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The Pagsanjan Falls stamp is a postage stamp, issued on 3 May 1932, which is notable for having an error. It is part of a set of seven stamps showing places of interest and landmarks in the Philippines,[1] at that time a United States territory. It is a postage stamp design error printed in the United States and intended to display an image of Pagsanjan Falls, a tourist attraction in Laguna province in the Philippines. However, the image on the stamp is actually of Vernal Fall in Yosemite National Park, California.

Pagsanjan Falls
Pagsanjan Falls stamp depicting Vernal Fall in Yosemite National Park
Country of productionUnited States
Date of production3 May 1932
Nature of rarityPostage stamp design error
Face value18 cents
Estimated valueUS$26.00 (mint) (2008)[1]

The error has made the stamp the most sought after in the set: the 2008 Scott catalogue value for a very fine mint never-hinged copy of the stamp (Scott #357) is US$25.00, while no other stamp in the set exceeds US$1.00.[1] The rest of the set comprises 2¢ – Mount Mayon, 4¢ – the Manila Central Post Office, 12¢ – Pier No. 7, Manila, 20¢ – planting rice, 24¢ – rice terraces and 32¢ – Baguio zigzag.[1]



The postage stamp design is of an upright rectangular form, a shape chosen so that the waterfall could be displayed in its entirety, and is printed in yellow and orange inks. The textural elements are at the top and bottom of the stamp; the base panel reads "United States of America" with 18 centavos denomination corner box on either side. Above this is a small banner that reads "Pagsanjan Falls" while a panel at the top of the stamp are the words "Philippine Islands" in an arc. The picture illustrates a large waterfall with trees growing at the top and a few boats nearby. The colors are bright so as to render the picture highly visible. Additional design elements frame the image on both sides.


Although the inscription reads Pagsanjan Falls, the waterfall on the stamp is Vernal Fall, a waterfall in Yosemite National Park in California.[1][2] The error came about because the engraver, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, used a photograph of Vernal Fall as the basis for the image on the stamp because the wrong image had been supplied by the post office in Manila. At the time, July 1941, it was estimated that one and a half million copies had been printed even though a recall was considered.[3] No stamp was issued with a corrected image.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Kloetzel, Joseph, (ed) (August 2007). Scott 2008 Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. vol.5. Sidney, OH: Scott catalogue. p. 231. ISBN 0-89487-399-7.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Poblete, Johanna D. (4 July 2008). "Bits of history". Business World. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
  3. ^ Burns, Jr., Franklin R. (July 1941). "Stamps". Boys' Life. Philadelphia: Boy Scouts of America: 38. ISSN 0006-8608. Retrieved 20 April 2014.