US Stamps

By Jay Bigalke

New $15 Canvasbacks duck stamp debuts June 27

June 06, 2014 09:15 AM

  • The U.S. $15 Canvasbacks federal duck stamp will be issued June 27 in Washington, D.C., and nationwide. The stamp features a painting by Adam Grimm.

  • The June 27 first-day-of-sale pictorial cancellation in Washington, D.C.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service will issue the 2014 $15 Canvasbacks federal duck stamp June 27 in Washington, D.C., and nationwide.

A publicity image of the federal duck stamp design is shown here. The stamp art reproduces a painting of male and female canvasback ducks by Adam Grimm of South Dakota.

Grimm’s artwork was chosen by a panel of judges Sept. 28, 2013, out of a field of 202 entries in the Fish and Wildlife Service’s annual art contest.

This is Grimm’s second duck stamp contest win. His painting of a mottled duck appears on the 2000 duck stamp (Scott RW67).

The $15 Canvasbacks federal duck stamp will be offered in two formats: in a pane of 20 perforated stamps with water-activated adhesive, and as a die-cut self-adhesive stamp in a pane of one.

No longer offered is the artist-signed perforated pane of one with water-activated adhesive. This format was discontinued because of high production costs and lagging sales.

The new stamp will be issued at a 10 a.m. first-day ceremony at the Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public. Grimm is expected to participate in the ceremony.

Sales of the new duck stamp will take place on site, and a Washington, D.C., pictorial postmark showing a canvasback duck in flight will be available during the day of issue.

Although not valid for postage, federal migratory bird hunting and conservation stamps, commonly known as duck stamps, are popular collectibles. They are listed and valued with U.S. revenue stamps in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers, and in Vol. 1 of the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue.

Ashton Potter of Williamsville, N.Y., was contracted to print 100,000 stamps in 5,000 panes of 20, and 2.5 million of the single self-adhesive stamp.

The print quantity for the self-adhesive pane of one increased from the previous year by 380,000 panes.

“The increase in the number of stamps will permit us to provide better distribution and customer service,” Federal Duck Stamp Office chief Laurie Shaffer told Linn’s. “We are working to provide better service to our collectors, outdoor enthusiasts and hunters.”

Shaffer added that the Federal Duck Stamp Office recently added five states to its e-stamp program, which has helped increase sales. The e-stamp program gives customers the option of purchasing the federal duck stamp online.

The stamps are offset-printed with microprinting and tagging as security features. According to the technical details for the issue, the microprinting will read “FWS” (for Fish and Wildlife Service).

The plate number in the margins on the pane of 20 is to read P11111, representing the four ink colors used to print the stamp, plus one digit visible under short-wave ultraviolet light that represents the invisible tagging ink. No plate number will appear on the single-stamp pane.

The duck stamps are sold through Stamp Fulfillment Services, the U.S. Postal Service’s mail-order center (telephone 800-782-6724); and from Amplex Corp., the Federal Duck Stamp Office fulfillment center (

Both the water-activated pane of 20 and the self-adhesive stamp will be sold in large press sheets. The press sheet of stamps with water-activated adhesive will consist of three panes for a total of 60 stamps, and will sell for $1,100, which is $200 more than the face value of the stamps.

The self-adhesive press sheet will consist of 18 panes and sell for $350, or $80 more than its face value.

The press sheets also will be sold through Amplex and USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services.

Technical details and first-day cancel ordering information for the $15 Canvasbacks federal duck stamps can be found below.

$15 Canvasbacks federal duck stamps

FIRST DAY— June 27, 2014; city— Washington, D.C., and nationwide.

DESIGN: artist— Adam Grimm; art director— Laurie M. Shaffer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife; modeler— Joseph Sheeran.

PRINTING: process— offset, microprinting “FWS”; printer and processor— Ashton Potter USA Ltd., Williamsville, N.Y.; press— Stevens, Vari-Size Security; inks— black, cyan, magenta, yellow, invisible fluorescent; paper— nonphosphored type III; gum— water-activated (pane of 20), self-adhesive (pane of one); issue quantity— 100,000 stamps (pane of 20); 2.5 million (self-adhesive pane of one); formats— pane of 20, from 60-subject cylinders; self-adhesive pane of one, from 18-subject cylinders; size— 1.73 inches by 1.26 inches (image); 1.89 inches by 1.42 inches (overall); 10.25 inches by 7.09 inches (pane of 20), 6.13 inches by 2.63 inches (self-adhesive pane); plate numbers— “P” followed by five single digits (pane of 20), none (pane of one); marginal markings— plate numbers in four corners, “Artist: Adam Grimm” in four positions, “Department of the Interior,” price “20 × $15.00” in four positions, silhouetted images of ducks in different ink colors (front of pane 20); bar codes 335000 on four corners of pane, federal duck stamp information on back of each stamp (back of pane of 20); “U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service,” “2014-2015 Migratory Bird Hunting & Conservation Stamp,” “Peel Here,” “Artist: Adam Grimm,” “Canvasback,” “If applicable: sign, peel, and attach to hunting license,” descriptive text, (front of self-adhesive pane of one), verso text, bar code, ordering information (back of self-adhesive pane of one); USPS item No.— 335004 (pane of 20), 335104 (self-adhesive pane of one).

June 27 first-day cancel ordering information

Standard ordering instructions apply. Collectors are encouraged to purchase their own stamps and affix them to envelopes. Each envelope should bear first-class postage. Adding the $15 Canvasbacks federal duck stamp is optional. Envelopes should be addressed for return and placed in a larger envelope addressed to Duck Stamp Station, Postal Station, USPS, 2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E., Washington, DC 20002-4225. Requests for first-day cancels must be postmarked by July 27.