US Stamps

By Jay Bigalke

Designs revealed for upcoming U.S. stamps: flowers, ferns, Lincoln

December 27, 2013 08:05 AM

  • Four Winter Flowers forever stamps to be issued Feb. 14 in Little Rock, Ark.

  • Five United States Ferns forever stamps will be issued in coil rolls of 3,000 and 10,000 on Jan. 27 in Kansas City, Mo.

  • United States Abraham Lincoln additional ounce rate stamp to be issued Feb. 12 in Springfield, Ill.

  • U.S. Great Spangled Fritillary stamp in the Butterfly series to be issued Feb. 10 in Kansas City, Mo. The denomination on the stamp will likely be 70¢ if new rates are implemented in January.

Stamps designs for four upcoming United States issues were revealed through U.S. Postal Service sources in late December.

A block of four Winter Flowers forever stamps will debut Feb. 14 in Little Rock, Ark., during the American Philatelic Society’s Ameristamp Expo show at the Statehouse Convention Center.

Each stamp illustrates a different blossoming plant: amaryllis, cyclamen, paperwhite and Christmas cactus.

The paintings were created by artist William Low. His first project for the Postal Service was the illustration that appeared on the two Poinsettia forever stamps issued Oct. 10, 2013 (Scott 4816 and 4821).

The Winter Flowers forever stamps are planned as a double-sided pane of 20 (convertible booklet format).

Five photographs of different fern plants will be used for new forever coil stamps to be issued Jan. 27 in rolls of 3,000 and 10,000.

Kansas City, Mo., will be the first-day location.

This is the first time that a forever stamp will be offered in a large coil format.

“We decided to offer them as forever stamps as an added customer convenience,” U.S. Postal Service spokesman Mark Saunders told Linn’s.

Previous stamps in large roll format contained an actual denomination which prevented businesses from stocking up on the stamps prior to a rate increase.

Another potential factor in the decision to make the Ferns set forever stamps, though not confirmed, was that the first-class letter rate increase to 49¢ wasn’t set until late December, which might not have allowed adequate time for production and distribution of the stamps to large mailers before the new rate goes into effect Jan. 26.

Photographer Cindy Dyer is credited with taking the photographs of the five different ferns. Pictured are the autumn fern, Goldie’s wood fern, soft shield fern, Fortune’s holly fern, and painted fern.

The new additional-ounce rate stamp will feature a photograph of the Abraham Lincoln statue from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The stamp will be issued Feb. 12 during an event in Springfield, Ill. The stamp will be issued in panes of 20 and coils of 100.

The black-and-white photograph of the sculpture by Daniel Chester French (1850-1931) was taken by Carol M. Highsmith.

The Lincoln stamp’s denomination, shown here as 20¢, is expected to be 21¢.

The new Great Spangled Fritillary stamp in the current Butterfly series will fulfill the postage rate effective Jan. 26 for 1-ounce nonmachinable first-class mail. The stamp will be issued Feb. 10 in Kansas City, Mo.

The nonmachinable rate applies primarily to square or odd-shaped envelopes, such as square greeting card envelopes.

The stamp’s denomination will include the nonmachinable surcharge that the Postal Service adds to the cost of standard 1-ounce first-class mail.

This is the fourth stamp in the Butterfly series specifically created to fulfill this mail classification.

Artist Tom Engeman created the butterfly illustration used for the stamp. The Postal Service’s advance artwork shows a 66¢ denomination, but it is expected that the actual stamp when issued will be denominated 70¢.

Additional details on other U.S. stamps for 2014 will be included in a future issue of Linn’s