This stamp of George Washington from the New York Postmasters' Provisionals stamp series was issued in July of 1845 with a face value of five cents. Five cents may not be worth much these days but in 1845 it was feared that the five-cent stamp would get stolen. Thus, to deter theft the post office clerk inscribed his initials in ink on each stamp that was made before anyone could purchase it. Although the stamp was only made for use by the New York Post Office, the stamp became popular among New Yorkers and beyond. Unknowingly to many, the stamp's popularity didn't last over 2 years. And, if we were to take a guess why... our guess is there's probably not enough hands to initial each George Washington stamp!