Stamps (Philately)/Value of stamps


Franklin 1 cent
Franklin 1 cent  

Gutenberg bible 1st day issue
Gutenberg bible 1st da  
The pictured stamp is one of the many I collected on my first years as a stamp collector. I had found it when I was very young. Could you tell me what #stamp it is and it's value?  Thank you for you time and information.

Hi Roxanne,
  Let's take the Gutenberg issue first.  It is a Scott #1014.  As a first day cover, it has a value of $1.50.

The Franklin is a little trickier.  It is most likely a #552, and on postcard as you have this one it has a catalog value of 25 cents.

However, this issue has some interesting other possibilities.  They all depend on the perforation around the stamp, which I can't tell from the image.  It appears to me to be perf 11, but that isn't always easy to see.  A perf gauge needs to be used to check the real perf of the stamp on sides and top/bottom (horizontal and vertical).

Other possibilities are that it could be a #578 which is perf 11 (horizontal) and perf 10 (vertical).  That would have a catalog value of $700 on cover (on the postcard or envelope).  But don't get your hopes up.  The odds are low this is one of them.

Yet another possibility is #581, with perfs being 10 all around.  (Doesn't look like that to me in the photo).  On postcard, that would have a catalog value of 85 cents.

There is a very very slim chance it is a #594.  This stamp was printed on "coil waste".  There are only a few known.  That can only be determined by measuring with precision the stamp image (just the printed part).  If it measured as 19 3/4mm x 22 1/4mm then it could be a 594.  That has a catalog value on cover of $20,000.

Last, and I have ruled this out really based on the cancel (not cancelled in Kansas City, or KC precancelled) is another coil waste stamp, #596 which is 19 1/2mm x 22 1/2mm.  These are rare indeed, so to be honest unlikely given the other features as well, but if it were to be, it would have a catalog value of a whopping $150,000.

So this one I would really expect is the 552, but may be worth having someone look a little closer at it.

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Scott Payton


My expertise is in US, but I have a lot of exposure to worldwide, and with wide reference material, I will do what I can to answer questions about global stamps. In US I have extensive experience in all aspects (does include Administrative overprints for Cuba, China, Puerto Rico etc.). Also, Hawaii general issue and Revenue (pre-statehood). Of course still building knowledge but have been collecting since 1980. Air Mail is a favorite area, but not a limitation. Two specialty areas are Large Banknote issues, and Washington/Franklin identification. Strong experience in Carrier & Locals, Private Die (Also known as M&M for "Match & Medicine" but also includes some playing card and perfume stamp issues.) Recently have been building more back-of-book experience, especially around Official, Newspaper, Revenue and tax editions. Some covers, and cancellations, but not my strong suit. Another area I'm recently diving into. What I can't do: Anything non-US, as it's just not an area I focus on.


30+ years of learning the hard way. A lot of passion for collecting and dealing (as I do both). I don't consider it a hobby... I consider it a serious pursuit that I'm able to do in the hours I'm not occupied by annoying things like sleep. I work closely with some of the global leaders in the expertizing and identification field. Have co-authored several papers (with Mr. William Weiss Jr.) related to identification, as well as tool set to help with quickly identifying the more challenging areas of Washington Franklin. Strong experience in paper types and coil validation.

Member of APS #222356.

1870 - 1879 Large Banknote Issues - Easy Identification (co-authored with William Weiss Jr). Washington-Franklin - Easy Identification (co-authored with William Weiss Jr.) Detecting Fakes, Alterations and Counterfeits (APS Summer Session Expertizing Session materials with William Weiss Jr.)

Thousands and thousands of hours of pouring over hundreds of collections. 30+ years as a collector-to-dealer, avid student of philatelic study. Pre-1900 variation is fascinating, and it seems even after all these years, that I make some discovery every time I look at a new example. APS Summer Session - Fundamentals of Expertizing 2014

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100's too numerous to mention.

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