The 8-cent stamp of the first printings was issued in March 1895. It was the last of the series released because a large number of the 1890 8-cent stamps remained in the materials that the Bureau received from the American Bank Note Company when the printing contract transferred to the Bureau.
The second printings on watermarked paper were released in July 1895. There was no change for the U.P.U. printings in this stamp. Both printings are found in shades of violet brown and can be very attractive.
Like the 6-cent, the 8-cent stamp during the second printing period was printed on paper watermarked “USIR” (U.S. Internal Revenue) instead of “USPS” in an unknown quantity of stamps. This error is only slightly more common than that of the 6-cent, but it is still quite unusual.
The 8-cent stamp paid the Registry fee current in the period. Properly paid a 1st Class letter of the time would have a 2-cent stamp (1st Class Rate) plus an 8-cent stamp (Registry fee).