Nearly a century after it was first issued, America’s most famous stamp—the misprinted 24-cent Inverted Jenny—will be reprinted as a $2 stamp as part of the Stamp Collecting: Inverted Jenny souvenir stamp sheet. The sheet will be issued September 22 to coincide with the opening of the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery—the world’s largest stamp gallery—at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.
Although this is the first time the Inverted Jenny has been reissued, a small Inverted Jenny stamp appeared as a design element on one of four 1993 stamps that marked the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. Today, two Inverted Jennys soar among the museum’s treasures. The Inverted Jenny is said to be the postage stamp most often requested for viewing by visitors.
The issuance of this souvenir sheet coincides with the 20th anniversary of the opening of the National Postal Museum in 1993 and the 2013 opening of the museum’s grand new William H. Gross Stamp Gallery. Intended to provide greater visibility and public access to the museum’s collection, the new 12,000-square-foot gallery will showcase numerous rarities, including a block of four Inverted Jenny stamps lent by the gallery’s benefactor, William H. Gross.
The gallery will be the largest in the world dedicated to philately. It will provide an experience available nowhere else and offer something for everyone, from casual visitors to experienced collectors. As visitors move through six thematic areas, displays and interactive moments will reveal the stories that unfold from the museum’s collection. Distributed throughout the thematic areas will be hundreds of pullout frames containing more than 20,000 objects, providing ample opportunities to view noteworthy stamps that have never been on public display.
The Stamp Collecting: Inverted Jenny souvenir sheet features a new version of the most famous error in the history of U.S. stamps: the Inverted Jenny, a 1918 misprint that mistakenly showed a biplane flying upside down. Reprinted with a $2 denomination to make them easily distinguishable from the 24-cent originals, the Inverted Jennys on this sheet commemorate the many ways a single stamp can turn a moment in history upside down. The original engraved dies to produce the 1918 Inverted Jenny are being used in the design to produce the new stamps.