Image: Inverted Jenny
The New York Public Library  /  Benjamin K. Miller Collection vi
An Inverted Jenny could be worth $300,000, experts say.
updated 11/14/2006 3:02:08 PM ET 2006-11-14T20:02:08

A stamp that initially appeared to be a rare 1918 “Inverted Jenny” used by a Florida voter to mail an absentee ballot last week is probably a fake, an official with the American Philatelic Society said Tuesday.

After viewing photographs of the stamp, which turned up on a ballot envelope in Fort Lauderdale, officials with the U.S. stamp collectors’ organization said they found inconsistencies that led them to believe it was a reproduction.

The Inverted Jenny took its name from an image of a biplane accidentally printed upside down. Only 100 of the misprinted stamps have ever been found, making them among the rarest in the world of philately.

Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom, a member of the Florida county’s Canvassing Board, said he spotted the red-and-blue stamp, along with two stamps from the 1930s and another dating to World War Two, on an envelope used to mail an absentee ballot for last week’s election.

Philatelic Society director Peter Mastrangelo said a preliminary analysis found the thickness of the Florida stamp’s paper appeared to be different from that of a real Jenny, the blue color and the perforations did not match the originals and the stamp bore strong similarities to a known counterfeit.

“Based on what we’ve seen, we’re of the opinion that this is a questionable item that appears to be reproduction of the error stamp,” said Mastrangelo.

He said experts would have to see the stamp in person to make a final determination.

A single Inverted Jenny could be worth $300,000, said Mastrangelo. A block of four was swapped recently for another rare stamp in a transaction valued at nearly $3 million.

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

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