A less complicated one to identify this time. This 3Ę imperforate stamp from the 1851 issue is a commonly encountered early US issue. How do you distinguish between Scott #10 and #11? Donít look for design differences in the stamp. There arenít any. The key is the ink color.

Scott #10 is described as orange-brown and Scott #11 is described as dull red. If you havenít seen these stamps before, they are not too difficult to distinguish.

Scott #10 is very orange appearance in color. Copies of Scott #10 tend to be very bright too. Scott #11 is more red in appearance. If you have copy of Scott #224, then Scott #11 is more like the color of ink used for Scott #224. Itís not a perfect match, but #11 is darker in appearance.

Also, the impressions of Scott #10 are sharper in detail. Scott #10 came from earlier versions of the printing plates before there was much plate wear. Scott #11 came from later printings and the printing plates show some wear. Scott #11 isnít as crisp appearing.

Using a magnifier, watch for recutting too. Scott #10A and #11A have the inner frame lines recut. Scott #10 and #11 are not recut.

About 5% of the stamp population is Scott #10 or #10A and 95% is Scott #11 or #11A. Watch your copies of Scott #11. You may just run into the more valuable Scott #10.

Scott #10 and #11 have been extensively plated too. The bible is ďThe 3 cent Stamp of the United States 1851-1857 IssueĒ by Dr. Carroll Chase. Subsequent work has updated some of Dr. Chaseís information, but his book is still largely complete.

Margins on these stamps are very small. If you see a pair of these stamps, youíll understand why. There was almost no space between the stamps. Cutting them apart with scissors was not exact. Wide margins on these issues are difficult to find.