Chapman Lighthouse Stamp: "Missing Yellow" Variant

The Chapman Sands & Yacht stamp was issued by the Canvey Island Local Post (CILP) on 29th April 2015.

The design was of a circa 1928 period postcard line drawing in black and light yellow clouds and sea, measuring 30x43mm in vertical format. Total production was 250 stamps (CLP290415S).
   Full Yellow

The stamp has been used for island ‘Bicycle’ (express) post and on mainland and international mail since its release and has been popular with topical and local post collectors worldwide.

During a recent mail franking of several letters bearing the Chapman Lighthouse and Yacht stamp, I noticed that one stamp was missing its yellow colouring on the sea and sky. Following a check of remaining stocks, I confirmed that a number of sheets also appear to be missing the yellow colour of the original design. These ‘missing yellow’ sheets were positioned at the back of the stamp order when originally received from the printer and not checked prior to release.

In most cases the yellow is missing completely, but on some stamps there is a very feint impression of the colour. CILP stock storage of mint stamp sheets ensures exclusion of all light sources, so sun and artificial light damage can be ruled out.
It is possible the yellow ink fades over time, but this is unlikely given the quality and reputation of our printer and our experience of their work since 2010. Therefore, we can only conclude that this is a printing error caused by low ink level at the time of production, rather than colour fade.

Missing Yellow

Identification of a ‘missing yellow’ stamp is not difficult as the colour omission is distinct in the sky and foreground sea around the lighthouse. This varies from a hint of very light yellow to complete white and is very obvious when viewed alongside a correctly printed stamp. 

Given this issue has been in circulation since April 2015, I am unable to put a precise figure on how many ‘missing yellow’ stamps are in private collections in mint condition or have been used on mail. However, I have identified from remaining stocks and sheet margins, that around three full stamp sheets have been affected by the missing colour. This means a potential of 75 ‘missing yellow’ stamps were produced.

Based on our investigation the CILP will officially list the ‘missing yellow’ Chapman Sands & Yacht stamp as a variant in our catalogue from mid-2018. The remaining copies of this variant will be available to collectors at no extra cost subject to stock from our agent Alpha-Thematics at (under menu section ‘Cinderella’).

Postmaster CILP
17 May 2018