US Stamps

U.S. Postal Service reveals $2 Jenny sales details

Aug 29, 2014, 7 AM

The United States Postal Service sold 112,605 panes of six $2 Jenny Invert self-adhesive stamps during the first 30 days of sale.

The stamp was issued Sept. 22, 2013, and 2.2 million panes of six were produced.

Linn’s has also learned that of 1,900 Jenny Invert “collector’s sets” manufactured, only 1,464 were sold during that product’s limited sales period.

These figures were provided to Linn’s as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request filed with the Postal Service in late October 2013. That request was denied Nov. 1 by the Postal Service, and a formal explanation of the denial was received Dec. 20.

Linn’s appealed Jan. 16, 2014. Several months later, on Aug. 26, the Postal Service’s initial denial was overturned.

Associate general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer Michael J. Elston disclosed the sales numbers and apologized to Linn’s for the delays in providing the response.

The $2 Jenny Invert pane of six has two different item numbers that the Postal Service uses to track sales: 580000 for sales at post offices and 580004 for sales through USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services, the Postal Service’s centralized product distribution facility in Kansas City, Mo.

During the period of Sept. 22 through Oct. 22, 2013, 65,524 panes of six were sold at post offices nationwide, and 47,081 panes were sold through Stamp Fulfillment Services, for a total of 112,605.

The Postal Service’s original plan was to create 5,000 Jenny Invert collector’s sets if demand warranted. However, only 1,900 examples of the $200 product were ultimately produced.

The sets were first announced in August 2013, with a two-month sales window from Aug. 9 through Oct. 15. The sets were manufactured after the ordering period ended, to meet the number sold. Customers received the sets in mid-December.

Certificates inside of each set are individually numbered from 1 to 1,900. Ultimately, only 1,464 of the sets were actually sold to the public, according to the figure provided Aug. 26 to Linn’s.

In a Dec. 20, 2013, letter, Susan McGowan, USPS stamp services and corporate licensing director, stated that a number of the sets had been “set aside for the PMG collection, and claims/exchanges.”

The $200 set is housed in a cardboard box with an inside liner showing an image of the original 24¢ Inverted Jenny airmail stamp.

Included in the set is a certificate of authenticity, a 48-page book, a mint example of the pane of six, a first-day canceled pane of six, four small panes resembling printer’s proofs, and a small pane described by the Postal Service as a “die wipe” from the production run.