially on the lower denominations (1c 2c) as the higher grade populations on these have grown quite a bit. I think the 184's are starting to become more common in higher grades as well. Right now there are 25-95's 15-95J's 3-98J's 2-100J's. This issue seems to have the potential for blanket size margins! Will be interesting to see what they sell for at auction. It amazes me how much more a graded stamp will go for at auction as compared to selling on ebay.

    It's a buyers market for sure, I just wish more of the nice grades of specific issues that I need would come out of the woodwork finally(at reasonable prices) There are 95's and up that I would pay full SMQ for if I ever saw them for sale(or at least trade)

    I pretty much stick with the 1880's to mid 30's. I like the earlier stamps but they're so pricey to make any attempt to complete and the plethora of varieties are a bit on the ridiculous side for me. I do collect examples of earlier stamps for my album but try to find decent sound examples or even with a few faults. I have a few of the the more common example with grills.
  • Here's a nice 184 I picked up a couple of years ago. I bought it used and then had it graded - I like the suspense of buying ungraded and then seeing how it comes out. It got a 95J.


  • That is a very nice looking 184. Great find and I like the grade.

    What you have there is even a little less common, you have a relief break variety. If you look close you will see a broken frame line just above the "O" of postage. Put the 95J along with the relief break and it equals very uncommon. One other thing I need to mention is that this relief break is found predominately on the 158. Another collector and I are attempting to identify this stamp as a 158 on soft paper.

    My research notes will show this as one of about 10 varieties of relief breaks.

    To state again, a very nice stamp and congratulations on finding it.
  • Hi rolew,thanks for new thread.im one of the many who sit back
    and watch the threads but id ike to know what are the varieties
    on the 2nd columbians & some pics who be great.i know about
    the hat one.i got 1 but not good copy but will do till i find a better one.
    thxs peter
  • Thanks for the info Rolin! I never noticed the break there at the very top center. Very interesting.

    How do you tell a 158 soft paper variety from a 184?

  • I the flick test.

    BTW I do collect varieties of the 267's and 279B's Have discovered the 266 and 267 EDU's listed in the Scott catalog as well as 279Bh. Also have several identifiable singles from the 279B booklet panes (they are harder to identify and find than you think) Also I noticed the 279Be Orange red before it was listed in the Scott, I thought I had dicovered something new but it been known for years by George Brett and Kenneth Diehl (and probably others) I have 2 on cover (I use special WM detector for this) and 6 used singles. This issue/type is quite fascinating.
  • Kiwidude. Here is a scan of a 2c Columbian which is common broken frame line variety but it also has a double transfer. There are a number of different double transfers types but I do not have the listing. The scan may not be the best because I am limited to uploading a 50kb file.
  • Matt. The only way to prove that you have a 158 on soft paper (184 paper) is to have a dated cover. I have a number of them from Nov, Dec of 1878. Other than that there is no way to tell the difference between a 158 on soft paper and a 184 soft paper. I have been looking for a soft paper example of the broken frame line that is on a cover dated prior to Feb 9, 1879. I have eight on cover but they are all hard paper. For now, your stamp is properly identified as a 184.

    EDUEKU. I believe I read someone referring to you as Zac and please correct that if I am wrong. Your work in the triangles is commendable. Any time a person works to uncover all varieties is a very difficult task. To identify some of the varieties you have and to share the knowledge is great. Your work and what I am doing is basically the same except in different time periods. I personally think you have the harder task with more varieties to be identified.
  • Here's a scan of a 231 with broken frameline I've also got. I don't yet have a nice broken hat variety, but am always looking!


  • Matt. I need some education. I need to know two things: first, how do you get the picture to show with the message, and second, how do you manage to get the large clear images and keep them under 50kb?

    By the way, that is a very nice looking broken frame line. I will look in my broken hats and see if I have a broken hat of the quality you may be looking for.

  • Hi Rolin. To insert the picture directly, I upload it to www.imageshack.us and then use the "Image" icon when posting a message. When I click the "Image" icon it opens up a box where I put the URL of the uploaded image.

    I'm not any good at creating a less than 50KB image of high quality either. I took these directly from PSE's cert verification feature. They are PSE's images.

  • Rolin: Yes I am Zac, I just rarely sign my name here. Yes I have had quite a bit of fun with the 2c triangles, but the color types still give me fits, I have a really good color guide but the intermediate shades are so tiring, as Ken Diehl told me after a short time of looking at these your eyes become saturated and they get harder and harder to differentiate. I have submitted 2 of the only 3 MNH 279Bd Orange Reds in the pop report so I must be OK at identifying a few colors. I have yet to see a stamp I am confident is a Brown Orange though and the Vermilion is tricky too.

    Matt: I have a few of those broken framelines (one on cover) but none that would grade that high.
  • What color guide or guides do you use? I have a White's for the 1850s and 1860s but I was told by an expert that is is pretty much useless for the 1861 3c. I also have Stanley Gibbons and Michel and none of them seem to agree except for the most basic colors.
  • I have one guide put together by Kenneth Diehl specifically for the first bureau 2c issues. It has several color chips that are very accurate for the issue. Really everyone sees slightly different colors so it's kinda iffy IMO on those in-between shades. But it is very useful , most color guides in philately seem to be for specific issues even though the color name may be the same, which is inconsistent at best.
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