I recently bought a collection containing many mint panes and I offered them to customers. One customer wrote an email to me and asked about returning some of the panes he received because they were missing selvedge on one or more sides. He told me the Scott numbers of the panes he wanted to return. I wrote him back. I explained why they were normal.

In the old days, yes, panes of stamps had selvedge on all four sides. With some modern issues though, that is not always the case.

Let me give you a few examples. Take Scott numbers 2043, 2063, 2064, and 2095. There are others, but I’m not going to list them all here.

All of these issues were printed on a Combination Press. Because of the plate layout and printing method, all of the mentioned panes have selvedge on one side only. These issues have plate numbers that “float” along the selvedge due to the plate layout used.

Therefore, not all full panes will have selvedge on all 4 sides. Some issues only have selvedge on one side and it’s perfectly normal.