Saturday, March 10, 2007

Errors, freaks, and oddities on definitive stamps

While Eric is talking about factual errors on his blog (orthograph, mistakes like Christopher Colombus watching Indies through a not-so-soon-created spy-glass), it gives me the idea to write something about errors, freaks and oddities (EFO ; in French : les variétés). Something that happens accidentely during the printing process : red instead of blue, the disparition of a colour because of missing ink, no perforation or not the perforation normally used, etc.

Large subject when you read this discussion between French collectors in december 2006 : how did these EFOs manage to get out ? Tired controllers ? Fraud since their value can be important on the market ? Some are falsifications, using professional chimic means and restoration techniques. And of course, those who are blamed in the end : the stamp dealers and the experts who signed the EFOs when a costlier certificate may be better on the long-term to proof the EFOs is genuine.

Back to pleasure since we are philatelists for that : what can you do ?

First idea : examine those presented in magazines and by dealers, then you study how they could have appeared. Excellent training to learn the postage stamp printing process.

Alternative (quite hazardous) : go without thinking to the post office and buy for your mail some definitive stamps of low values. On the left, what I found like this next year : five 10 eurocents Marianne des Français with a little too much ink. It's very clear on top of the title's letters and on the money denomination.

Morale :
Look for them when you need to learn.
Forget them and you'll find.

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