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Author: Subject: 3.50 rub varieties
Major Philatelist

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Registered: 12/31/2002
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[*] posted on 8/17/2003 at 04:55
3.50 rub varieties

Could anybody help me to identify those four 3.50-rub. stamps (using Michel or Scott or Lobachevsky numbers).

They all mint-never-hinged. They ALL have NO lozenges of varnish, neither vertical no horizontal. The first one has perf 12 1/2, the last three 13 1/2 x 13 1/4. You can see that the last three have different sizes: the first has wide margins, the last two have almost no margins on left and right.


So WHICH ones are they? And WHY (I mean how do you identify them)?
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Rossica Librarian

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[*] posted on 8/17/2003 at 08:59

First I would suggest to double check "NO lozenges" statement. There are quite a it of these stamps that have almost invisible lozenges, but they still there. Put them in watermark fluid. It is the best test.

If lozenges are there - then you have the following (from left to right):

1. Scott 137a (vertical lozenges). Lobachevsky does not list a variety without lozenges, but it may still exist, since the same paper was used for #137, 137a

2. Scott 137 (vertical lozenges)
If lozenges are not there it is a variety of this stamp - Lobachevsky - 138Ec

3. Two copies of Scott 137b (horizontal lozenges). Left one - has "worn center variety - Lobachevsky 156Ba, right one - standard stamp - Lobachevsky 156.
There is a "missing lozenges variety" for this stamp too - Lobachevsky 156Ea.

All these missing lozenges varieties are very common for this issue - value approx. 2-3 times regular stamp.

Size of two right stamps is different because Bolsheviks tried to maximize use of paper and turn paper sheets around. The size of the sheet was approx. 335 x 220 mm (50 stamps, 5 rows x 10 stamps, no labels). The size of the sheet with vertical lozenges was 240 x 300 mm (8 rows x 7 stamps, 6 labels). This trick allowed them to save approx 8% of paper.
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