As I have said many times before, as a Costa Rica stamps enthusiast, I have always liked surcharges and overprints. Every time I have the chance of studying a pane, I try to get the most of it.
Some time ago, I had the chance of buying a complete pane (of the proof and the issued stamp) of Scott’s 148 surcharge. I looked in all the available publications articles regarding this stamp and found one recently written by Fred O’Neil in the Repertorio Filatélico Costarricense.
In that article, Mr. O’Neil mentions the following varieties: positions 80, 86, and 88 with broken 5 and position 83 with the 5 full of ink. I took such data to study the complete pane of the proof which is easier than studying it over the base stamp. It was a big surprise that the varieties mentioned by Mr. O’Neill were not there. This made me reach to the most obvious and important deduction: those varieties are not constant and appeared when the process was advanced and due to the printing pane being worn. Which makes those varieties even harder to find and get.
After an exhaustive revision of the pane, I was able to find another variety. Usually the number “5” ends with a “tail”, but in position 52 it doesn’t. It ends straight. One interesting thing is that this variety appears in the pane over the base stamp too. Making it more likely to be a constant variety. Below you can click on the image to see a full size scan of the complete pane of the proof.
Also, you can see variations -Almost minimal- in the upper line of the number “5” in several positions, but I consider (for now) that it’s not worth it detailing them because they don’t represent an important difference in their original shape.
For this kind of studies, we recommend the following tools:
- Stamp Magnifying Microscope: Celestron 5 MP Handheld Digital Microscope
- Stamp Magnifying Lamp Desk Clamp-Mount 90 SMD LED Adjustable Spring-Arm
Make sure to review our tips for stamp collecting in the XXI century.