US Stamps

Endgame in sight for the 2013 United States Jenny Invert fiasco

Oct 8, 2019, 11 AM
The United States $2 Jenny Invert stamp was issued Sept. 22, 2013.

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

It is hard to believe, but just a little more than six years ago, the United States Postal Service issued the $2 Jenny Invert stamp in a pane of six. I was at the Sept. 22, 2013, first-day ceremony in Washington, D.C., and while at the time it wasn’t known that the Postal Service had created 100 intentional rarities, collectors knew something was up.

Fast-forward to earlier this month when Linn’s learned about the Postal Service’s plan to get the panes returned to Stamp Fulfillment Services and to sell them from that Kansas City, Mo., facility. That story, in the Oct. 21 issue, provides details on the specifics of how the saga started. Some might even say “fiasco” instead of “saga,” knowing that the distribution of those rarities wasn’t exactly random.

I have been following this story from the beginning, as well as buying the stamp panes in an attempt to catch a stroke of luck and find one of the 100 panes intentionally showing the Curtiss “Jenny” plane flying right-side up.

I applaud the current Postal Service team that came up with the plan to recall the sheets back to Stamp Fulfillment Services for sale. It’s a win-win for both parties: The USPS gets to sell more stamps and not worry about any risk associated with destroying them, and collectors have one more chance — while supplies last — to find a pane with the upright variety.

After the final pane is sold, I hope the details of what really happened during the years leading up to the issue and during the six-plus years it was on sale will finally come out.

Much like the 1918 24¢ Jenny Invert story, this one will also be one for the books.

To those who are still buying the panes, I wish you all the best. I hope you’ll alert Linn’s if you find an upright variety.

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