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1c Ultramarine, Special Printing (167)?

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Posted 05/16/2022   11:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add apexpro00 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi Stamp Collectors: I believe I found a Benjamin Franklin 1 cent with secret mark/without grill. Perforation 12, used. I have seen unused at a high value. There are no used on record. Any help welcome


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Posted 05/16/2022   11:30 am  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is either Scott 156 (Continental printing) or Scott 182 (American printing), depending upon the paper type. Both of these also have the same secret mark.

Scott 167 is not known used.

Cheers.
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Edited by orstampman - 05/16/2022 11:30 am
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Posted 05/16/2022   11:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add apexpro00 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for the clarification
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Posted 05/16/2022   12:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add classic_paper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Even as I slowly shake my head at the naivete new philatelists show when they think they've found some special or unique treasure, I do very much appreciate the enthusiasm. The hobby could use more of it (the enthusiasm, not the naivete).
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Posted 05/16/2022   12:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Partime to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm OK with the naivete and special interest that we see from new collectors. Bravo to them for doing some work and asking for clarification from this community. What is disheartening is the small group of new collectors that question our advice once we give them the answer and other tools to clarify the question. The ones that repeatedly state, "No, you're wrong and I'm right, and I'm going to sell it for a $XX,XXX dollars" are the troubling ones. We try and try, but then revert to telling them to send it in for certification, then never hear back from them (some exceptions, of course.)

Let's keep trying to keep it light and informative for those new collectors that are truly interested in learning. For those that aren't, let's just point them straight to the certification bodies and ask them to report back.
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Posted 05/16/2022   2:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Perhaps off topic, but I was about 10 when I first encountered mint German inflation issues in the millions and billions of marks. I didn't have a German stamp catalog or understand German history then, but I found the currency conversion charts in the Wall Street Journal. I thought I was rich, not understanding at that time the hyperinflation and demonitization of the stamps.

Scott could be more helpful in providing more cautions and illustrations with these look alike issues.
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Posted 05/17/2022   8:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think a 156 is more likely; those are not soft paper perfs.
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Posted 05/18/2022   02:16 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I quote you, orstampman
Quote:
Scott 167 is not known used.
and add that the OP already stated that as
Quote:
There are no used on record.


What may be of help to the OP and later users of this record is to answer the question as why there are no 167 known used. Is it they were never ever used, never valid for postal use or just never (yet?) found used.

Knowing something could exist but hasn't been found is far different than something can't be found because it never existed.

I will mention that with the simple application of a match, something that was not known used until it was found would no longer exist. Of course someone could later find a second since the few examples made were in fact used, not that a second copy has not been search for during nearly one and a half centuries since the first was found. Well, third copy, if the rumored found and destroyed second is to be believed. If one does not follow British Colony philately, then I ask, where is a third used US Scott 85A or are we limited to thinking just two exist?

That said, can 167 exist used and thus potentially be found? That is the helpful answer for the OP.
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Posted 05/20/2022   11:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Tipzi to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Scott #167, just like any of the special printings, could possibly be found used. They were good for postage, and being mutilated by scissors were liable to be replaced in one's collection with a better copy, and used as postage. Even a one-cent stamp was worth around 30 cents in today's dollars. And dealers may have found the mutilated ones difficult or impossible to sell, electing to use leftover stock for postage. Even so, they would have presented as ugly specimens and their covers the first to be round-filed by their recipients.

I don't believe the special printings issued without specimen overprints were intended to be considered a separate issue, even though philately eventually developed to where it discerned otherwise. The special printing program was intended to be a one-stop shopping experience for collectors and dealers to buy current and obsolete issues at face for which the PO assumed would never provide postal service. You could obtain them by mail or buy them in person. This was an especially good way for European dealers to stock up on US material, though one wonders what they thought about receiving the current issues cut apart with scissors!

(And even if they weren't good for postage, how could a postal clerk notice the difference between a special printing and the regular issue if philatelists can't today without solid provenance?)

However, assuming they were used and therefore mailed with some kind of applied adhesive (those issued without gum), soaking the cover would likely diminish the stamp's color and freshness (not to mention degradation of appearance from handling during delivery) to where it would not stack up in a side-by-side comparison with a certified special printing, which never had gum that could tone the paper and would likely have never been soaked in water. And, as mentioned earlier, most special printings so used would not be candidates for keeping due to their unfortunate mutilation.

There is #169 on cover, to Nashville of all places. If one seeks to find used special printings, covers would be the best place to start, for the freshest presentation and for possible origin and usage clues that may support your assertion.
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Posted 05/21/2022   2:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essayk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
parcelpostguy wrote:

Quote:
Knowing something could exist but hasn't been found is far different than something can't be found because it never existed.


While that sounds erudite, it in fact misses the point. In philately, which purports to be a scientific discipline, an object does not exist until it can be SHOWN to exist, as in many branches of science. For example, General Relativity was not fully accepted until it could be demonstrated. So it is also with the Standard Model which so far can be shown to work for but 5% of the universe. Science is like that.

So anyone claiming to have a used example of a Special Printing, must bear the burden of proof. Tipzi's speculations do nothing to diminish the onus of proving that a particular item is in fact a used special printing.

For the Special Printings, which were issued without gum, the biggest hurdle to overcome for an off cover item is inevitably going to be verifying that the stamp was removed from the cover without damage or residue. It must be shown that the stamp not only does not have gum, but that it NEVER had gum. How it was made to adhere to an envelope for mail transport and cancellation is at the heart of the matter. Matters of color, printing, and paper will of course also have to line up to match what is known. Science works from the known to the unknown.

Knowing what an item COULD be is no substitute for knowing what it IS.

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Posted 05/21/2022   2:23 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Don
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Posted 05/21/2022   7:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Because of the gum and removal caused condition issues a used example off cover would never get a certificate IMO and without a certificate the genuineness of the stamp would be based upon a story. Given that in all of these years a cover has never appeared and been certified the odds are better of getting struck by lightning while hitting a hole in one and standing on one's head.
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Posted 05/21/2022   9:51 pm  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting how this went from a fairly superficial, simple acknowledgement of no known examples existing, to a scientific/philosophical dissection. I am in the camp of could exist but will likely never be shown to exist. How does one equate "never had gum" to "currently has no gum" unless there is a fingerprint that alters the paper to be different of one compared to the other?
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Posted 05/22/2022   12:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There could be a difference between "never had gum" vs. "currently has no gum" . That then would be detectable by XRF or other type testing that in the case of XRF, gives a breakdown of the percentages of chemical elements. With a body of tests to use as a baseline, then any new examples can be compared to that.

And one factor I'm thinking about is starch used as a binding agent in paper among other reasons. Stamps issued without gum should show it being present in certain amounts where "currently has no gum"/soaked stamps would have starch reduced. There seems to be differences in paper quality in those Portuguese colonies stamps that were issued both with and without gum that are all "currently no gum".

And for reprints and reissues of the banknotes, I was shown mint ones that the knowledgeable owner was sending in for expertizing. He noted that the colors were not run-of-the-mill for one, which I agreed was so. BUT. They mostly weren't in the known shades/colors of reprints/reissues. The ones that should have been scissor-cut were not. The printings were in almost but not quite the degree of sharpness that the reprints/reissues have. Really, really close, though. So I've always wondered if these were from the first few prints from a regular new plate. Think of the British Queen Victoria imprimaturs that were just put into regular post office stocks after a time. In the end, none of the submitted stamps came back as reissues/reprints.
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Edited by hy-brasil - 05/22/2022 12:57 am
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Posted 05/22/2022   9:44 pm  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, hy-brazil, for your description of cases that were similar and analyzed. I was thinking that possible contenders would either be those with (a) a remaining residue, whether some gum that had penetrated/permeated, or remnants of some kind of chemical reaction due to the gum presence and any other substance used in the process of gumming, or (b) change in state of paper, due to physical change that persisted after gum presence and removal.
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Edited by orstampman - 05/22/2022 9:45 pm
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Posted 05/22/2022   10:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There are multiple strikes against this stamp being a Special printing besides the gum issue. The margins are quite large, the centering is quite good, the impression is not of the Special Printing crispness, the color is wrong and of course the perforations are all intact. This stamp never came close to being a SP example.
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