US Stamps

No upright inverts in USPS products

Jan 24, 2014, 3 AM

The United States Jenny Invert pane of six issued on Sept. 22, 2013.

Still hunting for the upright Jenny Invert pane? If so, recent information obtained by Linn’s indicates the odds are slightly better than the 1 in 22,000 previously calculated, but exactly how much better is unknown.

Linn’s estimates that 300,000 $2 Jenny Invert stamps (50,000 panes of six) were set aside for use in products, meaning the odds of finding the upright Jenny Invert really could be around 1 in 19,000.

At the United States Postal Service’s Stamp Fulfillment Services facility in Kansas City, Mo., where all of the Jenny Invert panes were shrink-wrapped for distribution, a quantity of normal panes (showing the plane flying upside down) was set aside for use in products.

In January, Linn’s asked the Postal Service how many panes were set aside for use on first-day covers, ceremony programs, the Inverted Jenny Collector’s Editions, and so on. The point of the question was to learn if there was any chance the upright Jenny Invert pane could be found among these products.

“We are using the upside-down plane on products,” said USPS spokesman Mark Saunders.

Asked to clarify, Saunders added: “Only the upside-down Jenny stamps are used on postal products. The right-side-up Jennys were randomly distributed among post offices, and through the postal store on eBay.”

Linn’s requested an estimate of how many Jenny Invert panes were set aside at Stamp Fulfillment Services, but Postal Service officials refused to provide the number.

“We don’t provide those numbers as doing so could influence market value,” Saunders said.

A total of 13,200,600 $2 Jenny Invert stamps were produced, according to the Postal Service. Of that quantity, 600 (100 panes) are upright Jenny Invert stamps.

The Postal Service previously revealed quantities of the Jenny Invert panes set aside for certain products. The total of these known product uses, described below, is 36,800 panes (220,800 stamps).

The Jenny Invert Collector’s Editions used 3,800 panes, consisting of 1,900 mint panes and 1,900 canceled panes.

Uncut Jenny Invert press sheets made use of 15,000 panes to create 2,500 press sheets with die cuts, and 18,000 panes to create 3,000 press sheets without die cuts.

The numbers of the remaining USPS products involving the $2 Jenny Invert stamps are unknown, but are estimated here:

First-day covers prepared with a single stamp (5,000 panes used for 30,000 covers), first-day covers prepared as a full pane (1,000 panes), a first-day canceled full pane (1,000 panes), ceremony programs (200 panes used for 1,200 programs), digital color postmark covers (5,000 panes used for 30,000 covers), commemorative panels (500 panes), panes packaged with a digital color postmark cover (500 panes).

These numbers are based on historical data from other stamp issues and Linn’s estimates. These estimates total 13,200 additional panes set aside. In combination with the known product uses, the estimated total number of panes set aside is 50,000.

Some additional panes may have been set aside but not yet used because some products are still available for sale.

It is also likely that some Jenny Invert panes were set aside for the USPS archives and to replace damaged stamps or covers returned to the Postal Service.

The Postal Service has stated that none of the upright Jenny Invert panes were set aside for the USPS archives.