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    Watermarks on United States Postage Stamps

What are watermarks and how are they made? · The History of Watermarks on U.S. Stamps · Faked Watermarks 
How do I detect a watermark?
· Watermark detection fluids · Eight Possible Orientations for the Watermarks

Double-line USPS Watermarks Single-line USPS Watermarks Double-line USIR Watermarks

Double-Line USPS

Single-line USPS

USIR

   Printable Templates for the Watermarks Found on U.S. Postage Stamps

Washington-Franklin Watermark Cutout To get an idea of where the watermark can appear on a stamp, cut a small rectangular window the size of the stamp out of a small piece of cardboard and place this cutout over one of the printable watermark templates linked below (an example is shown at right). From this example the bottom of the letter "S", the top right of the letter "P" and the top left of the letter "S" appear on the stamp. Often only tiny pieces of several letters may appear on an individual stamp, making identification quite difficult. 

It is fairly easy to verify that on a normal-sized Washington-Franklin stamp, at most three letters are possible on a single-line watermarked stamp and four letters on the double-line watermarked stamps. The watermark can appear in any of eight orientations.

Templates of the watermark lettering - printable in actual size:

Double-line USPS · Double-line Reversed · Single-line USPS · Single-line Reversed · USIR · USIR Reversed

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