1851 1¢ - #8A
1¢ - Blue - Type IIIa
As type III, but with either the top or bottom line broken, but not both.
Most type IIIa positions have the break in the top line
Imperf - Scott #8A - 1851
Deduct 40% for pen cancels for three margins, deduct 40% of three margins,
60% for two margins and for no margins deduct 80%
Value (with 4 margins around the design)
No postmark with gum (MH): $3,800-$5,000
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): Does not exist
Issued: July 1st, 1851
Plate Size: Sheets of 200 subjects (2 panes of 100).
Printer: Toppan, Carpenter, Casilier & Co. using the die-to-relief-to-plate transfer process.
Quantity Issued: Approx. 1,000,000
What you should look for
#8A is a Type IIIa design. The design on the sides are complete, the line at the top is broken and the line at the bottom is barely broken. This is different than Type III where both the top and bottom line is broken.
Notes on #8A
1) The degree or amount of the break in the line(s) is important. The greater the break the more desirable the stamp.
2) Plate IIIa stamps look very much like the valuable Plate I stamps in so much as the balls at the bottom have traces of ink, giving the impression of a complete bottom design, but on close examination you will see that the traces are too faint to qualify for a complete design.
How many plates does #8A appear on?
The design of this early issue was too large to allow for the accommodation of the 200 subjects onto one plate. Therefore, each position had to have some amount of the design erased to allow enough room. These erasures accounted for the majority of the types.
What exactly do the plate position numbers mean?
To take the example of 7RI1
7 = Seventh stamp of the 100 on the pane - this number can be from 1 to 99.
R = Right Plane - this letter can be either R or L, L representing the Left Pane
How many plates were there?
There were twelve plates of the 1¢ Franklin made, plate six was never used, probably due to it being damaged in it's creation. Most of the plates were used for both the imperforate and perforated design. Some only produced one type or the other. For instance, plate 12 produced only perforated stamps and the early state of Plate 1 produced only imperforate stamps whilst plate I late (reconstruction) produced both imperforate and perforated stamps. Plate 4 was the last of the imperforate plates to be used.
Click here for a comprehensive, printable, identfication guide. Courtesy of Chris Biason (447kb)
The Inspiration for the Design
Varieties to look for
Other than double transfers there are no notable varieties on #8A to look for.
The Essay's and Proofs