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Plate 6

Plate 6, like Plate 4, is also known as the "Spotted Plate" but the spots are not quite as numerous or contant as in the case of Plate 4.  Plate 6 is mostlikely the commonist of all the Penny Black Plates.  I wonder at times though as it seems most of the stamps I encounter and identify are Plate 5!  This plate was only in service from 15 June 1840 until 09 January 1841.   Another characterisitc of Plate 6, which helps seperate it
from Plate 4 is the weakness of the side frame lines.  They are weaker than those of Plate 4, and also weaker than Plate 5.  The base lines on
Plate 6 are also thinner than those of plate 4.  Plate 4 stamps also tend to be darker black in color and struck with a red Maltese Cross, whereas the stamps from Plate6, having been produced later in time,  may have a red or black Maltese Cross.  Since Plate 6 does not have Ray Flaws nor
the "O" Flaw or "O" Bulge, it is possible to eliminate Plates 1a, 1b, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.   However,  given the above means of seperating stamps from Plate 4 and 6,  once again the safest avenue to identify the plate with certainty is to measure the check letter positions.  Therefore I recommend te use of  Volume I of The Plating of the Penny, 1840-1864.

 Red Maltese Cross
Black Maltese Cross

Characteristics of Plate 6 State 1

Earliest Known Date of Use 29 June 1840
Flaw  None. The "Spots" and "Weak Frame Lines" are useful however
Re-entries OB, QJ, QK, SA
Shifted Transfer/Basel Shift None
Double Letters BG, FK, LB, MK, PF
Burr Rubs, Scratches or Marks None
Recut Frame Lines or Corners None
Recut Corners None
Constant Varieties EK, MG, QF, TB
Printing in Red None
Color of Maltese Cross Red or Black
Bleute Paper Exists
Inverted Watermark Exists

Characteristics of Plate 6 State 2 (First Repair)

Repair by Re-entry State 2: FF,  FG, KD, KE, KF, KG, LD, LE, LG, OE, OG, OK, OL, PD, PE, PF, PG, PH, PL, QC, QD, QE, QL, RD, RE, SE, TA, TB, TC, TD, TE
As in Plate 5, The stamps which underwent repair show signs of thinning at the top,
in the star corners as well as in the check letters squares, suggesting that a transfer roller with blank top and bottom sqaures was used for repair
Burrs, Scratches, Marks DF, DH, FI, KB, KC, LE, LK, LL,MC, OF, SC, SD, SL, TD, TJ
Recut Frames or Corners FF, FG, GL, JD, ND, NK, QL, RE, SE, TB, TE, TF

Characteristics of Plate 6 State 3 (Second Repair)

Repair by Re-entry MD, ND, PD, PE, PG, QE


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