When Manning published his work in 2009 he used a similar but expanded rating scale, based on a physical count of over 36,000 numerals on Queensland stamps. Manning further refined his rating scale when publishing his 2nd edition, released in March 2014, with 7,000 more numerals physically counted as well as receiving feedback and examples from collectors who had used his first edition.
I have retained Manning’s scale as
- it would be pointless to develop a new scale when one already exists and is based on some 43,000 examples
- there is a need to maintain consistency
- Manning’s scale is logical and well thought out.
I have updated the ratings used by Manning for those numerals where additional material or new discoveries have come to light since his publication. As well, for the 4R and 5R ratings I have included all examples owned, seen or located by me in order that over time we can get some idea of just how many copies of these numerals exist. For other ratings I have included the best examples available.
I have also included examples of the different issues where available, covering the NSW issues, Chalons, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd side faces as well as Revenue and Commonwealth (Kangaroos and King George V) issues. I will also be including as much “proving” material as possible. Proving material is where a numeral can be tied to a location, usually through a date stamp or registered hand stamp.
In my experience Manning’s ratings are pretty accurate, which would be expected given the number of copies he examined. However I believe that some of the numerals on both the Chalons and the Commonwealth issues below numeral 600 + are not as rare as indicated by him. The reason for this may simply be that with the rise of the Internet and Ebay many of these numeral examples held outside of Australia are becoming known for the first time.
This is Manning’s rating scale, which I have broadly adopted: