The upside-down plane on the Inverted Jenny stamp is probably America’s most famous postal error. The Inverted Jenny even showed up on The Simpsons in 1993, when Homer finds—and discards—a highly unlikely sheet of the very valuable stamps. Doh!
In honor of the release of the new Inverted Jenny stamp, here’s a look at some other treasures found by stamp collectors.
World’s Most Valuable Stamp: The world’s most valuable stamp is believed to be Swedish Treskilling Yellow, an 1855 stamp that was misprinted in yellow instead of its normal green. In 1996, it was sold in Zurich for 2.8 million Swiss francs, or about 2.3 million U.S. dollars. The stamp was auctioned again in 2010, but the price was not officially disclosed.
World’s Most Valuable Postal Item: An envelope known as the “Bordeaux Letter” was sold at a 1993 auction for 5.7 million Swiss francs, equal to more than 3 million U.S. dollars at the time. The letter bears two of the world’s most valuable stamps, both produced in Mauritius in 1847. Only 500 copies of each stamp were printed, and according to legend, the wife of the Governor of Mauritius used many of those to send out invitations to a ball. The Berlin museum that owns the Bordeaux Letter estimates its value at about five million U.S. dollars.