1919-21 1¢ Washington
Issue Date: June 1919
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Method: Rotary press
Perforation: 11 x 10
U.S. #538 was issued in coil sheets of 170, which were often cut into panes of 70 and 100 stamps. It can be challenging to find well-centered examples of U.S. #538.
1919-21 Coil Waste Stamps
Due to poor centering and other minor defects, a number of coil stamp sheets had been set aside as “waste” to be destroyed. Some of them had been perforated vertically or horizontally, while others had not been perforated at all. Although these stamps were unsuitable for coils, they could be issued satisfactorily as sheet stamps.
In an effort to save money, which was still in short supply after the war, the Bureau decided to release these stamps in sheets. Numerous sheets of the 1¢ Green, 2¢ Carmine Rose, and 3¢ Violet had already been perforated 10 vertically. They were then perforated 11 horizontally and issued with 11x10 perforations.
Other sheets of the 1¢ stamps had been perforated 10 horizontally and were then perforated 11 vertically. Meanwhile, other sheets hadn’t been perforated at all. These 1¢ and 2¢ sheets were perforated with the current standard of 11x11 perforations measured the same as the current sheet stamps being issued. However, when compared, the “coil waste” issues are noticeably darker in color.