The A grill was the first experimental grill devised by National Bank Note Company to deal with the fraudulent reuse of stamps that had been washed clean of their cancellations. The grill itself covered the entire area of the stamp (with the points going up), which greatly weakened the paper and the perforations. This resulted in less than perfect separation of the stamps. Ends were jagged and perforations ripped.
This first attempt at grilling was only used with the 1-, 5- and 30-cent issues. National Bank Note Company printed approximately 50,000 3-cent stamps, 2,000 5-cent stamps, and 2,000 30-cent stamps. With fewer than five copies know to exist, the 5-cent Jefferson is considered the rarest of the A grills. Fewer then ten copies of the 30-cent stamp are known to exist.