1861 "August or First Design" 10¢ - #62B
10¢ - Dark green or dark yellow green - Type I
An outer line has been added to the ornaments above the stars at the top
and a thick curving line has been cut below the stars.
500,000 - Perf. 12 - Scott #62B - 1861
No postmark with gum (MH): $1,100-$1,500
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $8,000-$12,000
Date of Issue : This stamp was originally produced as a sample for the Post Office Department, upon approval it was issued on August 16th, 1861. It was first placed on sale at Baltimore and NY, NY P.O.'s the following day. An example the earliest known use is shown below.
Earliest recorded use - 17th September 1861
Plate : Created from plate #4 with 200 subjects for the purpose of submission to the Post Office Department. Stamps from plate #1 are called Type I. The issued stamp was created from both this plate (#62B) and a new plate #15 (#68) which has subtle design differences from plate #4 and is known as Type II.
Printer: National Bank Note Company
Quantity Issued: 500,000
Color: Dark green or dark yellow green
Usage: The domestic first class letter rate for letters sent in excess of 3,000 miles, but in practice anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains.
Identifying the stamp
Type I (62b) - The outer oval frame line above “U.S. POSTAGE” is NOT present (red arc). The background around the stars is filled in, and the shadows around the stars are less prominent. They tend to be
Type II - There is an additional bit of scrollwork above the center of the design (orange outlined box).
The Inspiration for the Design
Perhaps the most famous portrait in the US, probably due to the fact that it's presence graces the front of the $1 bill, this portrait was in fact unfinished at the time of Gilbert's deathin 1828. It now hangs in the Boston Museum of Fine Art (Gilbert was one of Boston's more famous sons).
The Essay's and Proofs