Postage values for nondenominated U.S. postage stamps

September 29, 2014 05:52 PM

  • Unlike earlier nondenominated stamps, the postage values of the forever stamp and global forever stamp change with each rate increase to keep pace with the current domestic and international first-class letter rates, respectively.

By Michael Baadke

For more than 30 years, the United States Postal Service issued various nondenominated stamps. Some were created in advance of rate changes, when the next letter rate still hadn’t been determined.

Once that rate was set, the new nondenominated stamp sold for that amount and, importantly, that designated postage value never changed.

The nondenominated Christmas stamps for 1975 (Scott 1579-1580B) were the first of these nondenominated rate-change stamps. Both were sold for 10¢, the letter rate when the stamps were issued, and if you plan to use one or the other on mail today, it still has only a 10¢ postage value.

Other nondenominated stamps have been issued to fulfill special mailing rates for bulk mailers, nonprofit groups and the like. These stamps are inscribed with the service designation, such as "NONPROFIT ORG." on the Art Deco Bird coil issued in 2011 (Scott 4495), but the nominal postage value does not appear on the stamp (in this case, it is 25¢).

To use these nondenominated stamps with a service indicator as postage, you need a permit, and you have to present your mail to a clerk at the post office.

Technically, the four U.S. nondenominated semipostal stamps issued to date also have assigned fixed postage values, but for some of these stamps, those values changed while the stamps were still on sale (Scott B1-B4).

However, if you bought a Breast Cancer Research semipostal in 1998, when it had a 32¢ postage value, you're supposed to add 17¢ in stamps if you want to use it to mail a letter in 2014, even though the exact same stamp is now sold in post offices with a 49¢ postage value.

Let's say we're operating on the honor system in this case.

Each U.S. semipostal is simply inscribed "First Class" with a plus sign.

Among the stamps, postage values and issue dates presented on these pages, the semipostals are shown with the postage rate that was in place when the stamp went off sale.

The Breast Cancer Research semipostal remains on sale in 2014, and is shown with the current first-class letter rate of 49¢.

The U.S. stamp situation changed considerably in 2007 with the introduction of the forever stamp, which sells for the going price of the domestic first-class letter rate, but remains valid for future letter rates forever, regardless of how much they might increase.

Global forever stamps, introduced in 2013, expand that concept to pay postage for international first-class letter mail, and remain valid for that rate, no matter how far it goes up.

The postage value for any forever stamp in September 2014 is 49¢, and for any global forever stamp is $1.15.

After forever stamps appeared on the scene, the Postal Service retired its nondenominated stamp concept for domestic letter mail, figuring correctly that the mailing public would save and use forever stamps at the new rate.

On the day of the new rate increase, the Postal Service simply starts charging its customers more for all of the forever stamps it has in stock, and for those it introduces after the increase.

Nondenominated U.S. Regular Postage Stamps


10¢
Scott 1579
Oct. 14, 1975

10¢
Scott 1580B
Oct. 14, 1975

15¢
Scott 1735-36, 1743
May 22, 1978

18¢
Scott 1818-20
March 15, 1981

20¢
Scott 1946-48
Oct. 11, 1981

20¢
Scott 1939
Oct. 28, 1981

20¢
Scott 1940
Oct. 28, 1981

22¢
Scott 2111-13
Feb. 1, 1985

25¢
Scott 2277, 2279, 2282
March 22, 1988

29¢
Scott 2517-2520
Jan. 22, 1991


Scott 2521
Jan. 22, 1991

29¢
Scott 2522
Jan. 22, 1991

29¢
Scott 2578
Oct. 17, 1991

29¢
Scott 2579-81
Oct. 17, 1991

29¢
Scott 2582
Oct. 17, 1991

29¢
Scott 2583
Oct. 17, 1991

29¢
Scott 2584
Oct. 17, 1991

29¢
Scott 2585
Oct. 17, 1991

10¢
Scott 2602 Dec. 13
1991

10¢
Scott 2603-2604,2907
May 29, 1993; 1996

10¢
Scott 3270-3271
Dec. 14, 1998


Scott 2877-2878
Dec. 13, 1994

20¢ yellow background
Scott 2879-2880
Dec. 13, 1994

32¢
white background
Scott 2881-2887, 2889-2892
Dec. 13, 1994

25¢
blue background
Scott 2888
Dec. 13, 1994


green background
Scott 2893
1995


Scott 2902, 2902B
March 10, 1995; 1996

10¢
Scott 2905-2906
March 10, 1995; 1996

15¢
Scott 2908-2910 March 17, 1995; 1996

25¢
Scott 2911-2912B, 3132
March 17, 1995; 1996; 1997

32¢
Scott 2948-2949
Feb. 1, 1995


Scott 2903-2904B
March 16, 1996; 1997


Scott 3207, 3207A
June 5, 1998; Dec. 14, 1998

25¢
Scott 3208, 3208A
June 5, 1998; Sept. 30, 1998

10¢
Scott 3228-3229
Aug. 14, 1998


Scott 3257-3258
Nov. 9, 1998

33¢
Scott 3260, 3264-3269
Nov. 9, 1998

10¢
Scott 3447, 3769
Nov. 9, 2000; 2003

34¢
Scott 3448-3450
Dec. 15, 2000

34¢
Scott 3451-3453
Dec. 15, 2000

34¢
Scott 2455, 3459, 3464
Dec. 15, 2000

34¢
Scott 3456, 3460, 3462
Dec. 15, 2000

34¢
Scott 3456, 3460, 3462
Dec. 15, 2000

34¢
Scott 3457, 3461, 3463 
Dec. 15, 2000

34¢
Scott 3496
Jan. 19, 2001

10¢
Scott 3520, 3770
June 29, 2001; 2003

15¢
Scott 3522
Aug. 3, 2001

36¢
Scott 3620-3625
June 7, 2002

37¢
Scott 3626
June 7, 2002

37¢
Scott 3627
June 7, 2002

37¢
Scott 3628
June 7, 2002

37¢
Scott 3629
June 7, 2002


Scott 3693, 3775, 3785, 3864, 3874, 3875
Oct. 21, 2002; 2003; 2004

25¢
Scott 3792-3801, 3844-3853
June 26, 2003, 2004

39¢
Scott 3965-3975
Dec. 8, 2005

39¢
Scott 3976
Jan. 3, 2006

41¢
Scott 4129-4135
April 12, 2007

10¢
Scott 4157-4158
July 4, 2007


Scott 4495
Feb. 11, 2011

25¢
five different colors
Scott 4585-4590
Jan. 3, 2012

49¢
(2014 postage value)
Scott B1
July 19, 1998

37¢
(final 2002 postage value)
Scott B2
June 27, 2002

37¢
(final 2003 postage value)
Scott B3
Oct. 8, 2003

46¢
(final 2013 postage value)
Scott B4
Sept. 20, 2011