US Stamps

Second imperf error of 2023 Freedom U.S. Flag coil found in Colorado

Jan 8, 2024, 7 AM

By Charles Snee

A previously unreported imperforate error of a United States coil stamp issued in early 2023 was discovered in mid-December by a collector in Colorado.

The new error occurs on the nondenominated (63¢) Freedom U.S. Flag coil (Scott 5788) printed in rolls of 100 by Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. of Williamsville, N.Y.

Howard Smiley contacted Linn’s Stamp News about finding an intact roll of 100 of the new error at a post office close to his home. He subsequently sent the roll to Linn’s for examination.

In a letter accompanying the error roll, Smiley said that he purchased it on Dec. 13, 2023, from the post office in Broomfield, Colo.

“I thought something was odd when I tried but could not peel the first stamp off the roll,” Smiley said. “[The roll] appeared to not be perforated.”

Smiley returned to the Broomfield post office the same day and bought three more rolls, all of which had normal vertical die cutting between the stamps.

In a Dec. 26 phone call, Smiley informed Linn’s that he had spoken about his find to New York stamp dealer Steve Malack.

“Malack told me that if I keep the error roll, I run the risk of more being found,” Smiley said.

According to Smiley, Malack explained that sitting tight on the roll could potentially lower the amount that Smiley might receive for it from a dealer.

On the other hand, if Smiley were to sell the roll quickly, he could miss out on a more generous offer if very few additional rolls of the error turned up.

Those scenarios aside, Smiley said he intends to keep the roll intact and not sell it for the time being.

The new error, to which the Scott editors have assigned No. 5788a, will be listed for the first time in Vol. 1 of the 2025 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue scheduled for publication in April.

In the July 31, 2023, issue, Linn’s reported the discovery of another Freedom U.S. Flag coil stamp with die-cutting omitted, which was offered by Malack in his advertisement published in the July 17 issue of Linn’s.

That error (Scott 5789Ab) occurs on the nondenominated (63¢) Freedom U.S. Flag coil (5789A) printed in rolls of 100 by Banknote Corporation of America of Browns Summit, N.C.

In a July 10, 2023, phone conversation, Malack, who operates his business in Endicott, N.Y., told Linn’s that he purchased 20 rolls of the error from a dealer who specializes in plate number coil stamps.

It didn’t take long for the Scott 5789Ab error to show up in lots offered on eBay, the behemoth internet commerce website.

On July 10, Linn’s found two dealers in addition to Malack who were offering pairs and strips of the new error: Craig Selig of Indiana and Dave Andrews of Minnesota. At that time, both Selig and Andrews were selling imperf pairs at a buy-it-now price of $12.95.

As of late December, Linn’s had not received any other reports of imperforate errors of the Ashton Potter-printed Freedom U.S. Flag coil stamp.

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