US Stamps

Look for popular U.S. 1847 5¢ Franklin reproduction

Jun 27, 2019, 8 AM
The 1875 United States official reproduction of the 1847 5¢ Benjamin Franklin stamp (Scott 3) is popular and a good buy in very fine grade at 80 percent to 90 percent of the 2019 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers value.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

In 1875, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced official reproductions of the first general issue postage stamps, the 1847 5¢ Benjamin Franklin and the 10¢ George Washington (Scott 1-2).

The reproductions were printed from new plates of 50 subjects. Like the originals, they were printed on unwatermarked paper and were imperforate.

Although the reproductions were never valid for postage, they are listed and valued in the 2019 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers as Scott 3 and 4.

The catalog offers extensive notes on how to distinguish the reproductions from the original stamps. Although the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog calls it red brown, the 5¢ Franklin stamp is normally a nice chestnut color.

We last tipped the 5¢ Franklin reproduction stamp (Scott 3) in the Stamp Market Tips column in the Aug. 9, 2010, issue of Linn’s. It is time to tip it again.

Only 4,779 of the 5¢ reproduction stamps were sold. The Scott U.S. Specialized catalog values a four-margin example with no gum as issued at $900.

This stamp is very popular and needed by many collectors. In very fine grade, it is a good buy at 80 percent to 90 percent of Scott catalog value.

Examples in the grade of extra fine bring a nice premium. Examples in fine-very fine grade are worth 75 percent to 80 percent of catalog value.

Study the design differences noted in the Scott catalog before buying.

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