A comparison of the genuine and forged examples
of first issue stamps from selected countries

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Costa Rica #1 and #1a were printed in sheets of 100 (10 x 10) by the "American Bank Note Co. New-York.", and this inscription appears twice in each margin, near the second and eighth positions. The tops of the letters are always toward the stamps so they appear inverted in relation to the stamps in the top row. I had a chance to examine a full sheet of both #1 and #1a and found that there were very few stamps that could truly be graded fine (with the perfs at least clearing the design on all four sides). There were only nine in the full sheet of #1, and only 15 in the full sheet of #1a.

Costa Rica Genuine« Back


1863, Costa Rica, #1, Genuine

(1.) Perf 12. (2.) Narrow margins. (3.) Background is composed of thin, straight, delicate, horizontal lines with some breaks in them. (4.) The first and second of these lines are sometimes quite close together. (5.) The eighth of these lines, counting from the very top, touches the top of the circular value t containing the numeral "1/2". (6.) The second spear from the left has a double head. (7.) The five stars are all the same size and shape. (8.) The outer points of the stars on the left and right do not touch the edge of the leaf shield. (9.) The thick side leaves of the shield issue forth from cups at each end of the ornament just above the "Medio Real" value t. (10.) There are five pearls, some of which are incomplete, near the rims of each of these cups. (11.) The leaves of the ornamental shield extend under the value t "Medio Real". (12.) There is a circular knob at each end of these leaves under this value t. (13.) Exp:do. Ref: Rev. Earee.


1863, Costa Rica, #1a, Genuine, Top margin copy

(1.) Perf 12. (2.) Narrow margins. (3.) No shading in the sky, or under the ship in the distant background. (4.) Top margin copy with a portion of the American Bank Note Co. inscription in the top margin. See note above. (5.) All other notes are the same as for #1 above. (6.) Exp:do. Ref: Rev. Earee


1863, Costa Rica, #1a, Genuine, Left margin copy

(1.) Perf 12. (2.) Narrow margins. (3.) Very little shading in the sky or under the ship in the distant background. (4.) Left margin copy with a portion of the American Bank Note Co. inscription in the left margin. See note above. (5.) All other notes are the same as for #1 above. (6.) Exp:do. Ref: Rev. Earee.