The CIA invert
is a one-dollar value postage stamp
error issued by the United States Postal Service
. It is one stamp from the Americana series
that were produced between 1975 and 1981. The $1 colonial rushlight
holder stamp was first issued on July 2, 1979 and one sheet of 100 stamps was issued with the black (the last color printed, though it covers much of the stamp) inverted. The lamp candle holder and text are inverted relative to the flame. About 95 copies have been accounted for. The Scott catalogue
number is: 1610c. This was the first United States stamp issued with a major design element printed upside down since the Dag Hammarskjöld invert
error of 1962.
One sheet of stamps was bought by a CIA
employee who had been sent to the post office to buy some stamps. After the involved employees saved one each, the remainder were sold to a stamp dealer. The Government attempted to reclaim them, but was not successful because they had been legally purchased from a post office clerk.
Stamp catalogs list its price as only $15,000; one tenth of the Inverted Jenny
that is valued at $150,000 yet about the same number of each stamp exist. A block-of-four stamps sold in 2004 for $60,000. In September 2006, reproductions have been sold on eBay