2013 USA Inverted Jenny Mini-sheet MUH

2013 USA Inverted Jenny Mini-sheet MUH
Product Code: USA
Availability: In Stock
Price: $18.00

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To Delight Stamp Collectors, Postal Service Turns a Famous Mistake Upside Down


Published: October 6, 2013

In an effort to rekindle the public’s excitement over stamp collecting and interest a new generation in the hobby, the United States Postal Service has created an instant stamp rarity — a twist on one of the world’s most famous and valuable stamps.

The Postal Service reissued the Inverted Jenny with a face value of $2. It comes in mini-sheets of six with a decorative border.

The campaign involves the post office’s recent reprint of the classic 95-year-old stamp error known to collectors as the Inverted Jenny, which shows a Curtiss JN-4 biplane, or a “Jenny,” printed upside down.

That 24-cent airmail stamp, America’s first, was intended for mail carried on an experimental air service between Washington and New York. One bright morning in 1918, a collector named William T. Robey walked into his local post office to buy some stamps, and his life was changed forever.

When Mr. Robey spotted the glaring misprint, he knew he had struck gold. He promptly resold his full sheet of 100 inverts to a dealer and bought himself a new house with the proceeds.

No further examples of the error ever surfaced, and nowadays when one of the vintage inverts comes up for sale, it reliably fetches a six-figure price.

Last month, for the opening of the William H. Gross stamp gallery at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in Washington, the Postal Service reissued the Inverted Jenny, this time with a face value of $2, in mini-sheets of six with a decorative border.

The original dies were used as a basis for the design, and the stamps were printed using the same intaglio engraving process as the originals. The press run was more than two million, according to the service, but included in the run were some intentional “errors” that postal officials did not publicize.

“We thought, wouldn’t it be funny if some of the inverts came out wrong, and actually got printed right side up?” the postmaster general, Patrick R. Donahoe, said in an interview. “And we started thinking, what a great way to recreate the excitement Robey must have felt when he found that first sheet.”

As a result, 100 of the new sheets actually show the airplane flying upright. Each sheet is individually wrapped, so no one can see the stamps before they are bought. A note is included with the right-side-up rarities, alerting buyers to their true nature. Lucky finders can obtain a certificate signed by the postmaster general.

This sheet is the 'Normal' Mini-sheet as issued by the USPS, and is not one of the 100 showing the bi-plane flying 'right way' up.

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