First A Little StoryArcher and Daly Engravers of Richmond created the dies for these designs. Archer produced the die for Die A, also known as Type I. Frank Halpin created the die for Die B, also known as Type II.
Die A was the design used to create the famous "Frame Line" 10 Cents issue. The frame line is not inherent in the design. The copper plate used was initially scribed using a straight edge to serve as a guide for placing the individual transfers of the design on the plate creating #10. This same die was reused to create two steel plates, numbered 1 and 2, creating #11.
Die B was never used with a copper plate. Die B was also never involved in a plate with scribed lines to assist placement. So, if someone offers you a "frameline" 10 Cents CSA stamp of the Die B variety politely decline. Two plates of the Die B design, plates #3 and #4, also were manufactured.
Type I, Die A Type II, Die B
The Telltale Signs
Shave and Haircut ... Two Types!The easiest way to tell is the hair lines on the neck. The hair on Type I extends below the level of the ear. The bottom of the neck hair and the top of the beard align. Type II hair ends on the back of the neck at just about ear level. The bottom of the hair on the neck and and the curve of the lower lip align. If there is hair extending below the ear you have a #11. If the back of the neck is free of hair below the ear you have a #12. Another tonsorial tip-off is the beard. Just below the point of the chin the Type I beard has a small tuft of beard ending in line with the back of the lips. The Type II beard appears to be a single entity without this tuft.
Gash Above the "N"Another distinguishing mark is a small area of die damage to Type I. Sometime, probably during the creation of the the copper frame-line plate, a small bit of damage was done to the die. This resulted in all subsequent entries showing a distinct colorless vertical dash below the bust above the N of Cents. There is nothing remotely like it on Type II examples.
Vertical die damage below No vertical colorless dash above the N.
portrait, above N of Cents. Die B or Type II
Die A or Type 1
"Coufederate" or "Confederate"The lettering of the word Confederate differs between Die A and Die B. The Type I die has what appears to be a "U" for an "N" in the word Confederate. Type II has an "N" in this position.
Die A has a "U" . Die B has an "N".
Extra ProjectionsThe lower left corner of the design ornaments differ in several ways. The lower portion is more open on Die A than it is on Die B. Also, the heavy shading line in the lower ornament is longer and less vertical in Type I than it is in Type II., see the lower highlighted oval in the images below. There is a distinct extra scroll projection on Die B that is not present on Die A. Note the heavy "C" shaped line terminating this extra projection on Type II. See the upper highlighted oval area in the images below.
More open ornaments, Elaborated ornamentation
elongated shading line with an extra scroll projection
in lower ornament on and short vertical dash in lower
Die A examples. ornament on Die B examples.
Open and Shut CaseThe Upper Left corner of the design also holds some very good diagnostic material. The elaboration of the corner ornaments on Die A is very restrained in comparison to the Die B examples.
Note the scroll projections All of the scroll projections
are not connected. This are connected by additional
is Die A lines filling in the design. This
is Die B
Some copies of Die B show a faint line that totally encircles the design while conforming to the outer contours of it. This is a feature that does not appear on every stamp from Die B. It is never present on Die A. This is not pictured.
Note: If you feel this guide has not been helpful please contact me with your comments about its deficiencies so I may consider addressing them in future revisions. The more accurate this guide is the more useful it will be. Robert Chambers (CSA #3505)