The United States Postal Service will issue a new variety of the Purple Heart forever stamp Oct. 11 in Dover, Del. The stamp will have a 2014 year date inscription.
A first-day ceremony for the new stamp will take place at 11 a.m. during the Dover Stamp Show at the Camden-Wyoming Fire Hall, 200 E. Camden-Wyoming Ave., Camden, Del. Camden is a small town near Dover.
The current version of the Purple Heart stamp (Scott 4704) was issued Sept. 4, 2012. It was produced by security printer Avery Dennison in a pane of 20.
Avery Dennison’s stamp printing division was acquired by CCL Label in 2013.
CCL Label produced a version of the Purple Heart stamp in January of this year. Even though this stamp was issued in 2014, it bears a 2012 year date.
Stamps from both of the 2012-dated panes are indistinguishable, with only the plate number prefix changing from “V” to “C.”
The medal pictured on the stamp was awarded during World War II to First Lieutenant Arthur J. Rubin (1917-78) of Bronx, N.Y. It was photographed by Ira Wexler of Maryland. The stamp was designed by Jennifer Arnold with typography by USPS art director Greg Breeding.
CCL Label printed an initial quantity of 70 million Purple Heart stamps. No press sheets will be offered for the new variety.
In 1782, Gen. George Washington issued a general order at his Newburgh, N.Y., headquarters creating the medal. A profile image of Washington appears in the center of the medal design.
According to Army regulations, the Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the president of the United States and is limited to members of the armed forces of the United States who have been wounded or killed, or who have died or may die after being wounded.
The first U.S. Purple Heart stamp was issued May 30, 2003, at the first-class letter rate of 37¢ (Scott 3784). A 37¢ die-cut variety was issued Aug. 1, 2003 (3784A).
A 39¢ Purple Heart stamp was issued in 2006 (Scott 4032). This was followed by a 41¢ stamp in 2007 (4164); two 42¢ stamps in 2008, one with water-activated adhesive and one self-adhesive (4263-64); a 44¢ stamp in 2009 (4390); and a forever stamp in 2012 (4704).
Technical details and first-day postmark information for the latest version of the Purple Heart stamp are found below.
Nondenominated (49¢) Purple Heart forever stamp
FIRST DAY— Oct. 11, 2014; city— Dover, Del., and nationwide.
DESIGN: photographer— Ira Wexler, Braddock Heights, Md.; designer and art director— Jennifer Arnold, Washington, D.C.; typographer— Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, Va.; engraver— WRE; modeler— CCL Label Inc., Clinton, S.C.
PRINTING: process— gravure; printer and processor— CCL Label Inc., Clinton, S.C.; press— Dia Nippon Kiko; inks— yellow, magenta, cyan, black, Pantone Matching System purple 266, PMS red 1805; paper— prephosphored, type I; gum— self-adhesive; issue quantity— 70 million stamps; format— pane of 20, from 420-subject cylinders; size— 0.73 inches by 0.84 inches (image); 0.87 inches by 0.98 inches (overall), 5.25 inches by 4.83 inches (pane); plate numbers— “C” followed by six single digits; marginal markings— “Purple Heart,” “The Medal for the Combat Wounded,” plate numbers in four corners (stamp side); “©2012 USPS,” USPS logo, pane position diagram, bar code, promotional text (back side); USPS item No.— 125404.
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 Purple Heart Stamp, Postmaster, Dover Post Office, 55 Loockerman Plaza, Dover, DE 19901-9998. Requests for first-day cancels must be postmarked by Dec. 10.
The Postal Service’s uncacheted first-day cover for the Purple Heart stamp is USPS item No. 125416 at 93¢. USPS order numbers for stamps and FDCs also appear in Linn’s 2014 U.S. Stamp Program.