The "Pfennige" Issue, 1875 to 1879

A number of changes occurred when this issue was printed. The designs were "modernized" ( I personally think they got the idea from the 1869-70 low valued Belgium issue). The colors of the various values were changed to the newly recognized international values. They started to use a 5 x 5 block of designs (called a cliche) to make the printing plates. Instead of the earlier sheet which contained 150 stamps, made of 150 separate small images of each stamp, the new sheet construction was of two blocks, containing five rows of ten stamps, separated by a small horizontal margin between the two blocks of 50 stamps. The centers of the higher values were embossed (usually the registration was perfect). In 1877, a color change was made in the 50 Pfennige value from a gray tone (which was confused with the blue 20 Pfennige color under poor lighting) to a greenish gray (or slate) much darker color. Other than the scarcity of the 25 and 50 Pfennige values, little more can be said about this issue.

Beginner's Offer #2 - - $7.50
Scott #29 through 34, the entire issue of 6 stamps, used. Scott Catalog value $45.30

Beginner's Offer # 3 - - SORRY, SOLD OUT FOR NOW
Scott #35, used. Scott Catalog value $17.50

The 2 Mark Value

This is an interesting issue. These stamps were not sold to the general public at the post office. German officials were concerned about loosing money in the postal system from counterfeited stamps. They figured that a 2 Mark value was too tempting. These stamps were applied by the postal clerk to the letter or package after it had been handed across the postal counter, along with the proper fee. Until 1884, these were to be handwritten canceled, not canceled with the official post office canceler. This is why the early machine canceled stamps are valuable. They were canceled that way by mistake. Scott lists 3 shades, the German catalogs 6 and specialists collect a total of 19 different color shades. The stamp was in use a long time, from 1875 to May 30, 1900 and had many printings. Some time around the turn of the century, someone was able to purchase a number of mint stamps which found their way into collector's hands.

Beginner's Offer # 4 - - $1.00
Scott #36, used. Scott Catalog value $4.00

The "Pfennig" Issue, 1880 to 1889

There was probably a lot of beer drunk, discussing that final "e" of "Pfennige". Someone finally decided that Pfennige was singular and "Pfennig" was plural in the then current German language so a new design was made. The new issue was used for almost 10 years. The most notable change during this period was that the printers made the change from expensive mineral based printing ink to the newer, cheaper organically based pigments.

Beginner's Offer # 5 - - $1.50
Scott #37 through 42, used. Scott Catalog value $6.70

Crown and Eagle Issue 1889-1900

Ten years was enough, a new design was made and issued in 1889. There were 7 values, although the 2 pfennig value didn't appear until 1900. (Issued to cover reduced rates for local postcards when the Government took over the local city posts) This issue abounds with minor plate flaws and color varieties for the specialist (over 2,000 plate flaws have been found for the 10 pfennig value alone). There are also a number of high priced German cataloged major plate flaws that make this issue well worth studying. Early cancels from 1889 are also eagerly searched for by specialists.

Beginner's Offer # 6 - - $1.00
Scott #45 through 51, used. Scott Catalog value $5.15

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