1908-1922 50¢ Washington/Franklins
(read how to identify your stamp below)
This is the 50¢ Washington or Franklin. It is not that common and usually can be worth up to $12 used, however it can have good value when unused. If the stamp has a picture of Washington (Design A) then you have #341. If the stamp has a picture of Franklin on it (Design B) then read on below.
DETERMINING THE PERFORATIONS ON
Count the perforations along the bottom, its as simple as that! Below is a chart indicating the perforations of each Stamps Catalog numnber.
As you can see both catalog number 440 and 477 have the same number of perforations. How does one tell them apart? The difference is that one has a watermark and one does not.
DETERMINING THE WATERMARK
To know which watermark a stamp has, one needs watermark fluid or lighter fluid (both of these are extremely flammable and should be used with extreme caution, outside, in a safe area far away from combustible materials). Soak the stamp in the fluid in small plate with a black or very dark color. The watermark will show, sometimes faintly by looking at the back of the stamp. The watermark fluid will quickly evaporate from the stamp, leaving the stamp and its gum intact.
If there is a watermark on the stamp the watermark will show part or all of a letter U, S or P. See illustration below