Dragons: 500 Mon and 5 Sen Blue Green

Genuine

Issued 1871 & 1872 Scott #4 & 8 and Sakura #4 & 8.
Size is 19.5 x 19.5 mm.
Genuine: 500 Mon, Plate 1
500 Mon, Plate 1
Genuine: 500 mon, Plate 2
500 Mon, Plate 2
Genuine: 5 sen
5 Sen – only one plate

Vignette plate same as 200 mon, plate 2. Only center value new.

Characteristics of 500 mon and 5 sen Genuine Plates

 

Secret Mark – Both Plates

Extra line in center raimon at east.  Only plate 1, position 16 has mark overlooked.

 

 

Differences in Plates

Plate 2 for the 500 mon value was used for the 5 sen value.  Thus all genuine 5 sen designs have a short horizontal line added to the SE corner raimon.

 

 

Differences between 500 mon Plate 1 & Plate 2

 

The Wada forgeries of the 500 mon and 5 sen Blue Green

Engraved

 

Wada “signed”  forgeries

 

Wada: 500 mon, State 4

Wada:  500 Mon, Plate A, state 4:  Black sankō – high above central characters.

Wada: 500 mon, State 1 & 2

Wada:  500 Mon, Plate, state 1 & 2: Black sankō in high position near top of top central value characters

Wada: 500 mon, State 3

Wada:  500 Mon, Plate A, state 3: Black sankō – low near middle of bottom central character.

Wada: 5 sen, State 1 & 2

Wada:  5 sen, Plate A, state 1 & 2:  Black sankō – high above central characters.

Wada: 5 sen, State 3 & 5

Wada:  5 Sen Plate A, state 5: Black sankō low on each side of bottom value character.

Wada: 5 sen, State 4

Wada:  5 sen, Plate A, state 4: Black sankō in high position near top of top central value characters

Wada Plates with no Sankō or Mozō

Depending on the exact position in Wada Plate B and Plate C without sankō or mozō, the forgery can have the characteristic of either Plate 1 or Plate 2 of the genuine stamp.

 

Wada: 500 mon, Plate B

Wada:  500 Mon, Plate B

Wada: 500 mon, plate C

Wada:  500 Mon, Plate C

Wada: 5 sen, plate B

Wada:  5 Sen, Plate B

Wada: 5 sen, plate C

Wada:  5 Sen, Plate C

c

Maeda “signed”  lithographed forgeries

Lithographed

 

Maeda: 500 mon, type 1

Maeda: 500 Mon, type 1, sankō in black

Maeda: 500 mon type 3

Maeda:  500 Mon, type 3, sankō in color of design

Maeda: 500 mon, type 4

Maeda:  500 Mon, type 4, sankō in color of design

Maeda: 5 sen, type 1

Maeda:  5 Sen, type 1, sankō in black

Maeda: 5 sen, type 3

Maeda:  5 Sen, type 3, sankō in color of design

Maeda: 5 sen, type 4

Maeda:  5 Sen, type 4, sankō in color of design

Maeda Types with no Sankō

Maeda: 500 mon, type 2

Maeda:  500 mon, Type 2,  4 dots in shippō

Maeda: 500 mon, type 5

Maeda:  500 mon, Type 5,  ‘Switchback’ raimon

Maeda: 500 mon, type 6

Maeda:  500 mon, Type 6,  Reversed ‘E’ claw

Maeda: 5 sen, type 2

Maeda: 5 sen, Type 2,  4 dots in shippō

Maeda: 5 sen, type 6

Maeda:  5 sen, Type 6,  Reversed ‘E’ claw

Unknown Forger: “signed ” with Sankō.  Identified by Incorrect Corner Ornaments

While it seems that all these forgeries with the incorrect corner ornament are signed with “sankō”.  The sankō, in black, is very small and almost always carefully hidden under a fake postmark making it impossible to see.  However the incorrect corner ornaments can be used to identify these stamps as forgeries. There is still more to learn about these forgeries and research continues.  The 100 mon, 1 sen, 200 mon, 2 sen values are unknown with these incorrect corner ornaments.  The 48 mon, 1/2 sen, 500 mon,and 5 sen have these characteristics.

 

Incorrect Corner Ornaments

 

More information about the different types of this forgery is found in the ISJP CD Monograph 1–2nd Edition (see bibliography).

 

Eight Types of the 500 mon (same types as 48 mon):

  • Types 1,2,5,7 & 8  have incorrect ornaments at the NE & NW
  • Type 3, has incorrect ornaments at the NE, NW & SE
  • Type 6,  has incorrect ornaments at the NE, NW & SW
  • Type 4,  has incorrect ornament at the NE only

Five Types of the 5 sen (different from 1/2 sen types):

  • Type 1 & 3 have the incorrect ornaments at the NE, NW & SE
  • Type 5, has incorrect ornaments at NE, NW, & SW
  • Type 4, has incorrect ornaments at NE, NW, SE, & SW
  • Type 2, has incorrect ornament at NE only
500 mon, type 3

500 mon, Type 3

Incorrect corners at NE, NW & SE

500 mon, type 6

500 mon, Type 6

Incorrect corners at NE, NW & SW

500 mon, type 8

500 mon, Type 8

Incorrect corners at NE, NW

Only example found with sankō visible

5 sen, type 1

5 sen, Type 1

Incorrect corners at NE, NW & SE

5 sen, type 4

5 sen, Type 4

Incorrect corners at NE, NW, SE & SW

Unknown Forger: “signed”  Mihon

The specific types for this unknown forger were determined by the # of raimon in the N and W borders, not by the size and position of the “mihon” characters. There are 5 raimon on all sides of the genuine stamp.  The “mihon” characters in all three types of the 500 mon values are located one or each side of the bottom value character.  The 5 sen position of “mihon” characters are close together under the bottom value character.

Number of raimon in borders (both 200 mon and 2 sen):

  1. Type D, N border:  5 full raimon.  Type D, W border:  4 1/2 raimon.
  2. Type F, N border:  4 1/2 raimon.  Type F, W border:   5 full raimon.
  3. Type G, N border: 4 1/2 raimon.   Type G, W border: 4 raimon.
Unknown: 500 mon, "mihon" type F

500 mon, Type F

Unknown: 5 sen, "Mihon" type G

5 sen, Type G

Hirose: 500 mon, Die A

Hirose:  200 Mon, Die A –  3 loin flames but only 2 in genuine

There are no Hirose 500 mon Die B graphics available at this time.

Hirose: 5 sen, Die A

Hirose:  2 Sen, Die A –  3 loin flames, but only 2 in genuine

There are no Hirose 5 sen Die B graphics available at this time.

Hirose Forgeries “unsigned”

Engraved

All of the designs for both the mon and the sen values, were printed with the same engraved plate. Only the values and color were changed.  Hirose imitated the basic vignette of the 48 mon and 1/2 sen for all the dragon values.

Varro E. Tyler in his book Philatelic Forgers, Their Lives and Works, pp 53-54 says that, the forgeries of the 1871-1872 Dragon stamps were produced in sheets of 48 (6 x 8) from two engraved dies. The two dies have been designated as A-die and B-die. The A-die was later retouched altering the right upper claw of the east dragon, leaving the claw shorten and incomplete. The eight different inscriptions for the black value indicia required separate dies.

Spiro “unsigned”

Lithographed
Spiro: 500 mon, type 1

Spiro: 500 mon, type 1, circles in shippō, 2 half raimon

Spiro: t00 mon, type 3

Spiro: 500 mon, type 3, dots in shippō, “elephant trunk” NW fire flame

Spiro: 5 sen, type 1

Spiro: 5 sen, type 1, circles in shippō, 2 half raimon

Spiro: 5 sen type 3

Spiro: 5 sen, type 3, dots in shippō, “elephant trunk” NW fire flame

Kasahara? “unsigned”

Engraved – Most deceptive forgeries

All other values of the Dragon stamps have been forged by Kasahara.  While it is presumed that he forged both the 500 mon or 5 sen value, the 5 sen value has not been found.

 

 

 

Genuine 500 mon Dragon with Kasahara?

Kasahara?: 500 mon

Others not “Signed

Unknown forger: 500 mon, primitive design with dash

Unknown Forger: 500 mon, Primitive Design (large dash)

 

Unknown Forger: 500 mon, Primitive design

Unknown Forger: 500 mon, Primitive Design

 

Unknown Forger: 500 mon with vignette of 48 mon

“Unsigned”  – ABC Kurabu (ABC Club) – 1950’s-1960’s

More information about the ABC Kurabu Forgeries and Vignettes click here.

Genuine with ABC: 500 mon & 5 sen dragons, vignette D

ABC Kurabu (ABC Club) 500 mon & 5 sen – Vignette D

States 1 & 2 of the 500 mon (No. 4), state 5 of the 5 sen (No. 8)

Characteristics of Vignette D:

      1. West dragon’s flame short and line unfinished.
      2. Inner frame line missing.
Genuine with ABC: 500 mon & 5 sen dragons, vignette E

ABC Kurabu (ABC Club) 500 mon and 5 sen – Vignette E

States 3 & 5 of the 500 mon (No. 4). State 3 of the 5 sen (No. 8)

Characteristics of Vignette E:

      1. Extra dot.
      2. Large break in outer frame line.
Genuine 5 sen & ABC Kurabu: Vignette I

ABC Kurabu (ABC Club) 5 sen – Vignette I

States 1 & 2 (No. 8)

Characteristics of Vignette I:

      1. Large blur