Almost $600 to buy Arizona Memorial press sheets; 5-sheet limit on press sheet purchases eliminated

A press sheet without die cuts for the United States $19.99 USS Arizona Memorial Priority Mail Express stamp will cost $599.70. The stamp was issued March 13 in Honolulu.

By Jay Bigalke

The popularity of United States press sheets is cited as a reason for removing order limits. One new press sheet will cost almost $600.

The United States Postal Service has created press sheets for the high-denomination $19.99 USS Arizona Memorial Priority Mail Express stamp issued March 13.

Collectors who buy the two versions, both with and without die cuts, will pay more than it would cost to fly from the U.S. mainland to the memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii.

A USS Arizona Memorial stamp press sheet consists of three panes of 10 stamps arranged horizontally and sells at the face value of $599.70. An image of the press sheet without die cuts is pictured.

The quantity of each type produced was not made available to Linn’s prior to this issue’s production deadline.

Postal Service officials have not said if a press sheet will be offered for the $5.60 Verrazano-Narrows Bridge Priority Mail stamp issued March 4.

The Postal Service has revealed that its press sheet purchase limits were recently lifted. When the limits were in place, customers could purchase no more than five of any specific press sheet.

USPS Stamp Services executive director Susan McGowan told Linn’s that the limit was lifted because of the popularity of press sheets.

Using historical sales data since July 2012 has assisted the Postal Service in forecasting approximately how many press sheets to produce for each issue, McGowan added.

When asked about the possibility of returning an item to press if it sells out, McGowan explained that the USPS will stick to the announced print quantities, because it is difficult to go back to press with a stamp after the initial print run has ended.

The typical production quantity for recent press sheets has been 2,500 of each type. For some issues, the quantity produced has been as few as 500, while for others, it has been as many as 3,000.

The Postal Service began selling a few of its new commemorative stamps as uncut press sheets in 1994. It started offering press sheets without die cuts in July 2012 and has offered them regularly since.

Not every stamp issue is sold in press sheet form. The decision to create and sell press sheets is made on an individual basis for each stamp issue, according to Postal Service officials.

Most press sheet sales take place through the USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services fulfillment center in Kansas City.

Some press sheets are sold at first-day ceremonies and at some stamp shows.

Published 2/28/2014 11:59 AM