Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs (WFSC)
Across the Fence Post Newsletter
1996 U.S. Varieties Clearinghouse Column



          This page includes U.S. Varieties Clearinghouse Columns from the 1996 issues of Across the Fence Post.



January issue

A new color variety of the 10 Red Cloud sheet stamp has been issued. According to the 1996 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps, it has been assigned number 2175d and is listed as carmine color. It was printed with plate number 2, on phosphor-embedded paper with shiny gum.

The previous version (Scott #2175c) is listed by Scott as lake (a reddish color with a purple hue, like maroon), with embedded taggant. It also was printed with plate number 2 on phosphor-embedded paper with shiny gum.

For the full story of the history of this variety, I recommend reading the article found in Scott Stamp Monthly, September 1995, p. 29.

Personally, I found that the new carmine color is very difficult to distinguish from the previous lake color. The stamps must be compared side-by-side and, preferably, in natural sunlight. Remember to use only the shiny gum variety for comparison, because the bright white paper is different than any of the other previous varieties.

The article in Scott Stamp Monthly compares the color of the new variety with that of the 5 Luis Munoz Marin stamp. But be careful! The Marin stamp uses much more ink than the 10 Red Cloud; so direct comparisons do not work well. The 5 Marin stamp always appears brighter.

I ordered my carmine 10 Red Cloud stamps from the philatelic center in Tucson, AZ. The address is: Philatelic World, Main Post Office - USPS, Tucson, AZ 85726-9607. The phone number is (520) 620-5158. Make sure to specify that you want the new red colored 10 Red Cloud stamp. A strip of 20 must be ordered to obtain a plate block. Finally, the stamps that they have in stock at Tucson are centered to the left a bit. However, they still are useful for color comparisons.

Please direct comments/questions to me at the address shown above. If a response is requested, please include a SASE.

10c Red Cloud Varieties (Known to Date)

Scott #2175

Lake, Block Tagging

a. Overall tagging

b. Tagging omitted

c. Phosphored paper (surface tagged)

Phosphored paper (embedded taggant)

d. Carmine, phosphored paper (embedded taggant)


February issue

The current self-adhesive panes of the 32 Flag over Porch (Scott #2920a) and the 32 Peaches and Pear (Scott #2494a) have been produced with a new type of die cutting in the non-postage label of the booklets. The information was first brought to my attention in the November 27, 1995, issue of Linn's Stamp News. The new die cutting consists of three concentric circles along with a partial "X" cut into the "TIME TO REORDER..." label. As for the stamps contained in the pane, they are still the same.

According to the article in Linn's, the new die cutting is intended to hinder the use of the label as postage. The paper used to produce the self-adhesive stamps is phosphored, and to the machines that face and cancel mail, the label appears to be the same as a real stamp. This makes for the potential problem of postal patrons trying to use the labels as postage. I agree, however, with Linn's columnist Michael Schrieber that very little, if any, of this is occurring The potential for abuse has existed for a while with the selvage from panes of gummed stamps also being phosphored. Most people know that there is too great a chance that mail will be returned if it does not include proper postage.

As of the end of December, all post offices that I visited had stocks of the self-adhesive panes with the new die cuts I did have die problem that some post offices were sold cut of the popular self-adhesives.

Finally, keep a lookout for the 32 Rose self-adhesive to also contain the new die cutting the next time it is printed.

Please direct comments/questions to me at the address shown above. If a response is requested, please include a SASE.


March issue

Two gum versions of the 32 Ferryboat coil printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing have been found. The new stamps exist with both high- and low-gloss gum types. According to Coil Line, journal of the Plate Number Coil Collectors Club, the low-gloss gum variety exists only from plates 3 and 5.

At the present time, I have not read any information as to why the second gum type (the low-gloss type) exists. Also, I have not been able to find a philatelic center that carries the variety. If any readers know of a source, send me a note and I'll pass the information on.

Please direct comments/questions to me at the address shown above. If a response is requested, please include a SASE.


April issue

An untagged version of the 2 Mary Lyon stamp has been released. According to Michael

Schreiber's article on p. 2 of the February 5, 1996, issue of Linn's Stamp News, the stamp first appeared in late 1995.

The previous version of the 2 Mary Lyon stamp (Scott 1J2169) had dull gum and block tagging and was printed using plates 1 and 2. The new version also has dull gum but is un-tagged and was printed using plate 3.

Besides this dull gum variety, the Linn's article also mentioned that collectors should additionally be on the lookout for the 2 Lyon stamps with shiny gum. None have been reported, but there is a possibility that they exist. However, with the issuance of the 2 Redheaded Woodpecker stamp on February 2, it may well be that the Woodpecker stamps were printed instead of the 2 Lyon with shiny gum. Nevertheless, be aware of the chance that the shiny gum variety exists and report any findings to me so that other variety collectors can get them.

I ordered my untagged 2 Mary Lyon stamps from the philatelic center in Phoenix, AZ. The address is: Wayne Meyers, Philatelic Clerk, Sierra Adobe Station, 1902 W. Union Hills Dr., Phoenix, AZ 85027-9998

Wayne can also be reached by e-mail at TELABS@aol.com, and he usually answers within a day.

Wayne mentioned that all four positions are available but the stamp should be ordered in full planes to get a plate number block. I did not ask Wayne why only full panes could be ordered, but it may have to do with the fact that he does not have a use for a large quantity of 2^ stamps.

Please direct comments/questions to me at the address shown above. If a response is requested, please include a SASE.


May/June issue No column this issue


July/August issue No column this issue


September issue

The new U.S. Postal Service catalog of stamps and products, USA Philatelic, made its debut in spring 1996. One nice feature of the catalog can be found on page 5 in a box called "New Varieties." As is customary with the Postal Service, however, the item descriptions do not always match what one actually receives. I'll discuss two of the new varieties this month and continue with more next month.

(5) Butte / Color, counting number / item 57933 - The variety here is in the lighter shade of the blue color that can be seen when compared to the original version. The change is rather subtle, but is definitely there. I did have a hard time telling which stamps were which when they were by themselves, so be careful.

In addition to the color differences, the counting numbers found on the gum side of every 10th stamp are twice as large on the new version as they are on the originals. They are, however, still the same dark-violet color. The plate number 1 received was S222.

32 Ferryboat / Dull gum I item 79111 - This item is deceiving. The stamps 1 received in my order had shiny gum and were from plate number 5. Interestingly, plate 5 shiny-gum stamps happen to be a premium variety for this issue. Nevertheless, I would have preferred receiving the low-gloss gum variety, which appears to be the type described in the catalog.

Please direct comments/questions to me at the address shown above. If a response is requested, please include a SASE.


October issue

By Gregg Greenwald Mbr., Central Wisconsin Stamp Club

Here are two more varieties found in the spring 1996 U.S. Postal Service catalog USA Philatelic. The stamps discussed below appear on page 5 under "New Varieties" in the catalog.

(32) Flag Over Porch / Shiny gum / item 55502 - The variety here is in the new paper that the Postal Service has started to use. The new paper can be differentiated from the old paper only by the tagging characteristics. The new variety has tagging that is quite dark and grainy; the old version had very bright, smooth tagging.

The original stamp was printed on paper manufactured by Coated Paper Limited, while the new variety is cm paper manufactured by Glatfelter. This is according to a Postal Service press release published in the April 8, 1996, issue of Lim's Stamp News, which also included incorrect plate numbers for this stamp.

The difference between the gums used on the new version versus the old version is very minor. Both are a low-gloss type (despite the description of "Shiny gum" for the new variety) but the new variety's gum may be ever so slightly shinier and perhaps a bit darker. If pressed, however, I would say that there is not a difference.

Plate numbers used to produce the new variety are 522222, while the old variety had S11111_

78 Alice Paul / Shiny gum / item 51076 - As with the 32 Flag Over Porch stamp mentioned above, this variety resulted because of a change of paper. While the original stamp paper and adhesive were from Coated Paper Limited, the new variety has Westvaco paper and Ivex adhesive. Tagging and gum differences are subtle, but the color of the new variety is different. The old variety was violet; the new variety has had blue added to the ink mixture, resulting in a blue-violet color. The difference is immediate when the stamps are compared together.

The plate number used to produce the new variety is B1, while the old variety could be found with B1 and B2.

Please direct comments/questions to me at the address shown above. If a response is requested, please include a SASE.


November issue

By Gregg Greenwald, Mbr., Central Wisconsin Stamp Club

The new U.S. Postal Service catalog of stamps and products, USA Philatelic, made its debut in spring 1996. This month, I'll finish discussing the varieties listed in the catalog that 1 found to be of interest.

$3 Challenger Priority Mail sheet stamp reprint I item 51110 - The variety here is that the date in the lower right corner has been changed from "1995" to "1996." 1 could not see any other differences. "The plate number on the stamps 1 received was P5555 2, so I assume that plate numbers higher than this would also be the new variety. Be sure to take a magnifying glass with you when searching for this variety, as the date is very small.

Please direct comments/questions to me at the address shown above. If a response is requested, please include a SASE.


December issue No column this issue



Latest update: June 14, 2005 

URL:   http://www.WFSCstamps.org/wfsc_atfp_varieties_1996.shtml