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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 TD97a, imperforate error, from a possibly unique imperforate booklet of 8 with plate number 16456 (1954-56)

Scott TD97b, imperforate horizontally error, from a possibly unique horizontally imperforate booklet of 8 with plate number 164565 (1954-56)

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.

Scott TD120A var. This commemorative sized test stamp resembling the 1989 rouletted coil (TD120A) was distributed as a souvenir at the 2000 World Stamp Expo. It is not known to have been used as a test stamp.

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 1986.

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 (1992)

This design is clearly based on the 29¢ Eagle issue, Scott 2598, with an added "TEST SPECIMEN" overprint in black as well as a line negating the 29¢ denomination..

Scott TD126, self-adhesive test coil, no die cutting, plate number 1111 (1996)

Scott TD127, self-adhesive test coil, die cut 9.8 with simulated printed perforations, plate number 1111 (1996)

Scott TD133, self-adhesive test coil, die cut 9.8, plate number 1111 (2000). Discovered in 2001.

Scott TD133A, self-adhesive test coil, plate number 1111 (2000)

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

Scott TD136, self-adhesive test coil, die cut 9-3/4, plate number 1111 (1997)

Scott TD137, self-adhesive test coil, die cut 9.8 but without the printed simularted perforations, plate number S1 (1997)

 

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 TDB84F, from a self-adhesive ATM pane, Scott TDB84Fg, plate number S111 (1990s)

Rather than defacing the denomination, a large gray VOID is printed over the entire ATM pane. The test stamps were printed by Dittler Brothers ("D" plate number prefix) despite the Sennett "S" prefix.

Scott TDB86, from a self-adhesive ATM pane, plate number V1 (1996)

Scott TDB90, black, from a self-adhesive ATM pane, plate number V1 (1997)

Scott TDB91, black, from a self-adhesive ATM pane, die cut 7-3/4, plate number V1 (1997)

Scott TDB92, magenta, from an ATM pane, die cut 7-3/4, plate number V1 (1997)

Scott TDB100, from an ATM pane, blue, die cut 7-3/4, plate number V1 (2005)

Scott TDB99, from an ATM pane, plate number V1 (2000)

Scott TDB100, from ATM pane TDB100a, plate number V1 (2005)

Scott TDB101, blue, die cut 11.3 x 10.9, from ATM pane TDB101a, plate number P1 (2009)

Scott TDB-xxx var, from booklet pane of 5, plate number A11

On the booklet panes as issued for testing, the plate number appears on the tab to the left of the instruction label. The plate number is adjacent to an actual Eagle test stamp only on an uncut press sheet.

Image courtesy of Rosenberg Philatelics.

Scott TDB-xxx var, from press sheet of 20 booklet panes of 5, plate number A11

Image courtesy of Bill Langs

 

 

I understand that Scott has renumbered many of the Test and Dummy issues. The references on this page will be updated shortly.

 

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This page last updated May 28, 2021.