A stamp collector discovered a previously unreported stamp error last year that originated in 1995. Over two decades ago, Ron DeLaney visited his local post office in Ohio and purchased four panes of the 32 cent Pink Rose stamp. Each pane contained 20 self-adhesive stamps. They featured the rose design with a wavy line die cut that was used to simulate perforations. The panes were issued on June 2nd, 1995, identified as Scott number 2492a and included a reordering label.
The 32 cent Pink Rose stamps belong to the Flora and Fauna definitive series issued in the United States. They were available in most locations during the period of 32 cent first-class letter rates that ran from January 1st, 1995 through January 10th, 1999. After that, the rate was increased to 33 cents.
Discovering the Error in 1995
At the time, DeLaney planned on using two panes for postage and adding the remaining two to his stamp collection. Once he arrived home, he took a closer look and noticed something strange. Two panes seemed normal, but the other two were missing the horizontal die cuts that were used to separate the top and bottom rows.
He decided to set the panes aside to see if any errors were reported in the Scott catalogs or in Linn’s Stamp News. As time went on, no error was mentioned.
DeLaney kept the stamps for years, until last spring when he opened a drawer and rediscovered them. After closer inspection in good lighting, he verified that there was no indication of any horizontal die cuts. The error appeared to be very real.
Verifying the Stamp Error
DeLaney decided to take things a step further by submitting the stamps to the American Philatelic Society Stamp Expertization Service (APEX) located in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. The organization inspected the postage and issued a certificate verifying the error. Their expert committee reported that “horizontal die cuts omitted (unlisted in Scott as of certificate date), unused, genuine in all respects.”
After verifying the error and issuing the certificate, editors for the Scott catalog plan to list the new error in Vol. 1A of the 2019 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. Editor Charles Snee stated that it will be included as Scott number 2492k.
The Future of Delaney’s Flawed Pink Rose Stamps
Being a lifelong stamp collector, DeLaney wasn’t ready to give up his find. He has placed his Pink Rose stamps in a safety deposit box for the time being. He stated that he plans to keep at least one pane. He is still deciding whether he will consign the other pane to auction or hold on to it indefinitely.
Today’s Flora and Fauna U.S. Stamp Series
If you are interested in obtaining your own flora and fauna themed stamps, there are designs available in the Flowers from the Garden forever stamps series. This series depicts elegant bouquets with white, purple, blue, red, and pink blossoms and matching vases. They feature the still life paintings of artist Elizabeth Brandon and are described as inspired by “floral still lifes created by Dutch and Flemish artists of the 17th and 18th centuries.” Contact your local post office to learn more about obtaining a set.