50¢ Light violet
Printing Method: Flat Plate
Subject: Benjamin Franklin
Number issued: 591,000
Scott #: 477
Issued: March 2nd, 1917
$8 - $15
No postmark with gum (MH)
$190 - $370
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$600 - $900
The fifty cent denomination was issued primarily to care for the payment of registration fees and for parcel post. An example of the parcel post box cancel can be seen on the stamp shown above.
Earliest known use of #477, August 31, 1917
The stamps on unwatermarked paper were current for a little over five months. They have never been plentiful and are relatively scarce. This unwatermarked paper was used with the old perf. 10 machines while the Bureau was waiting for the perforating wheels to wear out prior to changing all machines to 11 gauge. The use of this new paper before this change was unexpected by collectors. As a result, this perf. 10 unwatermarked variety was almost entirely overlooked.
Due to the color of the stamp the watermark on the previous issue is difficult to see, extreme care should be used in classifying it. Several tests may be necessary to be sure that no watermark exists.
Town cancels on #477 are scarce. Most commonly you will find the oval registry postmark, or the boxed parcel post postmark, which are heavy and frequently stamped multiple times on the stamp. This making the locating of an attractive used stamp difficult.
#477 was issued with the following plate #'s
7040-42, 49, 57
This stamp differs from the lower values in that it was printed from 200 subject plates instead of the usual 400.