Stamps (Philately)/US 1688 Error


I'm a lifelong stamp question and have a question about a stamp I bought 30-40 years ago.  It is a US 1688 error.  The "USA" printing is above the perforations on stamps a,b,c.  It appears in the correct place on stamps d and e.  The perforations appear in normal position.  How is this error made in the printing process?  What is the value of the stamp?  There appears to have been lots of errors made on this stamp.  Thanks for any input.

1688 color shift
1688 color shift  

1688 shift
1688 shift  
Hi George
Thanks for the question,
George, if the perforations are in the right place on stamps d and e, then it sounds like what you have is a color misregistration of the ""USA/24c", more commonly called a color shift error. These would be of interest to collectors of EFO's (Errors, freaks and oddities).
You are also correct that this issue "American Bicentennial Issue" has the most listed errors. I believe the main reason being that the values (USA and values) for these were printed in 2 different colors, thus on one of the passes through the printing press, the colors were sometimes out of alignment. not only are the colors close to the same on each sheet, they are also somewhat difficult to see (this would also make it easy for them miss the other errors).
George, if you have the Scott's U.S. Specialized Catalog, if you look at Cat #1688p listing, this error was caused by a color misregistation, see the (CM) after it. The "USA/24C" Was shifted far enough to be completely outside the perforations, you will also note that they call this color "missing" not "omitted" as the color was printed, but it is not on the stamp.
Now, as for the value, I'm afraid it is not very valuable, I would estimate the current retail value between $15-$30. I have attached a scan of a similar error I have so others might be able to picture it better. Sorry for the long explanation, I hope it is somewhat clear.

If you would like to find out more about EFO's (Error's, Freaks and Oddities) then please visit the site of the EFOCC (Error's, Freaks and Oddities Collectors club)

Or if you would like to see examples of a lot of different EFO's then you may want to check out my Ebay or Bidstart Stores at the link below.

Thanks again for the question,

Stamps (Philately)

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Mike Stern


My specialty is United States Errors, but I can answer most questions on United States stamps (except covers). I have been collecting U.S. stamps for about 35 years, and U.S. Errors for approximately 25 years. I have been selling both online for about 4 years. I am also a member of the APS (American Philatelic Society)


As I said above, I have been collecting U.S. stamps for about 35 years, and U.S. Errors for approximately 25 years. I have been selling both online for about 4 years, mostly on Ebay and

I am a 25+ year member of the APS

I went to 2 years of college at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, and received a degree in Applied Science

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