By Michael Baadke
Two new United States nondenominated (25¢) coil stamps designated for sending presorted first-class mail will be issued July 6 in Washington, D.C.
No first-day ceremony is planned.
The new Star Quilts stamps are illustrated with two different patterns that alternate on self-adhesive coil rolls of 3,000 and 10,000.
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Collectors will be able to obtain strips of 25 stamps from either roll, with a purchase limit of four strips.
The strips can be ordered for $6.25 as item 781003 (from the roll of 3,000) or 799903 (from the roll of 10,000) by calling USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services at 800-782-6724.
Plate numbers will appear on every 28th stamp.
The Postal Service identifies the quilt patterns pictured on the two stamps as Lone Star patterns.
“The Lone Star quilt pattern is one of the oldest and most recognized patterns in the quilting world,” Molly Goad, chief editor of Craft Ideas, told Linn’s Stamp News.
“As cotton fabric choices became more available during the first half of the 19th century, quilters began mixing fabric patterns and colors to create intricate designs such as the Lone Star.
“The design is difficult to master, featuring a sizable star in the center made from diamond-shaped fabric strips, forming the star points from the center out. The most common iteration of the pattern is with eight points, as pictured in the Star Quilts stamp.”
Craft Ideas and Linn’s are both published by Amos Media.
The stamp designs each show a detail from a photograph by John Volk of one of two quilts made by Amish quiltmakers, according to the Postal Service.
The stamps are issued for commercial mailers who sort their first-class business mail by ZIP code, reducing some of the work normally done by the Postal Service. As a result, the businesses can send their mail at a lower postage rate after completing advance arrangements with the Postal Service.
With certain restrictions, stamp collectors also are allowed to use these stamps, which fall into a category familiarly known as precanceled postage, according the USPS Domestic Mail Manual, section 604.3.5.
Such stamps are also known as service-inscribed.
The collector wishing to use them for postage must complete and file USPS form 3615 at the post office where mailings are to be deposited. There is no fee for the permit.
The outgoing mail must be franked with postage meeting the full first-class mail rate (currently 47¢ for 1 ounce or less), and be endorsed “first-class mail” immediately below the stamps. And the mail must be handed to a clerk in the post office where the mailer’s completed permit is kept on file.
The new Star Quilts coil stamps are being issued just nine months after the Postal Service issued a new offset-printed variety of the six Spectrum Eagle nondenominated (25¢) presorted first-class coil stamps on Sept. 2, 2015 (Scott 5013-5018). Those stamps reused the design of the original gravure-printed Spectrum Eagle coil stamps issued Jan. 3, 2012 (Scott 4585-4590).
Details of the 2015 Spectrum Eagle set were published online last August.
Technical details for the Star Quilts coil stamps and first-day cancel ordering information can be found below.
FIRST DAY— July 6, 2016; city— Washington, D.C., and nationwide.
DESIGN: photographer— John Volk; designer, art director and typographer— Derry Noyes, Washington, D.C.; modeler— Sandra Lane and Michelle Finn.
PRINTING: process— offset with microprinting; printer and processor— Banknote Corporation of America, Browns Summit, N.C.; press— Alprinta 74; inks— cyan, magenta, yellow, black, Pantone Matching System 1795 (red); paper— phosphor tagged, overall; gum— self-adhesive; issue quantity— 150 million stamps in coils of 3,000; 500 million stamps in coils 10,000; format— coils of 3,000 and 10,000, from 560-subject cylinders; size— 0.73 inches by 0.84 inches (image); 0.87 inches by 0.98 inches (overall); plate numbers— “B” followed by five single digits, every 28th stamp; USPS item No.— 781040 (coil of 3,000), 799940 (coil of 10,000).
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 Honoring Extraordinary Heroism: The Service Cross Medals Stamps, Special Events Coordinator, 380 W. 33rd St., New York, NY 10199-9998.
Requests for first-day cancels must be postmarked by July 30.
The Postal Service’s set of four uncacheted first-day covers for the Service Cross Medals stamps is item 561116 at $3.64. USPS order numbers for stamps and FDCs also appear in Linn’s 2016 U.S. Stamp Program.