Watermark Check and Type Check : The flat plate, perf 11 stamp can be either of two types, Type I or IA.
See also: Identification guide for the Flat Plate and Rotary 2¢ (Types: I and Ia)
The watermarked perf 11 stamp, Number 461, is often faked or misidentified. Only an estimated 90,000 2¢ perf 11 watermarked stamps were issued and many of these were used for postage. Looking like the common stamp of the day, many were discarded. If you should run across a watermarked copy of the perf 11 stamp while sifting through a mixture of 2¢ Washingtons, the stamp should be treated with suspicion. A passable fake can be manufactured by perforating the imperforate single-line watermarked stock, Number 409, since the design features (Type I), the watermark (single-line), and the printing methods (Flat Plate) are identical. As a matter of fact, Number 461 was actually an experimental printing using the then current 11 gauge perforations on the imperforate (Number 409) stock. In addition, attempts have been made to add a fake watermark to the unwatermarked stamp, Number 499, by embossing the stamp.
The type Ia, Number 500, is occasionally faked by altering the type I design to look like the type Ia design. Both the watermarked and type Ia perf 11 stamps should be certified before buying or selling.
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