2¢ - Carmine or dark carmine - Type III
Horizontal lines run through upper triangles
but not through the double white lines that border the triangles.

Scott #252 - Un-watermarked - 1894


Used: $1-$2
No postmark with gum (MH): $17-$40
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $80-$150


Issued: 1st April 1895, earliest recorded example 5th April 1895, shown below

The first recorded example of the Scarlet variety (Scotts #252a) was the 17th April 1895 (shown below)

Plate Size: Sheets of 400 subjects (4 panes of 100)

Printer: The Bureau of Printing and Engraving, their first contract

Watermark: None

Quantity Issued: 80,000,000

What you should look for

Below is a typical example of the 1894 Bureau Issue, you will notice the blind perfs and rough appearance of the perforations. The machines for perforating the stamp had just been relocated from New York to Washington DC and did not have the old operators from the ABC, consequently the new operators took some time to get used to perforating the large sheets of 400 stamps. By the next issue, in 1895, they had got the practice down to a science, hence that issue has nice clean cut perforations. The untidy perforations of this issue does not detract from its value.

Occasionally postmarks from states that had tiny amounts of mail in this year can add to the value. This is particularly true of Alaska and the Territories. For a list of the number of stamps issued by each state in the year ending 30th June 1894 click here.

The Inspiration for the Design

The design was taken from the portrait bust of Washington by Jean Antoine Houdon. Now at Mount Vernon.

Varieties to look for

Scotts gives the Scarlet color designation a separate number, that of 252a. However few dealers and auction house choose to sell this color as #252a, preferring to include them in #252, despite Scotts wishes, the value for the two is the same.

#252a Scarlet

The Essay's and Proofs

Essay 252-E1
Large Die Essay on India
Die sunk on card
Deep red

Essay 252-E2
Large Die Essay on India
Die sunk on card
dusky blue green

Essay 252-E2
Large Die Essay on India
Die sunk on card

Essay 252-E3
Die on India, die sunk on card
light carmine

Essay 252-E3
Die on India, die sunk on card

Large Die Proof on India