There are four major types of the 1913 Christmas Seal, and varieties within these types. Also illustrated are some of the proposed designs, or essays created in the development of the finished seal, as well as the Chicago local that closely resembles the type 1.
1) Poinsettia flowers in the side panels. This, the holy grail of US Christmas Seal collecting is very rare, with only one sheet believed to have been produced.
2a) Poinsettia flowers removed, but green circles around the crosses in the side panels remain. Bottom left of upper ribbon with “American Red Cross” has closed curl (filled in green).
2b) Poinsettia flowers removed, but green circles around the crosses in the side panels remain. Bottom left of upper ribbon with “American Red Cross” has open curl (filled in red).
Type 2a&b varieties only discovered in the new melinum by CS&CSS member, Joseph Ward
3) Green circles around the crosses in the side panels removed.
4) Imperforate, issued without gum, with printed dashes (simulated roulette) between seals. Unknown origin, but some examples have partial printing on back; an important clue yet to be decyphered. I'm also illustrating the only known tied on
Some Essays - imperforate, issued without gum in panes of 10 (2x5) One bears a strong resemblance to the type one, with poinsettias in the side panels, but sharper, with proof like details. Varieties include, black vignette, green vignette, incomplete poinsettias, and fewer shading lines above the highest mountain.
Chicago local TB Christmas Seals used US National designs from 1912-1914. The1913 issue bears a strong resemblance to type 1, but is easily distinguished by comparison. Both have poinsettias in the side panels, but the Chicago local is lighter green, and Santa's sleigh has red in it. The Chicago local is not as finely printed as the the national issue. Though not visible on this illustration, the Chicago local has a Union Label, just below the center bottom of each seal.