Dr. Chase cites that Plate 1i came into use about the middle of July, 1851, with the earliest known use on a cover dated July 13, 1851. The plate was used for about three months, when it was again softened and extensively reentered and recut, which then resulted in the third state of the plate, Plate 1L. The intermediate stage recutting was the same as found in Plate 1E, with no additional touching up of the designs done for Plate 1i. Although the reentry was done to deepen the impressions from the fairly faint impressions of Plate 1E, the reentry failed, and the impressions of Plate 1i are no deeper than Plate 1E. In fact, Dr. Chase notes that due to the reentry, many of the fine lines are actually fainter on Plate 1i than on Plate 1E. Approximately 4,050,200 stamps (20,251 impressions were printed from Plate 1i. The plate showed no wear, so impressions are clear. Refer to Dr. Chase's book The 3¢ Stamp of the United States 1851-1857 Issue for the full story of Plate 1i.
Plate 1i - Earliest Use July 12, 1851; Used for 2 1/2 Months; 20,251 impressions/4,050,200 stamps/1.12% of issued; 65 Scott 10, 135 Scott 10A:
Chase - Plate 1i:
Images are provided courtesy of Smithsonian's National Postal Museum