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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.

Scott 279, 1 Franklin, deep green, horizontal watermark, plate number 1052

Scott 279B, 2 Washington Type IV, red, plate number 1364

Scott 279Bc, 2 Washington Type IV, rose carmine, plate number 780

Scott 279Bd, 2 Washington Type IV, orange red, horizontal watermark, plate number 1035

Scott 279Bf, 2 Washington Type IV, carmine, plate number 562

Scott 279Bg, 2¢ Washington Type IV, pink, plate number 513

Scott 279B var, 2¢ Washington Type IV, double transfer, used, plate number 746

Scott 279Bj, 2¢ Washington Type IV, carmine, single from booklet pane with horizontal watermark, plate number 990

Scott 279Bk, 2¢ Washington Type IV, red, from booklet pane with vertical watermark, plate number 1370

Scott 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 number 532

The outline of the double-line watermark "S" can be seen in the selvage.

Scott 280a, 4 Lincoln, lilac brown, plate number 792

Scott 280b, 4 Lincoln, orange brown, plate number 1100

Scott 281, 5 Grant, blue, plate number 408

Scott 282, 6 Garfield, lake, plate number 924

Scott 282a, 6 Garfield, purple lake, plate number 554

The outline of the double line watermark "U" can be seen in the selvage.

Scott 282 var, 6 Garfield, claret, plate number 923

Scott 282C, 10 Webster, brown Type I, plate number 302

Scott 283, 10 Webster, brown Type II, plate number 997

Scott 283a, 10¢ Webster, orange brown Type II, plate number 1339

Scott 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.