Identification guide for design numbers of United States stamped envelopes, wrappers, and letter sheets
two cents


There are 39 designs of indicia whose face value is two cents. Six of these designs are distinctive enough that they can be identified by examining the images immediately below. The remaining 33 designs feature a bust of Andrew Jackson (15 designs), a bust of George Washington (16), or a large numeral inside an oval (2).
   For a key to the Jackson designs click here.
   For a key to the Washington designs click here.
   For a key to the large numeral designs click here.

busts of Columbus
and Liberty
stamp image
design U76
printed in violet on white paper and diagnostic for Scott #U349; or printed in dark slate (erroneously) on white paper and diagnostic for Scott #U349a.
 
Grant
stamp image
design US1
= Scott #U293 (printed in green on creamy white paper)
 
Liberty Bell
stamp image
design U94
printed in carmine on white paper and shared by Scott #s U522 (die 1) and U522a (die 2)
 
Mount Vernon
stamp image
design U95
printed in carmine on white paper and shared by Scott #s U525 (die 1) and U525a (die 2); or printed in carmine on blue paper (erroneously) and diagnostic for Scott #U525b (die 1; rare) - For a guide to identifying the two dies, click here.
 
Star and Pinwheel
"Authorized Non-Profit Organization"
stamp image
design U124
= Scott #U577 (printed in red on white paper)
 
postal savings
stamp image
design UO25
 =  Scott #UO72


Key to designs that show a bust of Jackson

Question 1: Do the words "War Dept" appear near the top of the design?
yes (go to Question 14)    no  (go to Question 2)

Question 2: What is the shape of the border at the top and bottom?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#1) you answered)

pointed
(go to Question 3)
stamp image
design U17
stamp image
design U18
stamp image
design U19
stamp image
design U20

rounded
(go to Question 6)
stamp image
design U24
stamp image
design U36
stamp image
design U37
stamp image
design U38
stamp image
design U39
stamp image
design U40
stamp image
design U41
stamp image
design U42
stamp image
design U43


Question 3: "Postage" or "Post." above Jackson's head?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#2) you answered)

"Postage"
(go to Question 4)
stamp image
design U17
stamp image
design U18
 
 
"Post."
(go to Question 5)
stamp image
design U19
stamp image
design U20


Question 4: What is the relationship between the downstroke and the tail of the 2?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#3) you answered)

They merge
stamp image
design U17
You have identified design U17, printed in black and shared by Scott #s U46 (buff paper) and W47 (dark manila).
They touch but
do not merge
stamp image
design U18
You have identified design U18, printed in black and shared by Scott #s U48 (buff paper; not regularly issued) and U49 (orange; not regularly issued).


Question 5: How wide is the design?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#3) you answered)

24–25 mm
stamp image
design U19
You have identified design U19, printed in black and shared by Scott #s U50 (buff paper), W51 (buff), U52 (orange), and W53 (dark manila).
 
25.5–26.25 mm
stamp image
design U20
You have identified design U20, printed in black and shared by Scott #s U54 (buff paper), W55 (buff), U56 (orange), and W57 (light manila).


Question 6: Are the numerals "2" enclosed by a circle or oval?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#2) you answered)

circle
(go to Question 7)
stamp image
design U24
stamp image
design U36
 
oval
(go to Question 8)
stamp image
design U37
stamp image
design U38
stamp image
design U39
stamp image
design U40
stamp image
design U41
stamp image
design U42
stamp image
design U43


Question 7: Is the engraving finely or coarsely done?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#6) you answered)

finely done
stamp image
stamp image
design U24
You have identified design U24, printed in brown and shared by Scott #s U78 (white paper), U79 (amber), U80 (orange), and W81 (manila).
 
coarsely done
stamp image
design U36
You have identified design U36, printed in brown and shared by Scott #s U122 (white paper), U123 (amber), U124 (cream; not regularly issued), U125 (orange), and W126 (manila); or printed in vermilion on manila paper and diagnostic for Scott #W127.


Question 8: Is there a diagonal line between the upper left part of the "U" of "U. S. Postage" and the outer white oval?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#6) you answered)

yes
stamp image
stamp image
design U41
You have identified design U41, printed in vermilion and shared by Scott #s U149 (white paper), U150 (amber), U151 (blue), and U152 (fawn); or printed in pink and shared by Scott #s U149a (white paper) and U151a (blue).
 
no
stamp image
(go to Question 9)
stamp image
design U37
stamp image
design U38
stamp image
design U39
stamp image
design U40
stamp image
design U42
stamp image
design U43


Question 9: Does the tail of the left 2 touch the oval?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#8) you answered)

yes
stamp image
design U38
You have identified design U38, printed in brown and shared by Scott #s U132 (white paper), U133 (amber), and U133A (cream; not regularly issued).  
 
no
(go to Question 10)
stamp image
design U37
stamp image
design U39
stamp image
design U40
stamp image
design U42
stamp image
design U43


Question 10: Is there a diagonal line in the "G" of "POSTAGE" and in the "C" of "CENTS"?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#9) you answered)

yes
stamp image
design U39
You have identified design U39, printed in brown and shared by Scott #s U134 (white paper), U135 (amber), U136 (orange), and W137 (manila); or printed in vermilion and shared by Scott #s U137A (white paper; not regularly issued), U137B (amber; not regularly issued), U137C (orange; not regularly issued), and W138 (manila; not regularly issued).
 
no
(go to Question 11)
stamp image
design U37
stamp image
design U40
stamp image
design U42
stamp image
design U43


Question 11: Is the bottom part of the bust curved sharply or gradually?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#10) you answered)

sharply
stamp image
design U43
You have identified design U43, printed in vermilion and shared by Scott #s U156 (white paper), U157 (amber; rare), and W158 (manila).
 
gradually
(go to Question 12)
stamp image
design U37
stamp image
design U40
stamp image
design U42


Question 12: Is the diagonal stroke of the "N" in "CENTS" the same thickness as the vertical strokes, or is it thicker?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#11) you answered)

same thickness
stamp image
design U42
You have identified design U42, printed in vermilion and shared by Scott #s U153 (white paper), U154 (amber), and W155 (manila).
 
thicker
(go to Question 13)
stamp image
design U37
stamp image
design U40


Question 13: What is the shape of the numerals?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#12) you answered)

relative tall
(and in tall ovals)
stamp image
design U37
You have identified design U37, printed in brown and shared by Scott #s U128 (white paper), U129 (amber), U130 (cream; not regularly issued), and W131 (manila).
 
relatively short
(and in short ovals)
stamp image
design U40
You have identified design U40, printed in brown and shared by Scott #s U139 (white paper), U140 (amber) and W141 (manilla); or printed in reddish brown on orange paper and diagnostic for Scott #U140A (not regularly issued); or printed in vermilion and shared by Scott #s U142 (white paper), U143 (amber), U144 (cream), U145 (orange; not regularly issued), U146 (blue), U147 (fawn), and W148 (manila); or printed in pink on white paper and diagnostic for Scott #U142a.


Question 14: Is the left edge of the base of Jackson's bust angled or rounded?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#1) you answered)

angled
stamp image
design UO9
You have identified design UO9, printed in dark red on white paper and diagnostic for UO19; or printed in vermilion and shared by UO32 (white paper) and WO33 (manila).
 
rounded
stamp image
design UO18
You have identified design UO18, printed in red and shared by Scott #s UO47 (white paper), UO48 (amber), UO49 (orange), and WO50 (manila).




Key to designs that show a bust of Washington

Question 1: How many times does the numeral "2" appear on the stamp?

once
(go to Question 2)
stamp image
design U70
stamp image
design U71
stamp image
design U72
stamp image
design U78
 
  stamp image
design U79
stamp image design U80 stamp image
design U97

twice
(go to Question 8)
stamp image
design U60
stamp image
design U61
stamp image
design U62
stamp image
design U63
stamp image
design U64
stamp image
design U65
 
  stamp image
design U67
stamp image
design U68
stamp image
design U86
stamp image
design U89
stamp image
design U91
stamp image
design U93


Question 2: What is the numeral "2" enclosed by?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#1) you answered)

a circle
stamp image
design U97
You have identified design U97, printed in carmine on white paper and shared by Scott #s U533 (die 3), U533a (die 1), U533b (die 2), and U533c (die 4).
 
a shield
(go to Question 3)
stamp image
design U70
stamp imagestamp image
design U71
design U72
stamp image
design U78
stamp image
design U79
stamp image
design U80
 


Question 3: What color is the image?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#2) you answered)

green
(go to Question 4)
stamp image
design U70
stamp image
design U71
stamp image
design U72
 
carmine
(go to Question 6)
stamp image
design U78
stamp image
design U79
stamp image
design U80


Question 4: Does the "G" of "POSTAGE" have a bar, and does the bust point between notches 2 and 3 (vs. between 3 and 4)?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#3) you answered)

no
stamp image
design U70
You have identified design U70, printed in green and shared by Scott #s U305 (white paper), U306 (amber), U307 (oriental buff), U308 (blue), U309 (manila), and U310 (amber manila).  
 
yes
(go to Question 5)
stamp image
design U71
stamp image
design U72


Question 5: What is the shape of the top part of the head?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#4) you answered)

more or less pointed
(also, there is one line each for the ear and at the corner of the mouth)
stamp image
design U71
You have identified design U71, printed in green and shared by Scott #s U311 (white paper), U312 (amber), U313 (oriental buff), U314 (blue), U315 (manila), W316 (manila), and U317 (amber manila); or printed in dark green and shared by Scott #s U311a (white paper), U312b (amber), U313a (oriental buff), U314a (blue), U315a (manila), and U317a (amber manila).
 
NOTE: Unless you have a mint, crisp image it is hard to differentiate U71 and U72 based on the lines at the ear and mouth, or the shape of the top of the head.
An easier way to do so is to look at where the low, front point of the bust points toward the white oval.
In U71 it points to the notch between the second and third diamond of the inner oval, in U72 it points towards the second diamond.
 
rounded
(also, there are two lines each for the ear and at the corner of the mouth
stamp image
design U72
You have identified design U72, printed in green and shared by Scott #s U318 (white paper), U319 (amber), U320 (oriental buff), U321 (blue), U322 (manila), and U323 (amber manila).


Question 6: Does the bust point to the first notch of the inner oval or to the middle of the second notch?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#3) you answered)

first notch
stamp image
design U78
You have identified design U78, printed in carmine and shared by Scott #s U358 (white paper), U359 (amber), U360 (oriental buff), and U361 (blue).
 
middle of the 2nd notch
(go to Question 7)
stamp image
design U79
stamp image
design U80


Question 7: Does the queue have a ribbon around it?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#6) you answered)

yes
stamp image
design U79
You have identified design U79, printed in carmine and shared by Scott #s U362 (white paper), U363 (amber), U364 (oriental buff), U365 (blue), and W366 (manila); or printed in dark lake on white paper and diagnostic for Scott #U362a.
 
no
stamp image
design U80
You have identified design U80, printed in carmine and shared by Scott #s U367 (white paper), U368 (amber), U369 (oriental buff), and U370 (blue).


Question 8: Are the numerals "2" enclosed (by a circle or oval) or not?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#1) you answered)

yes, they are enclosed
(go to Question 9)
stamp image
design U60
stamp image
design U61
stamp image
design U62
stamp image
design U63
 
 
  stamp image
design U64
stamp image
design U65
stamp image
design U67
stamp image
design U68
stamp image
design U93
 
no, they are not enclosed
(go to Question 17)
stamp image
design U86
stamp image
design U89
stamp image
design U91


Question 9: Are the numerals "2" enclosed in a circle or in an oval?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#8) you answered)

In a circle
(in the lower half of the design)
stamp image
design U93
You have identified design U93, printed in carmine on white paper and shared by Scott #s U429 (die 1), U429a (die 2), U429b (die 3), U429c (die 4), U429d (die 5), U429e (die 6), U429f (die 7), U429g (die 8), and U429h (die 9); or printed in green (erroneously) on white paper and diagnostic for Scott #U429i (die 1); or printed in carmine on amber paper and shared by Scott #s U430 (die 1), U430a (die 2), U430b (die 4), U430c (die 5), U430d (die 6), U430e (die 7), U430f (die 8), and U430g (die 9); or printed in carmine on oriental buff paper and shared by Scott #s U431 (die 1), U431a (die 2), U431b (die 4), U431c (die 5), U431d (die 6), and U431e (die 7); or printed in carmine on blue paper and shared by Scott #s U432 (die 1), U432b (die 2), U432c (die 3), U432d (die 4), U432e (die 5), U432f (die 6), U432g (die 7), U432h (die 8), and U432i (die 9); or printed in purple (erroneously) on blue paper and diagnostic for Scott #U432j (die 9); or printed in carmine on manila paper and diagnostic for Scott #U432A (die 7; rare); or printed in carmine on a manila wrapper and diagnostic for Scott #W433 (die 1); or printed in carmine on a glazed brown wrapper and diagnostic for Scott #W434 (die 1); or printed in carmine on an unglazed brown wrapper and diagnostic for Scott #W435 (die 1).
 
In an oval
(at midheight of the design)

(go to Question 10)
stamp image
design U60
stamp image
design U61
stamp image
design U62
stamp image
design U63
 
  stamp image
design U64
stamp image
design U65
stamp image
design U67
stamp image
design U68


Question 10: Are the letters of "U.S. POSTAGE" in outline form, or are the letters solid?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#9) you answered)

outline
stamp image
design U60
You have identified design U60, printed in red and shared by Scott #s U227 (white paper), U228 (amber), U229 (blue), and U230 (fawn); or printed in brown (erroneously) on white paper and diagnostic for Scott #U227a.
 
solid
(go to Question 11)
stamp image
design U61
stamp image
design U62
stamp image
design U63
stamp image
design U64
 
  stamp image
design U65
stamp image
design U67
stamp image
design U68


Question 11: How many wavy lines (total above and below "U.S. Postage") inside the oval?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#10) you answered)

four
(go to Question 12)
stamp image
design U61
stamp image
design U62
stamp image
design U63
stamp image
design U64
stamp image
design U65
 
two
(go to Question 16)
stamp image
design U67
stamp image
design U68


Question 12: Are the wavy lines fine and clear, or are they thick and blurred?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#11) you answered)

fine and clear
stamp image
design U61
You have identified design U61, printed in red and shared by Scott #s U231 (white paper), U232 (amber), U233 (blue), U234 (fawn), and W235 (manila); or printed in brown and shared by Scott #s U260 (white paper), U261 (amber), U262 (blue), U263 (fawn), and W264 (manila).  
thick and blurred
(go to Question 13)
stamp image
design U62
stamp image
design U63
stamp image
design U64
stamp image
design U65


Question 13: Is the "O" in "TWO" round or is it oval?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#12) you answered)

round
stamp image
design U65
You have identified design U65, printed in red and shared by Scott #s U247 (white paper), U248 (amber), and U249 (fawn); or printed in brown and shared by Scott #s U273 (white paper), U274 (amber), U275 (blue), and U276 (fawn).  
 
oval
(go to Question 14)
stamp image
design U62
stamp image
design U63
stamp image
design U64


Question 14: How many links are over the left "2"?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#13) you answered)

31/2
stamp image
design U63
You have identified design U63, printed in red and shared by Scott #s U240 (white paper), U241 (amber), and U242 (fawn).  
 
21/2
(go to Question 15)
stamp image
design U62
stamp image
design U64


Question 15: How many links are below the right "2"?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#14) you answered)

21/2
stamp image
design U62
You have identified design U62, printed in red and shared by Scott #s U236 (white paper), U237 (amber), U238 (blue), and U239 (fawn); or printed in brown and shared by Scott #s U265 (white paper), U266 (amber), U267 (blue), U268 (fawn), and W269 (manila).
 
2
stamp image
design U64
You have identified design U64, printed in red and shared by Scott #s U243 (white paper), U244 (amber), U245 (blue), and U246 (fawn); or printed in brown and shared by Scott #s U270 (white paper), U271 (amber), and U272 (fawn).


Question 16: Is the bottom right part at the rear of the bust pointed or rounded?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#11) you answered)

pointed
stamp image
design U67
You have identified design U67, printed in brown and shared by Scott #s U277 (white paper), U278 (amber), U279 (oriental buff), U280 (blue), U281 (fawn), U282 (manila), W283 (manila), and U284 (amber manila); or printed in brown-lake and shared by Scott #s U277a (die 1, white paper) and U278a (amber); or printed in red and shared by Scott #s U285 (white paper; not regularly issued), U286 (blue; not regularly issued), and W287 (manila).
 
rounded
stamp image
design U68
You have identified design U68, printed in brown and shared by Scott #s U288 (white paper), U289 (amber), U290 (blue), U291 (fawn), and W292 (manila).


Question 17: Are there birth and death dates (i.e., 1732 and 1799)?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#8) you answered)

no
stamp image
design U91
You have identified design U91, printed in brown-red on white paper and shared by Scott #s U406 (die 1), U406a (die 2), and U406b (die 3); or printed in brown-red on amber paper and shared by Scott #s U407 (die 1), U407a (die 2), and U407b (die 3); or printed in brown-red on oriental buff paper and shared by Scott #s U408 (die 1), U408a (die 2), and U408b (die 3); or printed in brown-red on blue paper and shared by Scott #s U409 (die 1), U409a (die 2), and U409b (die 3); or printed in brown-red on a manila wrapper and diagnostic for Scott #W410 (die 1); or printed in carmine on white paper and shared by Scott #s U411 (die 1), U411a (die 2), U411b (die 3), U411c (die 4), U411d (die 5), U411e (die 6), U411f (die 7), and U411g (die 8); or printed in carmine on amber paper and shared by Scott #s U412 (die 1), U412a (die 2), U412b (die 3), U412c (die 4), U412d (die 5), U412e (die 6), and U412f (die 7); or printed in carmine on oriental buff paper and shared by Scott #s U413 (die 1), U413a (die 2), U413b (die 3), U413c (die 4), U413d (die 5), U413e (die 6), U413f (die 7), and U413g (die 8); or printed in carmine on blue paper and shared by Scott #s U414 (die 1), U414a (die 2), U414b (die 3), U414c (die 4), U414d (die 5), U414e (die 6), U414f (die 7), and U414g (die 8); or printed in carmine on a manila wrapper and shared by Scott #s W415 (die 1), W415a (die 2), W415b (die 5), and W415c (die 7).  
 
yes
(go to Question 18)
stamp image
design U86
stamp image
design U89


Question 18: How many shading lines inside the right end of the bottom scroll?
(choose an answer below or return to the previous question (#17) you answered)

(Note: Sometimes the printing of an envelope is not strong. Then it is helpful to look at the letter "D" in "UNITED".
If the right edge of the "D" is relatively straight and parallel with the left side of the "D", you have design U86. If the right side of the "D" is rounded, you have design U89.)

21/2
stamp image
design U86
You have identified design U86, printed in carmine and shared by Scott #s U385 (white paper), U386 (amber), U387 (oriental buff), U388 (blue), and W389 (manila); or printed in pink and shared by Scott #s U385a (white paper), U386a (amber), U387a (oriental buff), and U388a (blue); or printed in red and shared by Scott #s U385b (white paper), U386b (amber), U387b (oriental buff), and U388b (blue).
 
3
stamp image
design U89
You have identified design U89, printed in carmine and shared by Scott #s U395 (white paper), U396 (amber), U397 (oriental buff), U398 (blue), and W399 (manila); or printed in pink and shared by Scott #s U395a (white paper), U396a (amber), U397a (oriental buff), U398a (blue), and W399a (manila).




:
Question 1: How high is the numeral 2?

9 mm
stamp image
design UO1
You have identified design UO1, printed in black on lemon paper, and diagnostic for Scott # UO1.
 
91/4 mm
stamp image
design UO4
You have identified design UO4, printed in black and shared by Scott #s UO4 (lemon paper) and UO5 (white).

Return to Home Page