US Stamps

By Jay Bigalke

Second variety of new Ferns coils issued as forever stamps

March 07, 2014 10:57 AM

  • The United States Postal Service provided this preliminary design image of the five Ferns forever coil stamps issued March 6 in Kansas City, Mo. This image shows the stamps next to each other, while the actual stamps will be issued with spaces in between.

Five United States nondenominated (49¢) Ferns forever stamps were issued in coils of 10,000 March 6 in Kansas City, Mo.

This is the first large coil, with more than 100 stamps, to be issued with a forever denomination.

The five stamps each show photographs of different fern types: autumn fern, Goldie’s wood fern, soft shield fern, Fortune’s holly fern and painted fern.

The U.S. Postal Service preliminary design pictured here shows the stamps directly adjacent to one another, but the actual stamps will be issued with spaces between them to facilitate their use in stamp-affixing machinery.

The Ferns stamps are being issued primarily for use by businesses that send first-class letters in large quantities.

The same designs were featured on stamps issued Jan. 27 as denominated 49¢ stamps (Scott 4848-4852) in coils of 3,000 and 10,000.

No first-day ceremony was planned for the new issue.

CCL Label Inc. of Clinton, S.C., manufactured both versions of the coil roll using the gravure printing process.

An initial print quantity of 50 million forever stamps was produced.

A plate number appears on every 30th stamp in the roll.

Phil Jordan served as art director for the new stamps, using photographs by Cindy Dyer.

No press sheets are planned for this issue.

A digital color postmark will be offered on sets of five uncacheted first-day covers at a cost of $8.20. The postmark design has the text “Ferns” in large capital letters with the five different fern types appearing to grow out of the five letters.

Technical details and first-day cancel ordering information for the Ferns forever coil stamps can be found in the box on this page.

Nondenominated (49¢) Ferns forever coil stamps

FIRST DAY— March 6, 2014; city— Kansas City, Mo., and nationwide.

DESIGN: existing photographs— Cindy Dyer; designer, art director, and typographer— Phil Jordan, Falls Church, Va.; modeler— CCL Label Inc.; engraver— WRE.

PRINTING: process— gravure; printer and processor— CCL Label Inc., Clinton, S.C.; press— Dia Nippon Kiko; inks— yellow, magenta, black, Pantone Matching System 7482 green; paper— nonphosphored, type III, overall tagged; gum— self-adhesive; issue quantity— 50 million stamps (5,000 coils); formats— coil rolls of 3,000 and 10,000, from 300-subject cylinders; size— 0.84 inches by 0.73 inches (image); 0.98 inches by 0.87 inches (overall); plate numbers— “C” followed by four single digits every 30th stamp; USPS item No.— 777304 (coil of 10,000).

First-day cancel ordering information

Standard ordering instructions apply. 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 Ferns Forever Stamps, SFS Cancellation Unit, 8300 N.E. Underground Drive, Pillar 210, Kansas City, MO 64144-0001. Requests for first-day cancels must be postmarked by May 5.

The Postal Service’s uncacheted set of five first-day covers for the Ferns stamps is item No. 777316 at $4.65. USPS order numbers for stamps and FDCs also appear in Linn’s 2014 U.S. Stamp Program.