Identifying the types of Genuine 1st
Issue 4 Grosze Stamps
Look at the diagonal line of the lower left 4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Is it almost a straight line?
Yes - It’s a type 5 stamp.
No - continue 1
2 3 4 5
6 7 8
Also note that the horizontal line is 0.3-0.4 mm thick,
compared to about 0.2 mm on the other 4 gr. stamps.
The dots above and to the left of the diagonal bar of the 4 (below the red line in this scan) also serve to identify type 5 stamps. This could be useful if you have a bisect stamp on cover or on piece.
Look at both the upper and lower Z’s in Grosze.
Are there dots just above or just below the top lines? (The left scan is the top Z, the right is the bottom Z.)
Yes - It’s a type 8 stamp.
No - continue 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Type 8's also have a dot near the left end of the lower left 4, as shown here. Look for the dot if you have a bisect with neither Z visible. (There should always be one Z visible, but its dot could be obscured by a heavy cancel.)
Don't confuse this with the dot that's under the lower right 4 on a type 1 stamp, as shown below.
Genuine Mi 2 Type 8 Lower Left 4
Look at the upper right 4.
Does its frame merge into the inner frame line at the top?
Yes - It’s a type 4 stamp.
No - continue. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Look at the left side of the frame line around the lower Grosze.
Is there a dot at about the same level as the horizontal bar of the 4?
Yes - It’s a type 6 stamp. (Note: My type 6 stamps also have a white line in the left inner frame around the 4.)
No - continue. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Look at the lower right 4.
|If there’s a dot under the left end of the horizontal bar, it’s type 1.||If the dot is under the right end, and down close to the frame, it’s type 2.||If the dot is between the frame lines on the left side of the 4, about 60% of the way up, it’s type 3.|
|Finally, if the dot is between the inner frame lines just below the left vertical inner frame line around the 4, it’s type 7. However, if there’s no dot there, look for the following:|
If the stamp has both the (a) and (b) marks, it’s still a type 7. (Other types may have one of these features, but not both.)
Type 7 stamps have both these features whether or not they have the dot.The missing dot may only occur on one or both of the two right-hand panes of a sheet, because Kronenberg  illustrates a left-hand pair of panes in which the dot appears on both the type 7's. (Scan V7_P67.)
I have seen another block of 8 without the dot, and believe it might be an upper right-hand pane.
a) A dot bridging the top two outer frame lines at the upper left of the stamp. (Type 6's have a similar dot.)
|b) A slight bulge in the right inner frame line around the lower left 4, at the same level as the top tip of the vertical line on the 4. (Similar bulges also appear on types 1,2 and 4.)|
False Signal !!!
But this notch appears in types 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 — i.e., on all stamps except types 1, 3 & 8. So it isn't a reliable indicator unless you can rule out the other types.
(The notch is also on Mi1, type 5, so maybe that's what he meant.)
Over the years, writers have concentrated on various “subjective”
differences between genuine and forged stamps: They have different “swirls”
in the background dots; different patterns of the U’s on the wings as
well as on the body; different-shaped lettering of Przedborz (especially the
right-side P and B) and of Grosze (especially the bottom one); different-shaped
perfs and upper-left 2's, etc. My friend Gary Mattern says the 1917's are very
All this is a matter of the trained eye. You can poke around, and discover the differences that work for you, or use computer software to overlay different aspects of the stamps. (See the Polonus Krakow Supplement for a tutorial on how to do that.)