US Stamps

By Jay Bigalke

Finder of Inverted Jenny variety cleaned out the local post office

December 27, 2013 08:07 AM

  • A United States Postal Service publicity image of a single $2 Inverted Jenny stamp from the intentionally created variety with the plane flying right side up. One pane of six was purchased recently at a New York post office.

As of late December, only four inverted Inverted Jenny stamp panes had been reported to the United States Postal Service as found.

The Postal Service has provided details of the fourth find, which took place in Waverly, N.Y.

Art Van Riper discovered one of the intentionally created varieties of the Inverted Jenny pane of six that shows the airplanes on the stamps flying right side up.

The Postal Service made just 100 panes of the variety, out of the 2.2 million panes created.

“I read about the Postal Service’s initiative to draw more people into stamp collecting and figured I’d make a trip to the post office,” Van Riper said. “I figured what the heck. If I don’t pick the right-side up Jenny, these will make for great stocking stuffers and be perfect for mailing Christmas packages.”

His trip to the Waverly, N.Y., post office took place in November, where he encountered sales associate Betty Gable.

According to Gable, Van Riper requested five sheets.

“I told him our office had 45, and he might as well buy them all I joked, as the last one will probably be the one.”

Convinced, he purchased the sheets and the intentional variety (securely sealed and hidden in an envelope, like all the other Jenny panes) just happened to be in that last pack.

According to the Postal Service, Van Riper has already received his certificate of acknowledgment signed by the postmaster general.

As reported on page 13 in Linn’s Dec. 30, 2013 issue, four of the varieties have been found to date. The first find was made in Canada through an eBay purchase from the Postal Service.

The second and third were found in California and Illinois. The California purchase was made through USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services.

Additional details about the Illinois find were unavailable.