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Q 2 - How can I tell the difference between CSA #6 and CSA #7 on London (De La Rue) Paper? I know they are considered to be different stamps, but they look the same to me.
A 2 - The differences between CSA #6 and CSA #7 on London Paper can be very confusing to the CSA collector.
De La Rue & Co of London, England was the premier stamp printer of the day. They received a contract to print CSA stamps and produced the stamps that we know as CSA#6. Approximately 12,000,000 stamps were printed. The stamps were sent through the blockade and issued with the earliest known date of usage being 10 March 1862. The plates and a supply of high quality paper were also shipped through the blockade and arrived in Richmond, Va some time during the summer of 1862. The plates and the paper were delivered to the Archer & Daly firm in Richmond where the stamps we know as CSA #7 were then printed. The approximate printing of CSA #7 was 36,200,000. The earliest known use of CSA #7 is 15 August 1862 (new EKU confirmed in 2004 is 25 July 1862).
Thus CSA #6 and CSA #7 were printed from the same plates. Archer & Daly first used the high grade paper that came with the plates from England to print the stamps. It is not known exactly how much of the English paper was supplied by De La Rue, but it soon ran out. When that happened, the printers were forced to switch to lower grade paper. The distinguishing characteristics between the London Printing (CSA #6) and the Richmond Printing on London Paper (CSA #7 on London Paper) are as follows:
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