A collector in south Cheshire bought the stamps for his collection from his village sub-post office and was amazed to find that the three stamps on the first pane were missing the 'gold' colour. This results in the stamps having no value or Queen's head, and the caption below the 64p stamp is also missing. (Click on the picture, right, for a large image.) The picture of the error has been taken with a digital camera as scanning would involve some creasing to the book.
The collector (who did not want to be identified) said, "In 40 years of stamp collecting this is my first error!"
As the booklet panes are printed in larger 'press sheets' there should be between 11* and 19 more in existence depending on the size of the press sheet. But the way the books are assembled, cut and packaged may mean that only a few have been sold so far. The book remains on sale from the Philatelic Bureau and the others may be there, in a post office branch, at the PO central stores or in a collection - as yet unnoticed. Because of this it is impossible to put a final value on the discovery but, even if there are a dozen, they could be worth in excess of £1,000 each.
Pane 2 has now been found with both gold and phosphor bands missing (see right).
We understand that a second book with the pane 1 error has been found from the same rural PO as the first one.*Joh Enschede of Holland, the printers of the booklet, were not aware of the error but said that their must be 12 in existence.
© 2006 Norvic Philatelics
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This page created 8 December 2006, updated 10 December