Arago: Exhibits


O is for Overprint


Any new text, numerals, or design element printed on an existing stamp, thereby creating a new stamp.

The overprinted stamp may have a different denomination or a different usage, or even be for a different country.

There have been very few overprints in the U.S., but many other countries have issued them more frequently, prompted by change of government, hyperinflation, or frugality.

The center image is inverted on the 1-cent Vasco Nunez de Balboa and 2-cent Fernandez de Cordoba stamps (below), printed in New York for use in the Panama Canal Zone. Some of the "CANAL ZONE" overprints, applied in Panama City, were also inverted. Canal Zone, 1907.

'Overprint' cinderella stamp

Overprint Cinderella Stamp

Canal Zone Scott 23g

2-cent Cordoba unwatermarked invert single

1c Vasco de Nunez de Balboa unwatermarked

1-cent Vasco de Nunez de Balboa unwatermarked invert single