US Stamps

By Charles Snee

Sometimes a great philatelic discovery hides in plain sight: on a cover, in this case

March 20, 2015 12:04 PM

  • The 22¢ Stamp Collecting stamp on this 1986 event cover is missing the black used to print the Ameripex 86 first-day postmark near the bottom of the Ameripex 86 pane in the design. An eagle-eyed collector spotted the unassuming cover on eBay and paid 70¢ for it. Image courtesy of Gary Dunaier. Used with permission.

Who doesn’t enjoy making a spectacular discovery, one that really gets your heart racing?

In mid-March, one such find was reported on the “APS Stamp Talk with Nancy Clark” Facebook page.

Collector Gary Dunaier posted a picture of the 1986 event cover shown nearby.

The Feb. 15, 1986, Parpex Station postmark ties a single United States 22¢ Stamp Collecting booklet stamp (Scott 2201) to the envelope.

At first glance, nothing seems amiss with either the cover or the stamp, which Dunaier spotted recently on eBay.

What happened next?

“I came across this cover on eBay and put it on my ‘watch’ list because there was something about the cancel that appealed to me — specifically, how the ‘ATLANTA, GA STATION’ letters looked like they were taken from a typewriter,” wrote Dunaier on Clark’s Facebook page.

“I rarely commit to a watched item (that is, place a bid or let it go) until there’s less than 24 hours to go.

“But I looked at it before then and found that the cover was franked with one of the missing color error stamps from the 1986 Stamp Collecting booklet!”

Patience and luck combined to allow Dunaier to acquire the cover for — wait for it — 70¢.

Such a find is the dream of every collector searching for that proverbial philatelic gem in a pile of stamps or covers.

If you look carefully at the stamp on Dunaier’s cover, you will see that the black Ameripex 86 first-day postmark that appears near the bottom of the Ameripex 86 pane in the design of a normal stamp is missing.

A similar black-omitted error is known for Scott 2198 from the Stamp Collecting set.

On that stamp, the bottom envelope in the design is missing its South Trenton, N.Y., duplex handstamp.

Scott 2201b, the booklet pane containing both black-omitted errors, is valued at $40 mint in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers.

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