1908-1922 13¢ Washington/Franklins
(read how to identify your stamp below)

Design A
Design B

This is the 13¢ Washington or Franklin. It is quite common and usually worth no more than a couple of dollars when used, however it can have reasonable value when unused. If the stamp has a picture of Washington (Design A) then click here. If the stamp has a picture of Franklin on it (Design B) then click here. There are two rare exceptions, where the stamp was printed on experimental paper. See below.


Identifying the type of paper the stamp was printed on is not easy. Usually one does not need to bother with this as over 99% of the 13¢ are printed on regular paper and their price is un-affected by the type of paper. There are two types of papers that the Post Office experimented with in an attempt to save on costs. These are all rare, they are;

  1. China Clay Paper - Very rarely on catalog number 339a
  2. Bluish Paper - Catalog number 365

China Clay Paper
I challenge most experts to identify this paper. My own opinion is that it should not be listed in Scotts catalog due to the difficulty in its authentication. China clay paper is called an 'experimental' paper. There is no clay in the paper and in fact there is very little to distinguish this paper from normal paper. At there time of printing there was a flood and this caused the water to wash the paper to be dirty, so miscroscopic examination of the paper might reveal particles of dirt in the paper fibers. The flood was short lived, shorter than the printing of this paper, so not all the supposed China Clay papers have this characteristic. To read the stamps history and an independent opinion click here. To see images of the stamps click here.

However, having said all this, certificates are issued for these (on what basis I have no idea), and they do sell at a premium. According to Scotts the paper was accidentally given a high mineral content (its aluminum) and the paper is thick, hard and grayish, often darker than "bluish" paper. The differences are, shall we say, subtle. My advise is not to buy even a certificated version, as Scotts has little supporting evidence to have awarded this category of paper catalog status.

Bluish Paper
If one reads Scotts one is led to believe that the paper used for the 'bluish' paper stamps was comprised of 35% rag stock. Which would lead one to believe that this aids identification. Unfortunately only 10% rag stock was used, making the difference between normal paper and bluish paper subtle. To show you how subtle, look at the stamp on the left, it is made of bluish paper. You can see the paper is just slightly darker. It does, in fact, have a slight greyish-blue tint to it. A bluish paper stamp will require certification. The 5¢ blue paper is exceedingly rare and it is difficult to identify because the blue of the printing frequently is echoed onto the paper (see example at the top of this page)

Bluish Paper Normal Paper