Friday, April 25, 2008

Errors, Freaks and Oddities

Over the years Wayne Youngblood has written many interesting articles on errors, freaks and odditiies (EFOs) which have appeared in the American Philatelist magazine and other publications.

Wikipedia breaks the categories down as follows...

An error is any sort of production mistake that is (potentially) replicated on many stamps; the famous Inverted Jenny is the best known of these, having resulted from a sheet of partial prints being accidentally re-inserted into the printing press upside down for the second color, resulting in an invert error. Design errors include wrong dates, wrong names, wrong pictures, anachronisms and the like.

A freak is a one-time mishap in the production process. Freaks include paper folds resulting in half-printed half-blank stamps, "crazy perfs" running diagonally across stamps, and insects embedded in stamps, underneath the ink.

An oddity is something that is within the bounds of usability for the stamp, but still has a distinctive appearance. The usual sort of oddity is misregistration on a multi-colored stamp, which can result in shirts apparently with two sets of buttons, eyes above the top of a person's head, and so forth. These can be extremely common. The Canadian Christmas stamp of 1898, depicting a map of the world with British possessions in red, is famous for unusual color oddities that appear to claim all of Europe, or the United States, or central Asia for Britain.

Shown above, the US 1962 Dag Hammarskjöld memorial stamp. Once the yellow-inverted error was discovered, 40,270,000 were printed to prevent speculation. Only the original unintentionally printed specimens are considered to be errors.

You can read some of Wayne's articles on the Errors, Freaks & Oddities Collectors' Club (EFOCC) website by clicking here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM