Siderography Plate Duplicates-Does plate sharpness deteriorate with replication?
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BACKGROUND: During most of the 19th century and much of the 20th, banknotes were printed from plates created by Siderography. Simplified, this involves these processes: 1) engrave a plate, 2) harden that plate (with temperature/quenching), 3) Press an un-hardened (softer) steel plate into the First Plate, so that the steel gets pressed into the Grooves, thereby creating an Embossed version, 4) harden the Embossed version and 5) Press the hardened Embossed Version into (multiple) new un-hardened steel plates to create De-Bossed images, then Harden the De-Bossed versions. Step 5 can be performed many times (don't know how many).

 

HERE's the QUESTION: It would seem that using an Embossed Roller to make new plates would entail wear-and-tear on the Embossed Roller. To me, that suggests that the First Plate Created for a New Note would be the SHARPEST version, with the clearest and crispest lines printed. Is that true? If so, do First-Plate PRINTED Notes earn a premium price in the marketplace because their Embossing is nicer, their printing finer & sharper?

Edited by DaMo
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