Identifying the DDR Five-Year Plan Stamps Series

There are several characteristics of the DDR Five-Year Plan stamps that will help you to identify which stamp is which.  These include the denomination, the image, the perforations and the watermarks. In many cases, you will not need to know each of these.  Several stamps in the series can be easily identified by simply looking at a couple of the characteristics without the need for a magnifier or watermark fluid.  For others, however, more investigation is needed although in no case is it at all difficult to determine which stamp you have.

To use this website, simply click the "+" next to the denomination of the stamp to be identified, then continue clicking the "+" signs as you work your way through the characteristics needed for the given denomination.  As you reach the end of the decisions, a representative image will allow you to confirm that you have identified your stamp correctly.

To help explain some of the characteristics, simply refer to the guide below.

Denomination - the value printed on the stamp. These vary from 1pf to 84pf.

Imprint - on several stamps in this series, the first initial and last name of the engraver and designer are printed directly below the main stamp image.  These are easily seen without magnification. See example  below.

Print Method - either "litho" or "typo".  The "litho" stamps have a smoother background created from small dots and appear somewhat fuzzy or out of focus.  The "typo" stamps use lines to create the background and are noticeable sharper in appearance.

Picture - some stamps have distinctly different pictures for a given denomination.  Simply choose the proper picture from the choices provided.

Perf - some stamps are perforated 13x12.5 or 14x14 where the first number indicates the horizontal perforation count.  Use a perf gauge to measure the perforations on the stamp that you want to identify.

Watermark - the most difficult characteristic to distinguish. Watermarks for this series exist in two different styles: "DDR and Posthorns" or "DDR and Quatrefoils".  The "posthorn" is a curved, horn-shaped image while the "quatrefoils" resembles a four-leaved clover.  Each of these is intertwined with the letters "DDR".  The watermarks can be seen by dipping the stamp in watermark fluid, then placing it face-down on a black plastic tray.  In many instances, the watermarks are visible by simply holding the stamp up to a bright light.

There are a number of websites that explain the DDR Five Year Plan in much more detail. If you are interested in learning more, just search Google for a good selection of information.