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The First Bureau Series - 1898 issues
In 1898, the Universal Postal Union set some international standards
regarding colors to be used for various denominations of stamps. The
lower values of the 1895 stamps were reprinted in the new colors to meet
the new regulations.
The U.S. followed the UPU color standards for definitive stamps for more than half a century: the 1¢ denomination was green, the 2¢ denomination red, the 3¢ denomination purple, the 4¢ denomination brown (except for the Prexy and Liberty issues), the 5¢ denomination blue, and the 10¢ denomination yellow or brown, throughout the Second Bureau issue, the Washington-Franklins, the Fourth Bureau issue, the 1938 Prexy series, and the 1954 Liberty series. USPS even held to the color scheme for the 1¢, 3¢ and 5¢ issues in the 1965 Prominent Americans series. In addition, for commemoratives from 1901 through the 1940's, the vast majority of 1¢ values were green, 2¢ values were red, 3¢ values were purple, and 5¢ values were blue.
279, 1¢ Franklin, deep green,
horizontal watermark, plate number 1052
279B, 2¢ Washington Type IV, red,
plate number 1364
279Bc, 2¢ Washington Type IV, rose carmine,
plate number 780
279Bd, 2¢ Washington Type IV, orange red, horizontal watermark,
plate number 1035
279Bf, 2¢ Washington Type IV, carmine,
plate number 562
279Bg, 2¢ Washington Type IV, pink, plate number 513
279B var, 2¢ Washington Type IV, double transfer, used, plate number 746
279Bj, 2¢ Washington Type IV, carmine, single from booklet pane with horizontal watermark, plate number 990
279Bk, 2¢ Washington Type IV, red, from booklet pane with vertical watermark, plate number 1370
279BjSE, 2¢ Washington Type IV specimen, red, from booklet pane with horizontal watermark, plate number 990
This stamp may also win the award for "most suffixes for a catalog number!" The capital B is part of the major catalog number, required when the newly discovered Type IV needed to be inserted in the proper numbering sequence between 279 and 280, and 279a had already been assigned. The lower case j denotes the booklet pane format. The S is for the Specimen overprint. The E signifies that it is the fifth type of Specimen overprint.
Scott 280, 4¢
Lincoln, rose brown, plate
The outline of the double-line
watermark "S" can be seen in the selvage.
Scott 280a, 4¢
Lincoln, lilac brown, plate
Scott 280b, 4¢
Lincoln, orange brown,
plate number 1100
281, 5¢ Grant, blue,
plate number 408
282, 6¢ Garfield, lake,
plate number 924
282a, 6¢ Garfield, purple lake,
plate number 554
The outline of the double line watermark "U"
can be seen in the selvage.
282 var, 6¢ Garfield, claret,
plate number 923
282C, 10¢ Webster, brown Type I,
plate number 302
283, 10¢ Webster, brown Type II,
plate number 997
283a, 10¢ Webster, orange brown Type II, plate number 1339
284, 15¢ Clay, olive green,
plate number 264
The same plate was used to print the dark blue
15¢ example of the 1895 series.
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This page last updated March 21, 2020.