5¢ Washington Head
Perf 10 Coils

Watermark Check - The rotary press, perf 10 coil stamp must be checked for watermark. The flat plate stamp must be single-line watermarked, the rotary stamps may be either.

Printing Method Coil Type Watermark Number
Flat Plate perf 10 vertically single-line 447
Rotary Press perf 10 vertically single-line 458
Rotary Press perf 10 vertically none 496

The 5¢ flat plate perf 10 coil stamp, Number 447, is an unlikely candidate for unused fakes, although fakes do exist. Pay particular attention to stamps with a guide-line at top or bottom. These are often trimmed copies of the normal sheet stamp, Number 428, with the guideline along a natural straight-edge and the opposing side trimmed. The incentive for fakery is much greater here, since straight-edge stamps are not as desirable as their fully perforated counterparts.

The addition of a guide-line to a pair is often seen, since guide-line pairs are so valuable. On the other hand, if the (vertical) guide-line passes the "foil" test, the coil pair is almost certainly authentic, since there is no single-line watermarked imperforate stamp from which to create these fakes.

It is quite likely that the used stamp could be a trimmed fake of the sheet stamp, Number 428. These will not measure up however. The flat plate coil should measure close to 25.0mm from edge to edge. This is not a hard and fast rule, but coils that measure less than the desired measurements should be carefully scrutinized. There is a high likelihood that anything more than a millimeter off is a trimmed copy of the sheet stamp.

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