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Stamps (Philately)/untagged US Airmail Stamps


Hi Mr.Stern I have searched high and low for information such catalog value, market value for one specific US Airmail.  I can not find any information anywhere.  You are my last hope.

I am looking for US Airmail C126 45c UPU Future Mail SS of 4 1989 Untagged.  I have found this SS in what I guess must be a Tagged version.  If you have space can you explain why the Untagged US Airmails in all varieties that I have seen are more expensive?  This variety is new to me and I am having an extremely hard time finding them, let alone to be able to purchase them leading me to maybe not wanting to pursue them for my collection.

Thanks, Kevin

Hi Kevin,
Thanks for the question.
 Kevin, first let me give a quick explanation of tagging. Tagging was originally introduced in the early 60's. Although the machines are a lot more sophisticated now the idea was pretty much the same, to check for a stamp, and to speed up the facing (turning/rotating to correct position) and cancelling process. During that period you will see that some of the stamps were issued with and without tagging, most of them are fairly close in value. Starting in the late 60's most U.S. stamps were issued with tagging. In general the value increases when the stamps were issued with tagging but during the printing process the tagging did not get applied. Thus creating a "Tagging Omitted" Error. Some of these can be quite valuable and hard to find.
 This takes us to the C126 souvenir sheet you mention above, this along with many other untagged errors are listed in the "Scott Specialized Catalog of United States Stamps and Covers". This catalog lists just about every U.S. stamp ever issued and is an very handy reference also. I am not surprised you are having difficulty finding this "Error" as it is very scarce, and listed with a catalog value of $650. Just a note about the catalog values, these are what one might expect to pay a dealer for a very fine copy of the stamp, but the values can vary by quite a bit depending on condition and demand. Untagged errors generally retail for quite a bit less than catalog value.
 Kevin, I wouldn't give up yet, as they are certainly out there. The catalog numbers would have an additional letter after it such a "a", "b", etc for the errors, or you could try searching for "tagging omitted" or "untagged error". I find the hunt is part of the fun. One other thing, if you decide to pursue this field you may want to invest in a good UV light, as the cheaper ones do not show the tagging that well and to be an "untagged error" there can be no sign of tagging at all.

Thanks again for the question,

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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