$13.65 U.S. Capitol at Dusk
Issue Date: July 30, 2002
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset with scrambled Indicia
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11 ¼
This Express Mail stamp features the famous Capitol building in Washington, D.C. It is a symbol of America and democracy, with the cornerstone laid by President George Washington himself in 1793. The Capitol has gone through many changes over the years and now includes a range of different paintings and sculptures of U.S. history displayed inside. The building attracts between three and five million visitors every year.
First U.S. Stamp With Scrambled Indicia
On September 18, 1997, the USPS issued the U.S. Air Force stamp, the first U.S. stamp to have a hidden image using Scrambled Indicia.
Over the years, the USPS had always sought ways to combat counterfeiting, with grills being one of the earliest examples. As technologies changed, they found new, more advanced ways to do this, including microprinting and tagging. Then in 1997, they introduced Scrambled Indicia.
Scrambled Indicia is a pre-press process invented by Graphic Security Systems Corporation. According to the company, it “scrambles, distorts, intertwines, overlaps, or otherwise manipulates images making encoded information on them unreadable by the naked eye, and non-copyable by current color copiers and digital scanners.” These images could then be viewed using a special decoder. In addition to thwarting counterfeiting, the USPS also hoped this interesting new technology could help arouse interest among collectors and inspire new ones.
Between 1997 and 2004 the USPS produced more than 40 stamps with Scrambled Indicia:
Click here to view the “decoded” stamps.
Click here to get your own decoder to see these neat hidden images in person.