U.S. # 4806
2013 $2 Inverted Jenny
Nearly a century ago, the purchase of a single pane of U.S. stamps turned the collecting world upside down. The “Jenny Invert” became the world’s most famous stamp, and the 100 examples were eagerly sought after by prominent collectors. Billionaire investor Bill Gross was one of them.
In 2005, Gross paid $2.97 million to buy the unique Jenny Invert Plate-Number Block. He then exchanged the block of four stamps for the 1868 1¢ Z Grill owned by Don Sundman, president of Mystic Stamp Company, in a one-for-one trade that made international headlines.
Another block of four Jenny Inverts is on permanent display at the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C., courtesy of Mr. Gross. The display was unveiled at the opening of the museum’s new gallery, which was funded largely by his generosity. Named in his honor, the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery is the world’s largest philatelic showcase. The 12,000-square-foot facility houses some of the greatest stamp rarities and is a mecca for collectors around the world.
To commemorate the gallery’s opening in 2013, the U.S. Postal Service issued a souvenir sheet of six $2 Jenny Inverts. This sheet was printed using plates created from the original 1918 dies. Now collectors can see the legendary Jenny Inverts on display and add a reprint of the famous “Upside-Down Airplane” stamps to their own collection.
The selvage artwork around the stamps pictures the National Postal Museum, aviation pioneer Reuben H. Fleet, a map of the first scheduled Air Mail route, and a compass rose.
Value: $2 – to distinguish from the 24¢ 1918 original
Issued: September 22, 2013
First Day City: Washington, D.C.
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America Inc., for Sennett Security Products
Method: Offset printing in sheets of 108 in 18 panes of 6
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ½ x 11 ¼
Quantity Printed: 2,182,000 panes
Click here to learn more about America’s first Air Mail flight and here to discover more neat history behind the Jenny Invert.
The above special event cover was obtained by Mystic Stamp Company president, Don Sundman, at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. The cover features the 2013 Inverted Jenny tribute stamp and was signed by all who attended the ceremony, including Bill Gross himself.