US postal - Philatelic Research

    Study guide: US postal - Freaks & Errors: Nixon Invert

   Freaks & Errors: Nixon Invert is fraud

      If you ever you buy a stamp from the post office with a misprint on it, be sure that you don't complain remain calm and say to yourself  "I'm now rich"; most  certainly  don't exchange it for a pristine one, you will however need to purchase others to mail that article that you were looking to send. Because after having an expert review this new found oddity you might discover that your stamp is worth a little more than you paid for it.

Nixon Commemorative

On April 22, 1994, America’s 37th President, Richard M. Nixon, passed away. In the long-standing tradition of honoring U.S. Presidents, a commemorative stamp was planned for release on the birthday of the year following his death. However, due to the rate change, the USPS. and the Nixon family agreed to delay the issue of this commemorative stamp until April 26, 1995, so the stamp would bear the new 32¢ rate. Nixon was born on January 9, 1913. The stamp has a likeness of the president and was issued at the new first class rate of 32¢, seems that the post office used the death as an opportunity  to increase their coffers and not to commemorate the legendary man of politics and peace.

WASHINGTON (May 28, 1995) — The postage stamp commemorating the 37th President seems to be generating nearly as much controversy as Nixon did in life. Some 2.5 million of the stamps sold on the first day of issue April 26 with lines throughout the day at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, Calif.  But elsewhere sales have sometimes lagged, with some folks still holding a grudge and refusing to use the postage. And at least one who puts Nixon's visage on his letters adds the words: "I am not a crook," recalling one of the President's most-quoted statements, made in the heat of the Watergate affair. Azeezaly Jaffer, manager of stamp services for the post office, said a few offices have ordered extra Nixon stamps and none have been returned unsold. About 80 million Nixon stamps were printed, Jaffer said. Detailed sales figures aren't usually available until a stamp has been on sale for six months or more.

Jaffer said he received some letters of complaint when plans for the Nixon stamp were announced, but none since it went on sale. The post office traditionally issues a stamp honoring a past President in the year after his death.



32¢ Nixon single



Scott Catalogue USA: 2955  

Date: April 26, 1995 

Medium: paper; ink; adhesive 

Dimensions: 4 x 2.5 cm (1 9/16 x 1 in.)


Reference: Smithsonian institute.

Nixon invert

   The "Nixon invert" was a reputed invert error of the Richard Nixon memorial postage stamp issued by the United States in 1995. Originally reported in January 1996, it drew considerable attention that year; but in December a printing plant employee was arrested on charges of having stolen the misprinted stamps from the plant where he worked, meaning that instead of a legitimate error, they were worthless printer's waste.

   The first public notice of the invert came in the form of an announcement by Christie's that they planned to auction a single copy of the invert on February 1, estimating its value at $8,000-$10,000. Christie's did not supply the name of the consignor (a common practice), but did say that the stamp was one of 160.

   The appearance of the stamp was that the portrait of Nixon was upside-down, and shifted so that it was split across. The "USA / 32" inscription was at the bottom and also inverted, leaving only the intaglio "Richard Nixon" inscription in its correct orientation and position. This was possible because the stamp was actually printed in two steps. First, the portrait and denomination combination was printed by Barton Press on a Heidelberg six-color sheet-fed offset press, then the stamps were sent to the Bank Note Corporation of America's (BCA) plant in Suffern, New York, where the intaglio inscription was applied using a Giori press. BCA also perforated and finished the stamps.

 Nixon Invert - Headline News reported theft not miss-print:

Postal Service out to round up Nixon Commemorative miscues

January 11, 1997  WASHINGTON — If the U.S. Postal Inspection Service has its way, one of the country's most recent stamp errors - the 160 upside-down Richard Nixon commemoratives - soon will disappear from stamp collections across the country.

That's because federal prosecutors have branded the misprinted stamps ''stolen goods'' and are vowing to round them up. Pat Bossert, an inspection-service spokesman, said last week that the agency has issued subpoenas to recover some of the Nixon misprints and has, in fact, retrieved some of the stamps.

The misprints, called ''the Nixon inverts'' by collectors, have the late president's name printed upside down and perforations across his face. Since 141 of them sold for $800,000 at a January auction, the stamps have become some of the most celebrated of recent U.S. stamp errors, would-be rivals to the famous upside-down airmail stamps of 1918.

Not Postal Error, but Theft!

   Clarence Robert Robie claimed he bought 160 copies of this 32 cent stamp only to be caught red handed for theft. Arrested on December 12, 1996 for stealing the stamps from the Banknote Corporation of America. When Christie's auctioned 141 misprinted Richard M. Nixon stamps in January, the stamps' unusual defects made them such a hot item that a collector paid $800,000 (the stamps were indeed hot; stolen goods.). The commemorative stamps have the President's name printed upside down, and are misaligned in such a way that Mr. Nixon's face extends across the perforation lines and can be torn apart.  The United States Attorney in Manhattan, Mary Jo White, On December 12, arrested the Rockland County man, Clarence Robert Robie, and charged him with theft of the 160 defective Nixon stamps, which were misprinted at a plant where he worked. Mr. Robie had operated cutting machinery for Banknote Corporation of America (the company contracted to print  the stamps). The contract requires the printing company to destroy any irregular stamps, and states that all printed stamps are the property of the Postal Service. He's also charged with having transported them to New York and faces a maximum term of 10 years for each offense., and having sold 120 to a Brooklyn dealer for $60,000 in June, and the remaining 40 in August to a different dealer. (Neither dealer was charged, apparently being unaware of the theft.)

   It turned out that the nature of the misprint was such that of the original 200-stamp sheets (grouped into four 50-stamp panes), 10 stamps on the edge of each pane did not receive the intaglio inscription, and thus appeared as printing shifts, rather than as inverts. Robie had first contacted dealer Williams Langs in March 1995, then in a May meeting revealed the existence of the inverts, representing them as coming from a "woman in Virginia". The deal struck in June was actually a trade (Robie being a collector himself), whereby Langs received 120 inverts in exchange for $60,000 worth of rare US stamps. The 40 remaining stamps had been purchased by dealer Gary Posner with a combination of cash and stamps, who testified that Robie had told him that "a lady had purchased it in Virginia at a post office". Shortly thereafter Posner sold his 40 to Langs, who in November showed a single and block of four to Christie's. 

  Robie was convicted on both charges, May 22, 1997, after a trial lasting three days.

   Subsequently, the United States Postal Service recovered many of the inverts. Some may remain in private hands, but as they continue to be considered stolen property, the current owners cannot openly display or sell them to anyone else.

Nixon invert - is an  invert error of 32 cent the Richard Nixon memorial postage stamp issued by the United States in 1995. The appearance of the stamp was that the portrait of Nixon was upside-down, and shifted so that it was split across.

Estimated value US $8,000-$10,000 



JPCohen - 3¢ 1851 stamp project: We continue Dr. Chase's work on the 1851 3¢ Washington stamp; offering a fresh look at this important US postal issue. This is perhaps the most collected US stamp ever issued. Currently we have over 3000 reference items in my personal research library, with a goal is to make them reviewable here at this site. We have two plate reconstructions in progress plate 2 and 3. If you have any singles from these plates contact us today, we would like to consider an acquisition or your gift in kind. UPDATE! You can now download a free sample copy of our book, before its even published!

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