US Stamps

Unintentional ink mixing caused color variety on 1961 U.S. savings stamp

Feb 23, 2022, 10 AM
In the background is a block of four normal 1961 25¢ savings stamps in the normal colors, blue and carmine. Centered on it is a scarce variety that is purple and carmine. It is a variety rather than an error because the cause is the mixing of inks rather

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

I was first alerted to the savings stamp color variety shown in the foreground by Lewis Kaufman, now retired as administrator of expertizing at the Philatelic Foundation and a specialist in United States savings stamps.

That single 1961 25¢ Minute Man and 50-Star Flag savings stamp (Scott S7) is purple and carmine instead of the normal blue and carmine. Illustrated in the background is a block of four of the stamp in its normal colors.

There is no listing in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers for this variety because it is not an error where the wrong color ink was used. Rather, it is the result of unintentional mixing of two inks being used on the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s Giori press that in this case printed two colors from the same plate.

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