The 2-cent issue printed by the Continental Bank Note Company and that printed by the National Bank Note can easily be distinguished by color alone. No magnifying glass is necessary. The earlier NBNCo stamp is red brown in color; the CBNCo stamp is brown. That is very fortunate (stamp collectors rejoice!) because CBNCo’s secret mark—a small, diagonal line—on this 2-cent stamp is difficult to spot and has often not even transferred to the print. That mark can be found extending from the rim of the border line above the “U.S.” (at the top left of the stamp design) to the tip of the curled ornament.
The stamp paid multiple domestic rates or, in combination with other denominations, greater foreign destination rates. Continental Bank Note Company printed approximately 112,500,000 stamps of this 2-cent issue.