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Stamps (Philately)/3802 Arctic Tundra

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Question
On the 3802 Arctic Tundra issue there are 10 stamps.  If you turn the sheet in such a way that you get glare off a bright light, stamps 3802a and 3802b have a small box of (for lack of a better word) "film" on them, while the rest of the stamps are completely covered by the "film".

Is this the an effect of tagging?

Thank you in advance!

Sincerely,
John

Answer
Hi John,
Thanks for the question
John, you are very observant, the "film" coating you describe is the tagging. Tagging is applied to most United States stamps nowadays to help the facing and cancelling machines used by the USPS. Without the tagging the machines would have no way of knowing the location of the stamp to rotate/turn (face) the letter in the correct position for cancelling. As you mentioned, with some stamps you can see the tagging if it is held in the right light, but ordinarily short wave Ultraviolet light is needed to see it. (Just a note, you should not look directly into short wave UV light).
It sounds like the variation you see on stamps 3802a and 3208b is the affect of the tagging not being complete applied to the 2 stamps. Unfortunately this is not that uncommon and would not add value to the sheet.
Thanks again for the question,
Mike

Stamps (Philately)

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Mike Stern

Expertise

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)

Experience

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 Bidstart.com.

Organizations
I am a 25+ year member of the APS

Education/Credentials
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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