During World War I, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced 1¢, 2¢, and 3¢ stamps that were offset printed. The stamps come in two major varieties: perforated and imperforate.

The 1¢ issue is the easiest to identify. The perforated 12.5 copy is Scott #536 and is a gray green color. The perforated 11 copy is Scott #525. The imperforate copy is Scott #531.

The 3¢ issue is easily identified too. The perforated 11 copies are either Type III (Scott #529) or Type IV (Scott #530). There are several differences between Type III and Type IV copies. The easiest I found is the “P” and “O” of “POSTAGE”. In Type III, there is a thin line of color between the two letters. In Type IV, there is no ink between them and the “P” and “O” are joined along the curved part of the P.

The 2¢ issue is the most challenging to identify. There are five types of this issue. Each type has a perforate and imperforate counterpart.

Although several characteristics can distinguish the types of the 2¢ issue, I’m going to mention what I feel are the most prominent characteristics in identifying them.

In Type IV, look at the vertical shading lines in the toga button. The outer lines are joined to form “DID” where the first D is reversed. The third horizontal line of shading dots above the nostril has six dots. The upper line of the base of the left “2” is thin and often times broken.

Type V is like Type IV except that the vertical shading lines of the toga button are not joined.

Type Va is like Type V, except that the third horizontal line of shading does above the nostril has four dots.

Type VI is like Type V. In Type VI, the upper line of the base of the left “2” is very thick.

Type VII is distinguished by shading dots. In Type VII, there are four horizontal rows of three dots to shade the upper lip. On all other types, there are four horizontal rows of two dots only. Also in Type VII, there are a few extra shading dots in Washington’s forehead which are not present on the other types.


Scott # Denomination Type Perforated Notes
525 11
536 12.5 Mint catalogs $20 and used catalogs $27.50
531 Imperf
526 IV 11
527 V 11
528 Va 11
528A VI 11
528B VII 11
532 IV Imperf
533 V Imperf Slightly more valuable used than mint.
534 Va Imperf
534A VI Imperf
534B VII Imperf Scarce. Catalogs $1750 mint and $1250 used
529 III 11
530 IV 11
535 IV Imperf