Probably every collector and every dealer has a little group of items, somewhere, which are waiting for an Explanation. What are they? Are they genuine? Is it a known variety? Is it common? Why does it look funny?
The trouble is, most of those items never progress to the Resolved category. Here for example are two covers which I have kept since 1992:
Click on Image to Magnify
Back in 1918, the 30 Shahiv Ceres of Ukraine's first General Issue was issued in several shades of blue including one - Prussian Blue - which usually gets a separate catalogue listing (as it does in Michel and Stanley Gibbons). Now here in 1992 are two shades of the new 0.50 Ceres one of which is not the normal shade - it is darker and, well, more like Prussian Blue. (My scanner does not pick up the difference very well but in daylight it's clear)
Now: Is this a regular variety? Or did just a few sheets turn up in Vinnitsa? Or did someone know how to treat the stamp with some chemical to make the blue turn darker? (I have to say, it doesn't look like it)?
And if it's a regular variety, was this a deliberate reference back to the 1918 30 Shahiv Ceres?
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