Islanders not feeling the blues

The Pitcairn Islands are a group of four volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean which in 2008 had a population of 50 people in total.

Indeed a few years back Islanders tried to prevent a criminal case against some islanders going ahead, on the basis that taking a dozen men off the islands for the time the case would take to try would cause the remaining islanders' infrastructure to break down.

But even tiny islands need stamps, and sometimes (as in the case of Mauritius) they can be very valuable.

In this case, sheets of 1/2d stamps printed in the 1960s depicting a fishing boat near the islands accidentally lost a shade of blue off some of the stamps.

The error is fairly subtle and difficult to spot without close inspection. For this reason it was not spotted until 2008.

Pitcairn Islands Colour Omission error stamp
Pitcairn Islands Colour Omission

Now a sheet of 60 stamps displaying the missing blue on seven of them (on the bottom left of the sheet) has come up for auction at Spink. The auction is the same one as that at which the Rhodesian colour inversions will appear.

The exceptionally rare sheet is estimated to be the top lot in the December 8 auction and sell for £25,000-30,000 - more money than any of the island's inhabitants have.


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