The March Party stamp show in Cleveland, Ohio, will host the first-day ceremony for four new stamps from the United States Postal Service.
The Water Lilies forever stamps will be issued March 20 with an 11 a.m. ceremony at La Villa Conference and Banquet Center, 11500 Brookpark Road in Cleveland.
The ceremony is free and open to the public. The stamp show is taking place at the banquet center March 19-21; details are available online.
The nondenominated (49¢) stamps will be issued in a double-sided pane of 20, a format also known as a convertible booklet. They are offset-printed with microprinting.
The Postal Service placed an initial production order of 500 million stamps, a large quantity indicating that these stamps will be commonly offered to retail customers at post offices throughout the nation.
The four stamps show four different water lilies, each photographed by Cindy Dyer, a graphic designer and photographer whose work has appeared in magazines and newsletters, books, brochures, and convention and trade show materials.
Dyer also created the five photographs that appeared on the 49¢ Ferns coil stamps issued Jan. 27, 2014 (Scott 4848-4852). The same designs were used to create forever coil stamps issued March 6, 2014 (Scott 4874-4878), and a new variety of the Ferns coils that will be issued this year on March 27, according to the Postal Service.
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“Water lilies are aquatic herbs that live in both temperate and tropical climates around the world; they are found in still freshwater habitats. There are more than 50 species in the water lily family (Nymphaeaceae) and hundreds of hybrids,” the Postal Service notes.
The flowers of tropical water lilies are larger and more vibrantly colored, according to the Postal Service, but they require water temperatures greater than 70 degrees.
The lilies shown on the stamps each have yellow centers, but vary with the colors of the petals, with pale pink, dark pink, purple and white flowers.
Water lilies have appeared on stamps from many other nations, including Australia, Thailand, Sweden, Finland, Aland, France and others.
The new U.S. stamps will be available in two varieties of press sheets, each costing $117.60 and including 240 stamps: with die cuts separating individual stamps (only 250 sheets printed), and without die cuts (1,000 sheets printed).
The Postal Service is also offering two different sets of four first-day covers, with either a black standard four-bar first-day cancel, or a digital color postmark that features the name “Water Lilies” in large pink cursive lettering with purple highlights.
Technical details and first-day-cancel ordering information for the Water Lilies forever stamps can be found in the box below.
Nondenominated (49¢) Water LILIES
FIRST DAY— March 20, 2015; city— Cleveland, Ohio, and nationwide.
DESIGN: photographer— Cindy Dyer; designer, art director and typographer— Phil Jordan, Falls Church, Va.; modeler— Donald Woo.
PRINTING: process— offset with microprinting; printer and processor— Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products, Browns Summit, N.C.; press— Alprinta 74; inks— cyan, magenta, yellow, black; paper— phosphor tagged overall; gum— self-adhesive; issue quantity— 500 million stamps; format— double-sided pane of 20 (convertible booklet format), from 576-subject cylinders; size— 0.84 inches by 0.73 inches (image); 0.98 inches by 0.87 inches (overall); 1.96 inches by 5.52 inches (full pane); plate numbers— “S” followed by four single digits; marginal markings— plate numbers, “©2014”; USPS item No.— 689904.
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 Water Lilies Stamps, Marketing, 2200 Orange Ave., Room 206, Cleveland, OH 44101-9998. Requests for first-day cancels must be postmarked by May 19.
The Postal Service’s uncacheted set of four first-day covers for the Water Lilies stamps are USPS item No. 689916 at $3.72. USPS order numbers for stamps and FDCs also appear in Linn’s 2015 U.S. Stamp Program.
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