The recuts and reentries which resulted in Plate 2L were made about January 1, 1852. It was used continuously until some time after February 24, 1857, when perforated stamps first appeared. Because some of the typical colors used during 1856 are not seen in this plate, it is likely that this plate was out of use for some of 1856. Because the 1857 impressions are beautifully clear, which was not the case with those printed in 1855, it is probable that the plate was carefully cleaned in 1856. This appearance may have been partly due to better ink in 1857 as well. Approximately 85,246,200 stamps (426,231 impressions) were printed from Plate 2L. Refer to Dr. Chase's book The 3¢ Stamp of the United States 1851-1857 Issue for the full story of Plate 2L.
Plate 2L - Earliest Use January 12, 1852; Used for 62 Months; 426,231 impressions/85,246,200 stamps/23.53% of issued; 200 Scott 11A:
Chase - Plate 2L:
Images are provided courtesy of Smithsonian's National Postal Museum