New missing-colour error reported on 1963 U.S. stamp

A California collector has picked up from eBay a previously unknown “colour-missing” error on a block of 1963 U.S. stamps.

Tom Massa found the block of four five-cent “City Mail Delivery” stamps (U.S. Scott #1238) among the listings on the popular online marketplace this July, according to a report by Linn’s Stamp News. The block’s horizontal perforations are shifted upwards, causing the top two stamps to lack the dark blue “UNITED STATES” inscription. The red “5c” is also split between the horizontal perfs separating the top and bottom stamps.

Massa, who told Linn’s he was browsing listings for Chinese stamps when he noticed the out-of-place error, acquired the block for $40 US.

The Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers lists colour-omitted errors and colour-missing errors, the latter of which refer to stamps where a colour or colours “were printed somewhere but do not appear on the finished stamp.”

The four types of colour-missing errors are caused by perforation shifts (like the one on Massa’s finding), foldovers, extraneous paper and colour misregistration.

Colour-omitted errors are described in the Scott catalogue as being “caused by the complete failure of the printing plate to deliver ink to the stamp paper or any other paper.”

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