$2.00 Orange Red & Black (523), Mint N.H. full top plate numbers 8179/8177 and arrow block of eight, choice centering and margins
Paul Cheyney (collection sold privately to Mr. Gross)
Very Fine; some slight oxidation, natural crease in selvage
SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
The $2.00 and $5.00 1918 Issue are the first bicolored dollar denominated postage stamps issued by the United States. Both were released just three months after the famous 1918 24¢ Inverted Jenny, but the early printings were issued in small quantities, since stocks of the earlier $2.00 and $5.00 issues were still on hand.
According to Johl, the $2.00 Orange Red & Black was a color error on the part of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The official description and order for the bicolor stamps specified “Red and Black” for the $2.00. When subsequent printings appeared in 1920 and philatelists brought the matter to the attention of the Bureau, they were told "this stamp has always been this color" (Johl, p. 306). From studies of Bureau and Post Office records, it is clear that the originally intended color was not issued until November 1920 (Scott 547), and that the earlier Orange Red stamps were mistakes. The quantity issued has been variously estimated at between 47,000 and 68,000