Identification Guide for design numbers of United States Stamped Envelopes, Wrappers, and Letter Sheets

The purpose of this site is to provide identification tools for U.S. postal stationery.
The site was originally developed by V.F. Thomas, with subsequent edits and additions made by Mark Dubin.

The purpose of each web page linked below is to enable you to identify the Scott catalog number of the indicium of a United States stamped envelope, wrapper, or letter sheet of the value indicated. Note: The "design number" shown in the Scott catalog and on the pages for each denomination refers to the stamp "design" pictures. The "Scott #" or "Scott #s" shown in the text associated with the design numbers refer to particular instances that use that design.

Note that you can see an enlarged version of an image by clicking on it.

NOTE: AS OF NOVEMBER, 2019 AN UPDATE IS IN PROGRESS. WHEN COMPLETED THIS NOTE WILL BE DELETED.


To identify U.S. stamped envelopes, wrappers, and letter sheets, click on the denomination below that you are interested in. If the envelope, wrapper, or letter sheet that you are trying to identify has been surcharged (or sidecharged), select the key below that represents the original denomination.

 
1.25¢
1.4¢
1.5¢
1.6¢
1.7¢
1.8¢

2.1¢
2.5¢
2.7¢

3.1¢
3.5¢


5.2¢
5.9¢



8.4¢
8.5¢

10¢
11¢
11.1¢
12¢
13¢
15¢
16¢
18¢
19.8¢
20¢
22¢
24¢
25¢
29¢
30¢
32¢
33¢
34¢
36¢
37¢
39¢
40¢
41¢
42¢
44¢
45¢
50¢
52¢
60¢
65¢
75¢
90¢
$3.85
$4.05
$4.60
$4.80
$4.90
$4.95
$5.15
$5.60
$5.75
$6.45
$6.65
$6.70
$7.35
$16.25
"A"
"B"
"C"
"D"
"E"
"F"
"G"
bulk rate
forever
nonprofit
stamp image
design UO7
1877 Scott #UO14
 

 

NOTE CONCERNING COLOR: The identification factors used in this guide are based on design details, and do not depend on color. The color(s) of each example that is shown should be considered a virtual approximation of an actual example held in-hand. This is due to the initial preparation of each indicum by a typically un-color-calibrated means, and is further a function of the color calibration (or lack thereof) of the computer screen you use to view this site.

The color names that are in the descriptions in this site are taken from a Scott catalog. However, there is apparently no agreed upon "true" color definition scheme for U.S postage materials. For example the envelope color "buff" has many different examples shown on the Internet. Further, modern color names in a catalog may not correspond with the actual colors, especially in 19th century cases. Making this more confusing is that color of a physical item may change with age and exposure to light, especially for older material. One place where this could matter is in the current sale price of an item, which in some cases can vary by even thousands of dollars, depending upon color, of otherwise very similar looking real stamps in-hand.