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Hello All,

I have a November 1985 Search for Early Man edition of National Geographic magazine with a misprinted (left and right side reversed) hologram. I received it in the mail like this back in 1985 as a child and recently found it again while going though some books of mine.

I have never seen another one like this and was wondering if anyone knows how many got printed with the left and right hand sides of the hologram reversed. Please see picture provided. The magazine is in really good condition.



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Can you post a pic of this magazine Chris?

It was attached as a file but I finally figured out how to get the picture with the text.

Thanks for your help Andy!
Cris, Good job posting that NG mag pic of Cover. Never seen anything remotely like it in all the years I've been collecting. Value of this oddity is hard to guesstimate. My suspicion on value revolves around the fact that it is a MAJOR Blooper unique to the cover and not a misprint on inside/internal of mag.
Will trade the year of your choice 1915 - 2008 for your oddity................:) If your interested.
Hi Andy,

Thanks for your interest, but I am not really into trading at this point in time. I have had it since I was about 14 when I first received it in the mail. I didn't even realize that it was not correct until I saw the one at school at that time and then tucked it away for many years until about 2 weeks ago when I found it again.

I got all excited because I thought it may be something like the "Inverted Jenny" stamp.

Thanks for being excited about it like I am. It's good to know that I have held onto it for this many years without messing it up. I can be a bit of a bull in a China shop sometimes and I am pretty surprised I had it tucked away for so long and in such fine condition.

Let me know if you find out anything more about it. I appreciate your time,


Well that is an interesting thing you have there. I have not yet heard of anyone with any of the 3 hologram issues, having any misprint like that. Had you called the NGS back in 1985, they would have sent you a new one (I wonder if they would have taken that one back for their archives or as an office joke?).

Have you ever thought of selling it? Thanks for showing us the photo! That is a cool effect with the double heads.

- Scott T. Shier
Hi Scott,

Thanks for the reply!

You know I never really thought about talking with NG back when I was a child. I have contacted them lately and they do not seem to have any records with a misprint of this nature in their files. I really have not thought about selling it but I am extremly interested in its vaule especially since I have never been able to find another one like this.

NG told me to post it here to see what I could find out. I am sure I could be talked out of it at the right price, but I think it's pretty cool and was glad to find it in pretty good condition after all of these years. I probably should put in some sort of protective cover but I have yet to do that.

Do you know what the value of something like this is? If not do you know of anyone who would?

Thanks for the help!

My pardon, was not thinking that you were a child then. But I was too!

Who can say what the value is...since there has not been one before, there is no prior "sale" price, or common understood price to go by. I imagine there are those who would pay a lot for it. Myself, I'd keep it if I had it. Something like eBay could be tricky, because one week only one person might bid on it, but if another week, and "the right people" are looking, then there could be many bids I suppose.

What condition is it in; is the hologram scuffy?

~ Scott S.
Hi Scott,

No problem!

I did not really notice any scuffs until I scanned it in for the large picture above. That is a fresh scan a couple of days ago. I do not know how conditions are really rated but as I lay person on a scale from 1 to 10, I would call it a 9.

I really have no intention of selling it, but you never know. If it was worth what some misprints are worth then I might reconsider.

I'll send you the picture file so that you can zoom in and out to see the condition.

Thanks for the help!
By the way...

I have changed the attached picture file to the actual scan if you want to download it and get a better understanding of it's condition.

As one of the obsessives who'ld love to have your possibly unique cover, I'll offer four suggestions.

Mylar sleeve at the very least should be added as protection. There is another and more expensive method from the comics world called slabbing. Most of the main comics websites offer the cases and describe the process. There is an organization that rates and then slabs Golden and Silver Age comics in permanent case. Since you've noted no internal errors on this issue, it really is the cover that gives the added value and slabbing seems to me perfect to display and permanently and completely protect the oddity. Were it mine I'd spend the $10-$25 (do-it-yourself materials cost to sending it out to be professionalyy slabbed).

Second, if you are a serious collector, I would have it "scheduled" on your homeowner's or renter's insurance. Probably no, and certainly very limited, premium effect and that way it is insured other than just as unscheduled book for which no value is given. I would easily schedule it at $100-$500 if your insurer does it by category (we have some of my books and magazines, silver and some art scheduled that way; jewelry is individually appraised and so not grouped). If an appraiser or a electronic auction value indicated value over $1000, let alone any multiple thereof (which crazies in bid competition have done to items I consider scarce but not rare, as this oddity surely is), I would separately schedule for that number. There then may be some additional premium, but if it really does have that much value, you'ld want to have it properly insured.

Again, if you assertain a very high value, I'd store in safety deposit box or at least fire-proof filing cabinet or safe. I, personally, would not give a thousand for it, but either Drs. Persons (LA area) or Begley (Dallas) might far exceed that if they really were convinced it is unique. However, even if I think $100-$500 is correct current estimate for what is purely a "boasting rights" oddity some collector might adore, I would definitely no just store on the shelf, and would protect as much as possible from fire or water.

Fourth, to the extent that there is considerable doubt as to a "market," I would strongly discourage electronic auction for the reason previously advised by Scott or whomever. My primary collector's unique stuff is all the Buxbaumiana I acquired in 1998. Some of the items (GHG personal letters to Dr. Buxbaum about rescheduling M Street building dedication after Kennedy assassination) have a non-Geographic potential clientele and make what are two personal notes of a hundred words or less more value than Dr. Buxbaum's notes, poetry and personal correspondence. I had a Kennedy appraiser assign a value and I scheduled it (value) on my insurance, and they are now under archival glass on a wall. Assuming a value in excess of $100 (which I certainly would), I would not risk auction vagaries or one appraiser's or collector's offer on the oddity without really trying to garner a better idea where the value should truly lay.

A final note, the high-roller collectors of Geographics don't seem to do bulletin boards or with Dr. Person's exception, eBay or other auctions. Bill Cole has an email contacts list that might help you if or when you choose to try to sell it. Just as I won't insult you by offering $100 when I think there is a legitimate chance for a four-figure appraisal, I would not entertain any individual offer without contacting the more wealthy or more obsessed collector community. Same for consigning it on Collector's Exchange or one of the other quasi-dealer sites. However, I will also advise that I think Nick Koopmann would be in a fine position to offer an appraiser, as he's handled far more oddities than I have purchased. Either he, John Carey or I can probably offer an appraisal that any insurer will accept, if you decide to keep it and protect from contigent casualties.
Hi Paul,

Sorry it has taking me eons to respond to you. I have been in the midst of starting a mobility company and forgot that I never responded to you. I started a couple of responses, but for one reason or another got interrupted and never finished any of them.

However, I very much appreciate you advice. Just to let you know I have it in a plastic sleeve that I picked up from a comic book store as well as have it in a lockable, 1 hour fire proof filing cabinet that I use for my business.

I was wondering how much it would cost to get it appraised and how would I go about this? John Carey told me, in an email, something along the lines that it was only worth $5.00 because he said that he does not know any collector that ever pays for mistakes. I had a computer crash and lost his actual email otherwise I would have told you what he said verbatim.

I don't agree with his viewpoint, quite simply because of one famous mistake that everyone seems to want "The Inverted Jenny". Now I am not saying this comes close to the inverted Jenny, since I do not think there are as many NG collectors as stamp collectors, but I do know it is worth something.
I received this issue in the mail back in 1985 as a child and have kept it in pretty good shape. (Not perfect, but if you asked me on a scale 1 to 10 I would put it at an 8.5 to 9.) I have never seen or heard of another one like this one.

If you could let me know the cost and how we could go about getting it appraised I would greatly appreciate it. I am pretty tight on money right now, but have every intention of getting this appraised at some point in time in the near future.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond to my posting and sorry for taking so long in getting back in touch with you.

Best regards,
Chris McIlwain
I have stationery and can do one, that at least so far as axquaintewnces have reported, IRS has accepted for deduction evaluations for in-kind charitable contributions. I sincerely doubt that insurance adjustor would accept however, so what you pay for is what you get.

Koopmann probably would be nominal charge, as he'll render an opinion without inspecting actual collection for $200-$250, and might do a single issue on scans for considerably less.

Local collectibles or rare book appraiser varies greatly and in the antiquated world of rare-arts insurance, still seems to be the standard. Adjustors look to the local replacement or fair-market value, rather than national or international comparables even in this day of Internet, though that may eventually change. If you are in a large city with collectibles or rare-book appraisers, the cost is likely minimal. If you are in the middle of Kansas, you're likely to have to send it off and pay rather a lot for an official, insurance appraisal.

A closing note, no apology necessary for the lapse in response. This is only a hobby, and requires no urgency. One reason I don't do eBay as everybody thinks more than an hour's turn around on email is cataclysmic. It sounds like the rarity is well taken care off, and can sit in that fire-proof filing cabinet for a long time without you having further to worry about it. I would refer you to MileHighComics com. I once in a previous life was its owner Counsel and VP Finance, though title was far grander than the position. He has several commentaries on the "slabbing" process which really wouldn't add much to what you have already done for preservation, but is an interesting sidebar to collecting-but-never-enjoying approach to value enhancement. That is not my main reason for reference to his essays, however. He has had collectibles now worth many thousands in barns or warehouse storage for decades. Several recent news letters discuss his "rediscovery" of items virtually lost for thirty years. His early posts on how he amassed millions of comics indicate how opportunity benefits the prepared. Some evening when you have nothing else to do, scroll through his essays, there is much there applicable to Geographics collecting, though like philately, the market is exponentially larger than ours, and seems to expand whereas ours contracts.

I have not asked Chuck if he thought the comics misprint or offprint value dividend applied to your cover because, despite my rather ardent invitation at one point or another, he has not engaged in the Geographics, and other than sending me a deal or two, ever particpated in the Geographics trade. However, his sundry posts over the years do concern "unique items," and generally debunk Carey's dismissal of any premium for the rare, if not unique, "misprint." In some previous post or email, I have listed some of the errata I have accumulated, not at too high a price I'll admit, but that differ from the standard. The whole masthead difference in some of the book editions as well as the invitation/subscription blurb also fits within this category. Esoterica though it may well be, and Carey is right that a very small number of even avid Geographic collectors would care, there is some price to be associated with something that is different from the norm.

As a final aside, somebody and I think in a private email rather than a posting commented to me that the split cover holograph is certainly more significant than the page-substitution in This England to mark UK's abandonment of pence-non-decimal increments to a hundred-pence-to-the-pound. As long ago as 1970, that one-page substitution was deemed to add 50% to the value of a particular edition. It is now extremely hard to come by the "revised" edition and when marketed as such, commanded a premium on eBay when I was doing such in 1998-2002. Same goes for the Dinosaur map from the 1980s with millions of copies reversing Conn. and Mass. on its verso. While the "corrected" version that never went to subscribers is the rarer of the two, I have seen $20-$25 for the common, mistaken variety on eBay as I caught a mistake prominent in the advertising. I do not know how many went for this, if more than a handful, and I do not think it would have continued for long. However, Carey at the time was making posts that this was deceptive, just as he has with the $2 1975 reprint of I#1 that has reached hundreds of dollars on electronic auctions. Carey's own intervention in such inflated markets refutes his assertion that there is no premium for the one off. Whether he'd confess the "revised" This England differs from the Dinosaur map or the 1975 reprint, there is some market for the weird, and your holograph has to fall withi that category squarely.

Hope your Thanksgiving was great and the start of the weak non-taxing



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