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Dummy and Test stamps

From time to time, the post office has ordered test stamps of various types. These are non-denominated stamps with no monetary value that can be used in training exercises and to familiarize postal service personnel with new formats.

Some of the dummy and test issues have been issued with plate numbers.

Regular stamps

Scott TD117, experimental test stamp for the 1973 Christmas issue, the first U.S. self-adhesive stamp (Scott 1552). This example has a self-adhesive tab where the plate number appears for the actual stamp. Probably dates from 1973.

Scott TD119 var, unlisted perforated variety with plate number S1111, issued by Sennett Security Products. Scott lists a perf 10 vertically (TD119) and rouletted variety (TD120).

Coil stamps

Scott TD107, water-activated test coil, perf 9-3/4, defaced joint line pair photographically cropped from a larger strip, showing partial plate numbers believed to be 36111 and 36112. Produced from 1962 to 1988.

Image courtesy of Joann Lenz.

Scott TD123, Krause/Minkus TT107, self-adhesive test coil, simulated perforations, no die cutting (imperforate), plate number 1111 at intervals of 27 stamps

This design is clearly based on the 29 Eagle issue, Scott 2598. It was likely printed by National Label Company for 3M, same as that stamp, but with an added "TEST SPECIMEN" overprint in black as well as a line negating the 29 denomination.

Only one partial roll of about 3000 has been found. As a result, only about 60 plate number strips are known. The partial roll was discovered in 1997, but based on the rate, probably dates from about 1992. 

Scott TD126, self-adhesive test coil, no die cutting, plate number 1111. Discovered in 1996.

Scott TD127, self-adhesive test coil, die cut 9.8, plate number 1111. Discovered in 1996.

Scott TD133, self-adhesive test coil, die cut 9.8, plate number 1111. Discovered in 2001.

Scott TD133A, self-adhesive test coil, plate number 1111.

Scott TD135, Flag of South Carolina, self-adhesive test coil, die cut 8, plate number V1. Dated 2000.

Scott TD136, self-adhesive test coil, die cut 9-3/4, plate number 1111. Dates from 2004-05.

Scott TD137, self-adhesive test coil, die cut 9.8, plate number S1

 

Booklet stamps

Scott TDB82, from a self-adhesive ATM pane, Copyright only; no plate number as was the case with the 29¢ Torch ATM pane on which it was based.

Scott TDB86, from a self-adhesive ATM pane, plate number V1

Scott TDB87, from a self-adhesive ATM pane, plate number V1

Scott TDB88, from a self-adhesive ATM pane, die cut 7-3/4, plate number V1

Scott TDB89, from an ATM pane, magenta, die cut 7-3/4, plate number V1

Scott TDB89, from an ATM pane, blue, die cut 7-3/4, plate number V1

Scott TDB90, from an ATM pane, plate number V1

Scott TDB92, from an ATM pane, blue, die cut 11.3 x 10.9, plate number V1

Scott TD97a, imperforate error, from a possibly unique imperforate booklet of 8 with plate number 164565

Scott TD97b, imperforate horizontally error, from a possibly unique horizontally imperforate booklet of 8 with plate number 164564

Scott TDB100, from ATM pane TDB100a, plate number V1

Scott TDB101, from ATM pane TDB101a, plate number P1

 

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This page last updated September 15, 2019.