Great Britain Embossed Stamps 1847 to 1854
All of the Embossed stamps issued were printed by Somerset House on manual presses. The Embossed stamps were printed one at a time causing the spacing between them to be very uneven and variable. The neighbouring stamp impressions often touched each other and even overlapped at times. Some of the stamps - the ones of most value to collectors - had four clear and wide margins surrounding stamp design.
GB Empossed Stamps 1847-1854
While all of the three values were imperforate, only the sixpence (6d) value had a "VR" watermark in the paper. The watermark is very often inverted or reversed and there's no significant increase in value caused by these varieties. The ten pence and one shilling values were produced on thick Dickinson silk thread paper. The quality of embossing also varied across all the values during the embossing process and it is the stamps displaying the sharpest and clearest impressions that command the best values.
Collectors need to be able to spot postal stationery "cut outs" that used the same designs as the embossed stamps (most often the 6d value) and avoid "rebacked" stamps. The easiest way to spot genuine 6d Embossed stamps is by the "VR" watermark in the paper. With the higher values, although there is no watermark to view, two silk threads should be easy to see running through the paper about 5mm apart.
To command anywhere close to the full catalogue values these stamps MUST be cut square with four clear margins all round the embossed design. Embossed stamps in this condition are indeed rare and do fetch impressive prices. However, the embossed stamps which have been cut to shape around the stamp design or have been cut in to on one or more sides are relatively common and worth much less. Do be warned that many inexperienced collectors have been known to pay way too much for embossed stamps that don't meet the exacting criteria which commands a full valuation.
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