Identify different types of stamp grills

stamp grillAwhile ago in another article, we discussed what a stamp grill is. Now we will help you to identify different types of stamp grills that are known to exist.

First of all, just a quick reminder: stamp makers developed grills in order to prevent the reuse of stamps. The maker embossed the stamp with a special roller. The roller broke up and weakened the fibers in the stamp paper. The cancellation ink could now be absorbed into the paper more. If you tried to wash off the cancellation, the stamp would most likely tear where the grill mark was located because the paper was weaker.

Useful terms


Points: a grill looks like rows and rows of pyramid shapes. The tops of the pyramid are its points.

Points up: the stamp was embossed «up» from the gum side

Points down: the stamp was embossed «down» from the face side

Ridges: the tips of the pyramids on a grill have very short ridges. The grill ridges on most stamps are vertical. The exception is the rare Z Grill. Its ridges are horizontal.

types of stamp grills


Measuring: You can measure the actual grill square’s size in mm (length x width), or you can count the individual points along the line of the length and width of the grill square.


USA stamp grills types


Stamp producers used grills in the production of early USA stamps, specifically from 1867-1875. Scott catalogue for US stamps lists the different USA grills:


A Grill: vertical ridges-the grill covered the entire stamp
B Grill: vertical ridges- 22 x 18 points
C Grill: vertical ridges- 16 to 17 x 18 to 21 points


D Grill: vertical ridges- 15 x 17 to 18 points
E Grill: vertical ridges- 14 x 15 to 17 points
F Grill: vertical ridges- 11 to 12 x 15 to 17 points
G Grill: vertical ridges- 12 x 11 to 11½ points
H Grill: vertical ridges- 11 to 13 x 14 to 16 points
I Grill: vertical ridges- 10 to 11 x 10 to 13 points
J Grill: vertical ridges- the grill area measures 7 x 9½ mm


stamp grills

Z Grill: horizontal ridges- 13 to 14 x 17 to 18 points

identify different types of stamp grill

Can you now identify different types of stamp grills? For example, the image above is a G Grill with vertical ridges. Did this article help you? Please let us know!

*All stamp images Wikipedia


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