By Michael Baadke
An order for postage placed through the Stamp Fulfillment Services division of the United States Postal Service turned up quite a find for one lucky New Jersey collector: one of the 100 upright $2 Jenny Invert panes.
“I had ordered a whole bunch of the new issues that had come out,” the collector — who prefers not to be identified — told Linn’s Stamp News.
“And I decided at the last minute, I’m going to add three more of the Inverted Jenny panes.”
Most of what he was ordering he planned to use for postage, including the $2 Jenny stamps. Active in several stamp hobby organizations, he prepares member newsletter mailings several times a year.
When the stamps he ordered arrived on Aug. 18, the first envelope of the Jenny stamps that he opened contained one of the 100 panes that the Postal Service intentionally printed with the plane flying right-side up.
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The Postal Service is distributing those panes in special packaging to stamp customers through the fulfillment center and post offices.
The normal version of the $2 postage stamps shows the Jenny biplane in the center of the design flying upside down. The scarce variety shows the plane flying right-side up on each of the six stamps.
Every pane is sold in blind packaging, so that no one can identify the variety panes before purchasing them.
“As soon as I opened the envelope, I saw the top of the writing on the card,” the collector said.
The printing on the card congratulates the finder and encourages him to contact the Postal Service at a telephone number printed in the special message.
When he made the call, he was told by the USPS representative that his find is counted as number 20.
Linn’s tally of upright Jenny Invert finds now stands at 25 with this new report.
UPDATE: Another upright $2 Jenny Invert pane has been discovered. Read about No. 26!
That number includes examples certified by philatelic grading services but not reported to the Postal Service. It also includes three panes randomly given away at the end of 2014 to three different USPS mail-order customers.
While some collectors have quickly sold their upright Jenny panes to retail stamp dealers for a quick (and large) profit, the latest finder has other plans.
“I’m totally thrilled, and I have no plans to sell the pane. It’s going to be in my collection for a while. It is the most valuable thing in my collection,” he said with a laugh.
“I feel very fortunate to have gotten one.”
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