There is one imperforate and seven perforated Scott numbers of this design. Identification is very straight forward using the projections on the sides of the stamp and the ink color to help identify the correct catalog number.
The overall design is a tall rectangle with rounded corners. The projections are small rectangular areas that protrude from the sides of the stamp design. In Type I, the projections are on all four sides of the stamp design. On Type II, the projections were removed from the top and bottom of the stamp design, leaving only the sides with projections still showing.
Like most other issues of this series, there is very little white space between the stamps. The margins between the stamp design and the perforations are very tight. On many copies, the perforations will come very close to the stamp design or cut into the stamp design. Well centered copies where the perforations are clear of the stamp design are difficult to find and usually command large premiums.
The catalog value of the perforated copies is usually more than the catalog value of the imnperforate copy, Scott #12. However, Scott #29 and #30A have lower catalog values. When buying Scott #12, make sure someone didn’t trim the perforations from a #29 or #30A to make it resemble a #12. One way to tell is to look at the edges of the #12 and make sure there are no tiny divits left because the perforations were not 100% cut away. The other way to check is the stamp color. Be very leary of any #12 where the sides of the stamp cut deep into the stamp design. That is probably someone making a poorly centered copy of #12 by cutting away the perforations from a #29 or #30A and trying to leave no traces behind of the perforations.
Scott numbers 12 through 28A have varying degrees of red color to them. But the stamps are definitely red in appearance. Scott numbers 29 through 30A are more of a brown color. It’s impossible to describe colors in just text. I recommend the Roy White book, “Encyclopedia of the Colors of United States Postage Stamps, Volumes I –II” which covers this issue and accurately illustrates each ink color.
Scott #29 and #30A are the most common and moderately priced at about $300 each for used, VF copies. The other Scott numbers vary between uncommon to very scarce and catalog much more. Mint, no gum copies are pretty routine for this issue. Mint copies with original gum are worth much more.
Be careful on Scott #30. Used copies are worth more than mint copies. If you have a used copy, make sure the cancel is genuine and not fake.
As always, I recommend certificates of authenticity on any copy that appears questionable. And especially with any copies that have substantial value. Good luck!
|Scott #||Perforation||Ink color||Type||Notes|
|28||15.5||Red Brown (pale)||I||28b is similar, but bright red brown color|
|29||15.5||Brown (pale, yellow)||I|
|30||15.5||Orange brown||II||Used copies are valued more than mint copies|
|42||12||Orange Brown||II||1875 reprint|