Stamps (Philately)/627 plate numbers


QUESTION: Hi, I asked someone this question several days ago, but have
never received an answer. I know this particular stamp was
printed in sheets of 200 and then cut in to panes of 50 for
distribution. From what I can see, each pane of 50 should
have a unique number. I am just wondering if this is the
case because I have seen a couple of things that seem to contradict this. From looking at the few panes of 50 I can
find on the internet it appears, depending on which position it
was cut from on the full sheet, the plate number on the pane
appears once at the top or bottom and once in the left or

thanks, John


The plate numbers are not unique.  Each metal stamp plate was typically used to print thousands of sheets of stamps, which were then cut down into panes of 50 stamps each.  Each pane has its own identical plate number at top, bottom, left or right, depending on it's position in the sheet of 200.

-Mark Leon

I deal in United States Stamps
American Art Glass
and Halloween Costumes!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: then I guess I have to ask why there are
different plate numbers to begin with?
It is not like every sheet of the entire
issue had identical plate numbers???


The plates wore out with use and had to be replaced. As each plate was manufactured from the master die, it got its own plate number.

-Mark Leon

I deal in United States Stamps
American Art Glass
and Halloween Costumes!

Stamps (Philately)

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Mark Leon


I am a collector of United States postage stamps, and also a stamp dealer. I`m a member of the American Philatelic Society (APS). My principle area of interest and expertise is in United States Stamps.


I've been selling stamps on the internet since early 1996. I maintain a stamp web page that concentrates on mint US stamps issued generally between 1890 and 2009. I'm an active seller on since 1996, under the user id "mleon". You can find my web page at

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, 1984.

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