- Charles Hack, 76, bought an “Inverted Jenny” stamp at auction for $2 million
- Only one sheet of the stamps was produced after they were misprinted in 1918
- Hack bought No. 49 on Wednesday in New York City
A rare stamp known as the ‘Inverted Jenny’ has broken US records after selling for $2 million.
The expensive stamp was purchased on Wednesday by stamp collector Charles Hack, 76, who said The Washington Post that it was ‘the holy grail of port’.
The item was sold at an auction hosted by Robert a Siegel Auction Galleries, based in New York City.
The red, white and blue stamp is known for its rarity and for the fact that it was accidentally printed when the plane on it came out upside down.
The rare Inverted Jenny stamp (pictured) was created in 1918 and only 100 were printed on a sheet after people realized the Curtiss JN-4 aircraft was printed upside down
Charles Hack (photo) bought the stamp on Wednesday at an auction in New York for $2 million. He has purchased other Inverted Jenny stamps over the years
Dating from 1918, only 100 copies were made and originally cost 24 cents. The rare stamps featured an image of the Curtiss JN-4 aircraft in the center.
The print on the stamp was intended to commemorate the start of regular airmail service and in the haste to produce a batch, the printers made the mistake of printing the aircraft incorrectly.
Post offices soon discovered the printing error and circulation of the Reverse Jenny was stopped, but a sheet of 100 managed to find its way to the public before they stopped sales.
Since then, the 100 stamps have become increasingly rare and expensive for stamp collectors.
Hack started collecting stamps as a young boy when he started his collection in Brooklyn and later on Long Island.
“At the time they were selling for more money than God, in my eyes: $7,500 each,” Hack told The Washington Post.
The Inverted Jenny was even featured in the 1993 episode of the popular animated sitcom The Simpsons.
Since the stamps were misprinted, they have become increasingly rare and expensive, and stamp collectors around the world dream of getting their hands on one
Siegel Auctions president Scott Trepel (pictured) holds up the stamp
During the episode, main character Homer Simpson was seen looking at a sheet of the limited edition stamps at a yard sale, realizing that the plane on it was upside down.
Homer then threw the sheet away in a pile of other priceless American artifacts, such as the Declaration of Independence.
This isn’t the first Inverted Jenny Hack has purchased, as he bought one in the early 2000s for around $300,000.
He then bought another one in 2007 for almost $1 million and soon discovered that it was number 57 of the 100 stamps printed on that error form.
He also bought one in 2018 that was number 49 out of 100 on the magazine and was previously kept in a bank vault by its owner before being sold.
In 1995, one of the Inverted Jenny stamps was stolen at a convention in Virginia and later returned after ending up in Ireland in 2016.
A young man from Northern Ireland inherited the stamp and brought it to Congress after inheriting it from his grandfather.
Keelin O’Neill’s grandfather is said to have stored it in a box next to old records and an antique clock.
Keelin O’Neill (pictured) returned a stolen 1955 Inverted Jenny stamp after inheriting it from his grandfather
The stamp was featured in a 1993 episode of The Simpsons (photo)
O’Neil eventually received a $50,000 check as a reward, just after the head of the FBI’s New York field office, Diego Rodriguez, presented the Jenny to the president of the American Philatelic Research Library, Roger Brody.
Hack said he’s not entirely sure what he’ll do with his new stamp once he receives it from Siegel, but he does know he’ll protect it.
To preserve the timeless piece, he plans to keep it out of the light and other elements. He also plans to store it in his vault in New York.
He said he will show it to visitors interested in “a piece of American history.”