*The Orangeburg Coil illustrated is from the
United States Rarities sale,
Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries, Inc. - October 17, 2006, Sale #920.
Scott 389 "Orangeburg Coil" -
Three cent coil stamps were not issued until 1911,
and then only to the Bell Pharmaceutical Company of Orangeburg, N.Y.
These stamps were perforated 12
vertically on single-line watermarked paper. Later that year the
first regularly issued 3¢ U.S. coil was offered to the public,
perforated 8½ and also on single-line watermarked paper, Scott
394. Note that there is no verttical coil of the 3¢ Washington perf 12 stamp. The 389 is an exceptionally rare stamp, highly unlikely to
show up in an unchecked mixture. If it is used, it is always found with one of two wavy-line
cancels. For an excellent look at how experts view this stamp, please
see the Philatelic Foundation article
Fakes - There is no imperforate stock
from which to manufacture this stamp, although attempts may be
made to pass off the double-line flat plate imperforate Scott 345,
with added perforations left and right, but this should fool no
one, since the Orangeburg coil is always single-line watermarked.
Perhaps a little more difficult are fakes made from the
unwatermarked flat plate imperforate stamp Scott 483, but again the
lack of watermark is a problem. Most fakes are made from the perf
12 stock, Scott 376 by trimming the top and bottom margins and these
fakes can be somewhat convincing if the starting stamp was a jumbo
with the proper cancellation and color, a deep shade of purple.
This problem is compounded by the fact that genuine examples of
the stamp measure a little on the small side, with genuine copies
measuring as small as 23.5mm tall. They typically measure less
than 1mm shorter than the ideal measurement for flat
plate coil stamps, that is at least 25mm tall. Often important in
the certification of the stamp is that on many, particularly the
ones centered toward the bottom, the design slopes down from left
to right in relationship to the coil edges. Since this stamp is one of the great rarities in U.S. philately, it
should never be bought or sold without certification.