US Stamps

By Jay Bigalke

Hummingbird flutters onto new U.S. postcard stamps Feb. 7

February 07, 2014 08:10 AM

  • The United States 34¢ postcard rate Hummingbird stamp was issued Feb. 7 in panes of 20 and coils of 100.

A hummingbird is depicted on two 34¢ stamps sharing the same design. The stamps were issued Feb. 7 by the United States Postal Service in Kansas City, Mo.

The stamps are sold in panes of 20 and coil rolls of 100, resulting in the two collectible varieties.

A first-day ceremony was not planned, but a Kansas City postmark will be available.

Although the new Hummingbird stamps were placed on sale nationwide on the day of issue, some post offices might not have the stamps in stock.

The 34¢ denomination meets the new domestic postcard rate that took effect Jan. 26.

The stamp features an illustration by Nancy Stahl. Carl T. Herr­man served as art director and designer for these stamps.

The hummingbird illustration is one of many depicting different animals that Stahl has created for U.S. stamps.

The first was the 37¢ Snowy Egret stamp (Scott 3829) issued in 2003. Other animals featured include a bobcat, bighorn sheep, Florida panther, polar bear, dragonfly and dolphin. Most of these designs use predominantly blue hues.

The U.S. Postal Service contracted with printer Ashton Potter to produce 100 million stamps in coils of 100, and 400 million stamps in panes of 20.

On the coil of 100, the plate number P11111 will appear on every 31st stamp in the roll.

No press sheets are planned for the Hummingbird stamp. Postal Service spokesman Mark Saunders told Linn’s that “For non-commemorative stamps, they [press sheets] are not automatic, and are determined on a case-by-case basis.”

The hummingbird has been featured recently on other U.S. stamps, including a 41¢ stamp in the Pollination set issued in 2007 (Scott 4154), and a set of five 29¢ Hummingbirds stamps (2642-2646) issued in 1992.

Technical details and first-day postmark information for the new Hummingbird stamp are included in the text below.

34¢ Hummingbird stamp pane of 20 and coil of 100

FIRST DAY— Feb. 7, 2014; city— Kansas City, Mo., and nationwide.

DESIGN: artist— Nancy Stahl, New York, N.Y.; art director, designer, and typographer— Carl T. Herrman, North Las Vegas, Nev.; modeler— Joseph Sheeran.

PRINTING: process— offset with “USPS” microprinting; printer and processor— Ashton Potter, Williamsville, N.Y.; press— Mueller Martini A76; inks— black, cyan, magenta, yellow, Pantone Matching System 625C blue; paper— nonphosphored type III, tagged (pane), prephosphored, type I, block tagged; gum— self-adhesive; issue quantity— 100 million stamps (pane), 400 million stamps (coil); format— pane of 20, from 400-subject cylinders; coil of 100, from 744-subject cylinders; size— 0.73 inches by 0.84 inches (image); 0.87 inches by 0.98 inches (overall); 5.35 inches by 4.93 inches (full pane); plate numbers— “P” followed by five single digits, plate number on every 31st stamp in coil; marginal markings for pane stamp— plate numbers in four corners (stamp side), “©2013 USPS,” plate position diagram, USPS logo, bar code 117200 in two corners (back side); USPS item No.— 117204 (pane), 774604 (coil).

First-day cancel ordering information

Collectors requesting first-day cancels are encouraged to purchase their own stamps and affix them to envelopes. The first-day cover envelopes should be addressed for return (a removable label may be used), and mailed in a larger envelope addressed to Hummingbird Stamp, Cancellation Services, 8300 N.E. Underground Drive, Pillar 210, Kansas City, MO 64144-0001. Requests for first-day cancels must be postmarked by April 11.

The Postal Service’s uncacheted first-day cover for the 34¢ Hummingbird stamp is USPS item No. 117216 at $1.12.