CIA inverted error stamp to star with $15,500 estimate
One of the best known inverted error stamps, the 1979 CIA, is to star in a two-day US sale
The CIA invert, one of the best known inverted colour errors in US philately, is to star in a two-day US sale, running from June 27 to 28.
The $1 colonial rushlight stamp, which bears the text: "America's light fueled by truth and reason", was first issued on July 2, 1979. Only one sheet of 100 stamps was issued with the black colouring inverted. That sheet was bought by an on-duty CIA agent who had been sent on an errandto the post office. The agent, along with a few other employees, realised the potential value of the invert and decided to keep just one stamp each. The remainder of the sheet was then sold to a stamp dealer. The government attempted to recover the stamps, but was unable to as it was decided thatthey had been legally purchased by the CIA agent. The agents involved in the fiasco were eventually ordered to return the stamps they had kept, with rumours circulating that those who refused had been fired. The $15,000 catalogue value of the CIA invert remains a mystery to philatelists. The error exists in similar numbers to the famed inverted jenny stamp, which recently achieved $625,000 at auction, yet is valued at far less. Could this stamp prove to be one of the classic US inverts in years to come?Another example of the CIA invert sold for $19,000 in May 2011, a sound investment should Paul Fraser Collectibles' prediction come true. Another modern invert will feature in the sale, this time a 1992 25c Stock Exchange Bicentennial. Only 56 copies of this centre inverted error are currently available, warranting a value of $19,000. Paul Fraser Collectibles' new stock addition surpasses the rarity of any invert or error stamp. We are very proud to offer an outstanding, never hinged, mint example of The Black Empress, one of the world's finest stamps.