US Stamps

Be aware of fakes before buying this Franklin stamp

Mar 20, 2019, 9 AM
Many collectors are looking to buy the 1910 1¢ green Benjamin Franklin horizontal coil stamp (Scott 392) with gauge 8½ vertical perforations. Be aware because it has been forged extensively.

By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

On Dec. 12, 1910, the U.S. Post Office Department issued a 1¢ green Benjamin Franklin horizontal coil stamp (Scott 392) as part of the long-running Washington-Franklin definitive series. The stamp was printed on paper with a single-line “U S P S” watermark and was perforated vertically gauge 8½.

The 2019 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the stamp in mint never-hinged condition at $65 and in unused hinged condition at $27.50. Even though this is a relatively inexpensive stamp, many collectors need it and are looking to buy it.

There are lots of fakes in the marketplace produced by adding bogus perforations to the 1¢ imperforate sheet stamp (Scott 383). You can often detect a fake because it is just too good to be true and in extra fine grade. When buying a stamp in very fine or extremely fine grade, you should have it expertized to ensure it is genuine.

The stamp is a good buy in both mint never-hinged condition and unused hinged condition and VF grade at 80 percent of Scott catalog value. Even stamps in lower grades are a good buy at lower percentages of catalog value.  

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