The rare 1923 Benjamin Franklin stamp headlining May 20-21 Rasdale auction

May 3, 2021, 5 AM
This used example of the 1923 1¢ green Benjamin Franklin stamp processed from coil waste printed on the rotary press will be offered during the May 20-21 Rasdale auction.

By Michael Baadke

The May 20-21 auction from Rasdale Stamp Co. will include a rare example of the 1923 1¢ green Benjamin Franklin coil waste stamp, printed on the rotary press and perforated gauge 11 (Scott 594).

The postally used stamp has been authenticated by the Philatelic Foundation with a 2017 certificate stating “it is genuine, used with a Cleveland, O. PMK [postmark], with a horizontal crease across top of Franklin’s head.”

The census of Scott 594 maintained by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries lists 120 known examples of the stamp. A black-and-white image in the census identified as 594-CAN-39 matches the example offered in the Rasdale sale.

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A note in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers listing for the coil waste variety values it at $11,000, but further explains that for this issue the listed value is for a stamp with perforations just touching the frameline on one side.

The perforations on the example in the Rasdale sale, however, clear the frameline on all sides, the auction firm notes.

The unusual variety was created when the Bureau of Engraving and Printing salvaged unused rotary-printed stamps from a print run of coils, and perforated them gauge 11 for sale in post offices.

The precise size of the stamp design and the gauge 11 perforations aid in identifying the variety.

The live auction will take place beginning May 20 at 10 a.m. Eastern time. Pre-auction bidding ends May 19 at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Rasdale Stamp Co., 35 Chestnut Ave., Westmont, IL 60559.