Stamps (Philately)/#581?




You answered my last question so well, so here I am again. I have this stamp (listed Scott #581 on the back), but this Franklin stamp is so similar to other Franklin stamps, that I wanted to make sure this is right as there's a pretty big price difference. Though the scan cut it off the top edge, the stamp appears to be in mint condition other than the pencil on the back. If it is a Scott #581, am I correct in assuming it's worth less than $3?

Thanks so much!


Hi Robbie,
  So not sure which 1922 - 1928 1c Franklin you have?
  Ok, let's narrow some things down.

I'll run this one down a little faster than last time, since the premise is the same.

First: Press type?  Rotary or Flat?  In this case, clearly rotary.
How can we tell?  Two things are a giveaway in this case.  First, no ink on the back and second, the gum has a certain "stripe" to it.  It's laid down in stripes which is common on these rotary issues.

So now we know that 552 and 575 are out.
That leaves us with 578, 581, 594, 596, 597, 604 and 632.  So let's knock out some more obvious ones.

It is perfed on all 4 sides, to all imperf and coils can be eliminated.  So that removes 597, 604 (we already took out the imperf 575 as it was flat plate printed).

Now we have 578, 581, 594, 596, and 632 remaining.

For this, we need our handy Perf gauge.
Now, from a photo, unfortunately it is impossible for me to tell the perf, especially when we starting seeing the difference from 11 x 10 1/2.  It's just too close.  You will need to get your perf gauge out and check them.  They break down as follows:

578 Perf 11 x 10 - Leading perf is always the horizontal perf (top and bottom) second if different is vertical.  So if your stamp perfs out at 11 x 10 - it's a 578 MNH CV:$170

581 Perf 10 - This is your "suspected stamp".  If it's 10 on all 4 sides, then the MNH CV is $22.50 (the pencil marks will turn some collectors off, but much of that may be easily removed with a soft eraser).

594 Perf 11 with design 19 3/4mm x 22 1/4mm - Highly unlikely for your stamp.  Perf 11 on all 4 sides, MNH CV is $65,000.  This is an unusual stamp as it was printed on "Printers waste" and there are very few of them.  These would most likely be bureau pre-canceled, and this one is not.

596 Pref 11 with design 19 1/4mm x 22 1/2mm similar to the 594 in rarity, MNH CV:$100,000 Highly unlikely.

632 Perf 11 x 10 1/2 - A strong possibility for your stamp, MNH CV: $0.35

If you don't have a perf gauge, you may still be able to determine the perforation of the stamp.  Simply use another KNOWN stamp that comes only in that perf and lay it over the top to see if they align exactly.

For a Perf 10 stamp I would suggest using any of the 401 - 404.

Any 704 - 715 Washington Bicentential Issue are all perf 11 x 10 1/2.  So you can use the perf 11 side for checking 11's, and the full stamp to check for #632.  My guess is you are most likely a 632 or 581.

Check your perf, and you will know.

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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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