IDENTIFYING THIS STAMP

You have the second version of the 5¢ Washington. It was issued between the years 1861 and 1869. It is common without the grill and fairly common with the F grill (see grills below), it is rare with the A grill.

Should the stamp have an embossed grill pattern on the stamp (shown below) then click one of the pictures in the grills area below. It is 99% likely that you have the F grill stamp.

If the stamp does not have an embossed grill then you will need to check the color. Using the picture below click the stamp that most closely matches the color of your stamp

A Guide To Embossed Grills


A typical grill

A grill is a grid that has been embossed onto the stamp. They are most obvious when looking at the back of the stamp. With the exception of the 'A' gril,l the grill is a block of this grid. The grid is made up of tiny points (they look like squares to the naked eye). The key to identifying them is to count the number of rows and columns of thes tiny points, and also to measure the width and height of the grid. Sound easy? Not really, these grids were not that well pressed into the stamp, often only a couple of sides are well defined, leaving the rest to a best guess. A trick to counting these is to scan the back, blow the up the size of the scan, and then count. Doing it with the naked eye is only for the patient.

A Grill

a grilla grill

The easiest to identify, the grid is all over the stamp, from one side to another. Click here for more details.

B Grill

b grill

There are only four copies, all accounted for, so you are unlikely to have this stamp. Click here for more details.

C Grill

The points are all pointing up. The grid measures 13mm x 16mm and is 16 or 17 points wide and 18 to 21 points high. Click numbers 79-85 on the menu to the left. Click here for more details.

D Grill
d grill 85d grill

The points are all pointing down. The grid measures 12mm x 14mm and is 15 points wide and 17 or 18 points high. Click numbers 79-85 on the menu to the left. Click the stamp that matches yours above to view more details.

E Grill

e-grill-86
e grill
e grill

The points are all pointing down. The grid measures 11mm x 13mm and is 14 or 15 points wide and 17 points high. This is a fairly common grill. You will see it a lot on the 3¢ stamp. Click numbers 86-91 on the menu to the left. Click the stamp that matches yours above to view more details.

F Grill

94
f-grill-96

f grill

The points are all pointing down. The grid measures 9mm x 13mm and is 11 or 12 points wide and 17 points high. This is also a fairly common grill. You will see it a lot on the 3¢ stamp. Click numbers 92-101 on the menu to the left. Click the stamp that matches yours above to view more details.

Z Grill

z grill 85z grill 85b
z grill

The rarest of the grills. The little points are all pointing down. The grid measures 11mm x 14mm and is 13 or 14 points wide and 18 points high. Click numbers 85A-85F on the menu to the left. Click the stamp that matches yours above to view more details.

Below is a chart to help you

  Points
Wide
Points
Height
Points
Direction
Width Height You may see it on
A grill All over All over Up All over All over the 3¢
B grill 22 18 Up 18mm 15mm You wont see it, trust me
C grill 16 or 17 18 to 21 Up 13mm 16mm the 3¢
D grill 15 17 to 18 Down 12mm 14mm the 2¢ and 3¢
E grill 14 15 to 17 Down 11mm 13mm the 1¢, 2¢, 3¢, 10¢, 12¢, 15¢
F grill 11 or 12 15 to 17 Down 9mm 13mm the 1¢, 2¢, 3¢, 5¢, 10¢, 12¢, 15¢ , 24¢, 30¢, 90¢
Z grill 13 or 14 18 Down 11mm 14mm the 2¢ or 3¢

VALUING THE STAMP

The value is dependent on how well the design is centered on the stamp and whether the stamp has no hinge mark, a hinge mark or is used. The stamp also has to be undamaged, meaning no thinning of the paper, no tears and complete perforations. If there is a grill on the stamp it helps that it is clearly defined. Rare grills require a certificate.

THE RARE REPRINTS

42 scotts

This stamp was reprinted in a distinctive deep dark brown shade (shown above) on hard white paper in 1875 and it can be found by clicking here. The odds of finding one are very slim and they require a certificate to verify its identity.

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