Top Prices Paid for Rare Jenny Invert Stamps

Mystic is Paying Top Prices for the
Rare 2013 Jenny Invert Stamps

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Are you one of the lucky few to find a right-side-up Jenny Invert sheet? Mystic will pay more for your stamps. Call 1-800-835-3609 or email stampbuyer@mysticstamp.com to get an instant offer for your stamps.

The Postal Service created 100 additional sheets of the Inverted Jenny Commemorative with the plane flying the right way. In other words, it’s an “inverted invert.” In essence, this is a “misprint of a misprint” or an “intentional error.” No matter what you call it, these stamps have created a fun story for collectors. And for a lucky few, they will be a valuable discovery.

The lucky folks who find one of the rare modern Jenny invert stamps will also discover a note of congratulations and a phone # to call to receive a certificate signed by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

Mystic Stamp Company is America’s leading stamp buyer and has a long, well-reported history of paying more for stamps. In fact, Mystic owned the only plate-number block of the original Jenny Inverted error stamps. Mystic displayed this national treasure at stamp shows before selling it for a record amount in 2014.

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Long-term Stamp Storage

Storing your stamps for a period of time?  Follow these tips to keep them safe…

Whether at home or in a storage unit, stamps and covers should be kept where humidity and temperature are at safe and fairly consistent levels.  High temperatures and humidity can activate the gum on the back of many stamps, which may cause them to stick to each other or to pages in stock books and albums.  Stamps that are kept in cold temperatures may become brittle, which can also be damaging.  Ideally, stamps should be stored at room temperature with a relative humidity of 50%.  (Tip – silica gel, which is available at most hardware and craft stores, is an easy and affordable way to control humidity.) Continue reading

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I Am Only a Postage Stamp

Most people take postage stamps for granted.  They think they’re useful for getting letters and bills where they need to go.  As collectors, we know those little pieces of paper mean so much more.  They reflect the history of issuing country and allow us to travel back in time to experience life more than a century ago.  The following poem by Ernest W. Brady sums up how a lot of us feel about the humble little postage stamp.

BLACK1xI Am Only a Postage Stamp

“I am the world’s greatest traveler. I have been transported by camel, dog sled, pony express, bicycle, train, steamship, automobile, airplane, airship and rocket. On my face are the portraits of kings, presidents, queens, princes, princesses, shahs, sultans, tribal chiefs, adventurers, explorers, patriots, martyrs, inventors, pioneers, artists, musicians, architects, poets, aviators, dramatists, novelists, painters, athletes, cardinals, saints and sinners.

“I picture maps of the world and parts of the world.  I reveal views of strange foreign beaches, rivers, lakes, sounds, waterfalls, geysers, mountains, monuments, castles, temples and ruins of temples, missions, bridges, harbors, docks, locks, waterfronts, locomotives, balloons, rockets, zeppelins, windjammers, and trans-Atlantic liners, native canoes and modern giant seaplanes.  I depict all manner of sports, industries, handicrafts, customs, sacred rites, ceremonies and parades, also nearly every variety of bird, animal, fish, flower, fruit and vegetable.  I delineate the vanished forms of the phoenix, the griffin, the dragon, the centaur and unicorn.

“The heroes and heroines of mythology pose within my borders and I frame the horrors of war, the blessings of peace, the plight of indigence, the blight of famine, the hardships of emigration and the beauty of male and female nudity.  I illustrate the adventures of Don Quixote, the fairytales of childhood, the legends, the symbols of art, commerce, peace, agriculture, industry and the coats of arms and flags of all nations.

“I commemorate the wars, expeditions, inventions, voyages and discoveries, creations and constructions that make social life safe, livable and happy.  I am the world’s greatest picture chronicle.  Millions collect me.  Thousands have escaped boredom through my variety, hundreds have been saved from insanity through my fascination, yet – I am only a postage stamp.”

 

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How to measure perforations

Sometimes two stamps look alike and the only difference is the gauge of the perforations. Perforations are small rows of holes punched between stamps to make them easier to separate. We use a perforation gauge to measure the number of holes or teeth within two centimeters. If a stamp has 11 perforations in 2 cm, we say its “Perf 11.” Here are some tips to get a precise measurement.Measureing-perfsTo measure your stamp, lay it on the center
of your gauge. Slide the stamp up or down until the perforations on the stamp line up exactly with the pattern on the gauge.

Be sure to measure horizontally and vertically, because many stamps have different sized perfs. These stamps will be listed with the horizontal perforations first, then the vertical. (For example, the 1984 Winter Olympic stamps, U.S. #2067-70, measure perf 10 ½ X 11. That means there are 10 ½ perfs every 2 cm horizontally and 11 perfs every 2 cm vertically.)

If you need a perforation gauge, click here to get the long-lasting aluminum gauge pictured above.  Other options include Linn’s Multi-Gauge and Precision US Specialty Multi-Gauge.

 

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Water-activated vs. self-adhesive stamps

The world’s first adhesive postage stamp was issued by Great Britain in 1837.  The Penny Black had a substance applied to the back made from potato starch, wheat starch, and acacia gum.  For more than a century, most stamps were water activated, meaning they had a gum backing that had to be moistened before use.   Collectors soaked these stamps in water to remove the paper the stamp was applied to.  (For more information about soaking stamps click here.)

Self-adhesive stamps are issued on a special backing paper.  Once peeled off the backing, the adhesive allows the stamps to be affixed without being moistened.  If you want to put mint self-adhesive stamps in your collection, don’t remove the backing paper!  Just trim it within 1/8” of the edge of your stamp.

3632-serpent-perfMost U.S. stamps issued today are self-adhesive.  They have wavy, “serpentine” die cuts
made to look like perforations or they’ll have no perforations at all.

1552The first U.S. self-adhesive stamp was issued in for the 1974 Christmas season.  It was more expensive to produce than water-activated stamps and Postal Service officials thought it was being reused.  For collectors, the problem occurred over time.  They found if they tried to soak the stamp off the paper, the stamp’s paper would separate destroying the stamp.  Many collectors just trimmed the paper.  After several years, the stamps became discolored because of the unstable adhesive that was used.  It would be many years before the U.S. would issue another self-adhesive stamp.

The Postal System tried self-adhesives again in 1989 with greater success.  The 1990s and 2431early 2000s marked a transition time.  In 1994, less than 10 percent of U.S. stamps
were self-adhesive.  By 2013, almost all the stamps were issued with that way.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Difference Between Definitive and Commemorative Stamps

Definitive stamps are sometimes called the “workhorse” of the postal system. They’re also known as regular-issue stamps. They pay postage on everyday mail and are issued in lots of denominations. Often a particular definitive stamp design is used for long periods of time, and sometimes reprinted to replenish supplies.

Definitives are fun to collect. There may be small difference among stamps, which at first glance appear the same. Characteristics to look for include small changes due to variations in printing plates or printing methods; a different shade or color; margin dates, watermarks (on older U.S. stamps), perforations, microprinting, and type of gum (self-adhesive or water-activated).

Definitive stamps

Definitive stamps

A Commemorative is a stamp issued to honor an important person, event, or anniversary. It’s printed in smaller quantities than definitives, and is sold for a limited time, usually a few months. Unsold stamps are generally destroyed.

The first U.S. commemorative stamps were issued in honor of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. The 16-stamp series depicted the various stages of Columbus’ voyages to the New World. Today these stamps are highly valued by collectors.  As you can see, commemoratives make America’s history come alive.

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The Columbians – the first U.S. commemorative stamp series. A total of 16 stamps told the story of Columbus’ journey to the New World.

 

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