US Stamps

By Michael Baadke

U.S. 5¢ Grapes coil issued with just one day’s notice

February 19, 2016 01:36 PM

  • A new United States 5¢ Grapes coil self-adhesive stamp arrived unexpectedly on Feb. 19. The issue date was only revealed the day before.
  • A U.S. 10¢ Red Pears coil stamp was issued Jan. 17. Artist John Burgoyne provided the illustrations for both the Red Pears and the Grapes stamps.

By Michael Baadke

United States Postal Service representatives mentioned last August that a new 5¢ Grapes stamp would be issued in 2016.

However, it wasn’t until Feb. 18 that the issue date was revealed: Feb. 19.

No first-day ceremony is planned. Kansas City, Mo., is designated as the official city of issue.

The new self-adhesive stamp, in a coil of 10,000, is offset-printed with microprinting in the design.

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The pen-and-ink and watercolor stamp illustration by John Burgoyne features two clusters of deep purple pinot noir grapes growing on vines among green leaves.

USPS art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp, which was printed by Ashton Potter.

Collectors may order a smaller coil segment of 500 Grapes stamps from USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services as item 781915 for $25.

This is the second U.S. coil definitive stamp with a fruit theme issued in little more than a month. A 10¢ Red Pears stamp was issued Jan. 17, also in a coil of 10,000.

Details of the Red Pears stamp were published in the Feb. 8 Linn’s.

The Red Pears stamp also shows an illustration by Burgoyne, but was printed by the Postal Service’s other contract printer, Banknote Corp. of America.

A third stamp in this new series, showing apples on a 1¢ stamp, is also in the works. No issue date for the Apples stamp has been announced.

Technical details and first-day cancel ordering information for the 5¢ Grapes coil stamp are given below.

5¢ Grapes stamp, coil of 10,000

FIRST DAY— Feb. 19, 2016; city— Kansas City, Mo., and nationwide.

DESIGN: artist— John Burgoyne, West Barnstable, Mass.; designer, typographer and art director— Derry Noyes, Washington, D.C.; modelers— Joseph Sheeran.

PRINTING: process— offset with microprinting; printer and processor— Ashton Potter USA Ltd., Williamsville, N.Y.; press— Muller A76; inks— cyan, magenta, yellow, black, Pantone Matching System 4 warm gray, PMS 7667C purple; gum— self-adhesive; paper— nonphosphored type III; issue quantity— 150 million stamps; format— coil of 10,000, from 594-subject cylinders; size— 0.73 inches by 0.84 inches (image); 0.87 inches by 0.98 inches (overall); plate numbers— “P” followed by six single digits, plate number every 27th stamp; marginal markings— none; USPS item No.— 789100.

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 envelope must be franked with at least 49¢ in first-class postage. The first-day cover envelopes should be addressed for return (a removable label may be used), and mailed in a larger envelope addressed to Grapes Stamp, Cancellation Services, 8300 NE Underground Drive, Pillar 210, Kansas City, MO 64144-0001.

Requests for first-day cancels must be postmarked by April 19.