Sunday, February 2, 2014
Brunei's 5 cent retouch
This Brunei stamp in my collection, believe it or not, has a catalogue value of B$1,000. It is quite rare and nowadays almost difficult to find. But when it first came out no one knew it existed let alone knew it will be worth that much.
This 5 cent stamp was issued in 1916. What makes it rare is that little 5c (circled in white). When these stamps first came out, they were all printed together. However in some of the sheets that were printed, the 5c did not come out, the printer forgot to put the 5c stamp and the box was empty. Rather than throw those sheets away, the printer had to print the little 5c individually. At first no one realised. It wasn't until the 1950s, if I am not mistaken, that this little mistake came to light and everyone searched for the 5c stamp with what is now known as the '5c retouch'. The 5c retouch can also be found in some of the 5c stamps for the 1924 and 1947 series.
If you have a lot of Brunei's 5c stamps from this era, it would be worthwhile to have a look. All you have to do is look at the colour of that 5c in the top left hand corner and compare that to the other 5c in the other corners. If your stamp's 5c is lighter in colour, then it is likely that you have a '5c retouch' and you might want to keep it separate from your other much cheaper stamps.