An 1867 issue 2c black Z-Grill is set to see strong results in a Pennsylvania stamp auction on August 14-16.
The Z-Grill is so-called due to the variety of grill that was used to press the stamp, creating miniscule indentations in the paper that allowed cancelling ink to be more effectively absorbed. Thought to have been first issued on the classic US Benjamin Franklin stamp in 1967, the Z-Grill was gradually discontinued after 1970, when it proved to be impractical in the production process.
The 1c, 10c and 15c Z-Grills stand among the rarest United States stamps, with only two examples of the 1c and 15c, and six of the 10c ever certified as genuine. The Z-Grill stamps are notoriously hard to spot, being almost identical in size and design to the E-Grill series, which are considerably less valuable.
The example at auction is a fine example of the 2c stamp, which features the head of Andrew Jackson - the seventh US president. Graded fine, it is expected to reach its Scott Catalogue valuation of $17,500, despite being marred by poor centring and disturbed part original gum.
Also featuring is a used 1867 2c D-Grill, which is considered one of the rarest of the 1868 regular production grills. It is thought that two grilling machines were used during the first part of 1868, one fitted with a D-Grill and the other with a Z-Grill. The D-Grill was likely replaced with the more efficient E-Grill after a couple of days of printing 2c sheets, making this stamp one of the great rarities of the D-Grill series.
The stamp is in poor condition with a diagonal crease, several small thins, small foxing spots and a short perforation, yet is expected to bring $4,500.
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