Inverted Jenny Sells for $2 Million

© Courtesy of Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries – Image depicts actual stamp sold.

Last week someone paid just over $2 million dollars for the famous US Inverted Jenny Airmail stamp #C3a. That’s a lot and its fun to see stamps sell for big money.

Why is it worth $2 million dollars? After all, Mystic sold a nice Inverted Jenny for about $450,000 a few years ago. One sold for $60,000 less than 20 years ago.

Condition or quality is the reason for the price difference. The $2 million stamp is just about perfect in every way. It’s perfectly centered and as fresh as it was in 1918. The $60,000 is as rare, but had some accidents that affect the value and price. That stamp has a scuff on the front, a tear, lost it’s gum, and has a straight edge showing the position from the edge of the sheet. 

The condition of the stamp can have a big impact on the price. As collectors, if the price was the same, most collectors want the perfect stamp. For many stamps, I prefer to buy stamps with a tear or thin or no-gum because they are cheaper. That way I can add more stamps to my collection. I really like mint stamps with no gum. The gum is on the back of the stamp and I seldom look at the back of my stamps. I like paying less so I have more stamps.

My first C3a inverted Jenny was a stamp without gum and tiny thin spot on the paper. The stamp lost its gum in WWII when the owner had it safely secured in an underground bank vault. But when the Nazi’s bombed London setting buildings on fire, the firemen flooded the vault and that stamp lost its gum. So I paid a little less for it and had a wonderful rare stamp that fit my budget.

All stamps have their own story.

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