The 3-cent Washington of the 1882-1890 New Bank Note Issue was released in a vermilion color during the fall of 1887. Though printed from the same plate as the stamp in the the 1881-1882 Re-Engraved Issue, its color departed dramatically from the green shades of the previous issues. This re-engraved design differs slightly from its predecessors. See the shading that outlines the outside of the oval frame line around Washington’s portrait. That shading on the re-engraved stamp has a narrower width than the previous issues. There is also an added horizontal dash under the frame line below the "T" of "CENTS."
Because the domestic rate for a half-ounce first-class letter was two cents, the 3-cent Washington stamp served no direct single-weight use. Instead, it was frequently used to pay multiple-weight rates or, in combination with other denominations, higher foreign destination rates. Approximately 15 million stamps of this issue were printed by American Bank Note Company.