US Stamps

New $1 Patriotic Waves stamp on Jan. 12

Dec 23, 2014, 4 AM

A new $1 stamp from the United States Postal Service will be issued nationwide Jan. 12 with no first-day ceremony planned.

The stamp is the first of two announced Patriotic Waves issues for 2015. A companion $2 stamp will be issued Jan. 30 with a ceremony at the Southeastern Stamp Expo in Norcross, Ga. The show is taking place at the Hilton Hotel Atlanta Northeast.

The two stamps both feature designs of primarily red and blue curving lines of various thicknesses in a flowing pattern against a white background.

The denomination figures on both the $1 and $2 stamps will be printed in red.

“This contemporary stamp design was created to lend a patriotic appearance to packages, large envelopes, and other mailings,” the Postal Service stated, adding that the abstract pattern is reminiscent of billowing flags.

The $1 Patriotic Waves stamp is self-adhesive and will be issued in panes of 10.

The Postal Service also is offering 500 press sheets of 140 stamps with die cuts, and 1,000 press sheets of 140 stamps without the die cuts that normally separate individual stamps. These larger sheets will sell for $140 each.

The new stamp is offset-printed and was processed by USPS contract printer Ashton Potter of Williamsville, N.Y.

The overall size of the horizontal individual stamp is 1.19 inches by 0.91 inches, which makes it exactly the same size as many U.S. regular-issue and holiday stamps, including the vertically oriented Christmas Magi forever stamp issued Nov. 19, 2014.

It is also exactly the same size as the $1 Waves of Color stamp issued Dec. 1, 2012 (Scott 4717), which the new stamp resembles.

Both of the $1 stamps were designed by artist Michael Dyer with the participation of USPS art director Antonio Alcala.

USPS promotional artwork of the pane of 10 stamps shows narrow gutter strips separating the individual stamps. Because the printed design bleeds out to the very edge of the stamp, the gutter helps to prevent the design from one stamp edging into another if printing alignment is off slightly.

The new stamp is expected to replace both the $1 Wisdom stamp, which was first issued Feb. 28, 2003, almost a dozen years ago, and the two-year-old $1 Waves of Color stamp.

USPS spokesman Mark Saunders told Linn’s Stamp News that the Postal Service’s inventories of both the $1 Waves of Color and $1 Wisdom stamps are low, and noted specifically that when the $1 Wisdom stock depletes that it will no longer be offered, and there are no plans to create additional printings.

It appears that the Postal Service expects the new $1 stamp to serve as the primary issue for that denomination for some time to come, as it has ordered a print run of 100 million stamps, as opposed to the 10 million quantity ordered for the 2012 $1 Waves of Color stamp.

The new stamp’s designated city of issue is Kansas City, Mo., home to the USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services mail-order facility.

First-day covers for the $1 Patriotic Waves stamp will show a Kansas City postmark.

The Postal Service will sell two varieties of FDCs without cachets.

The cover with the standard black first-day postmark with four horizontal killer bars will sell for $1.44.

A cover with a digital color postmark that includes a large numeral 1 created from red and blue geometric lines similar to those seen in the stamp vignette will be offered for $2.15.

The $1 stamps from 2012 and 2015 are similar, but there are also noticeable differences.

Though the 2012 $1 Waves of Color stamp is horizontally formatted, the blue and green wave design is primarily vertical on the right side of the stamp.

The red and blue waves on the 2015 stamp are more horizontally oriented across the top of the stamp.

The 2012 stamp did not include a dollar sign with its large “1” denomination, but it did include the inscription “ONE DOLLAR” along with the “USA” text.

The 2015 stamp adds a dollar sign to the denomination and eliminates the remaining text except for the “USA.”

The new stamp also is entirely offset-printed with microprinting, according to specifications released by the Postal Service, whereas the large numeral 1 on the 2012 stamp was intaglio-printed (engraved) on the otherwise offset-printed stamp.

The Postal Service notes that it will not make an automatic “push distribution” of $1 Patriotic Waves stamp to post offices, but states that post offices could begin ordering the new stamps in mid-December, prior to the issue date.

Technical details and first-day cancel ordering information for the $1 Patriotic Waves stamp are as follows:

$1 Patriotic Waves stamp
FIRST DAY— Jan. 12, 2015; city— Kansas City, Mo., and nationwide.
DESIGN: artist, designer and typographer— Michael Dyer, Brooklyn, N.Y.; art director— Antonio Alcala, Alexandria, Va.; modeler— Joseph Sheeran.
PRINTING: process— offset, with microprinting; printer and processor— Ashton Potter USA Ltd., Williamsville, N.Y.; press— Muller A76; inks— Pantone Matching System 2174 C blue, PMS 185 C red, PMS cool gray C 8; paper— nonphosphored type III, block tagging; gum— self-adhesive; issue quantity— 100 million stamps; format— pane of 10, from 280-subject cylinders; size— 1.05 inches by 0.77 inches (image); 1.19 inches by 0.91 inches (overall); 3.52 inches by 6.09 inches (full pane); plate numbers— “P” followed by three single digits; marginal markings— plate numbers in two corners (front); “©2014 USPS,” USPS logo, plate position diagram, two bar codes, promotional text (back); USPS item No.— 117440.

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 first-day cover envelopes should be addressed for return (a removable label may be used), and mailed in a larger envelope addressed to $1 Patriotic Waves Stamp, Cancellation Services, 8300 NE Underground Drive, Pillar 210, Kansas City, MO 64144-0001. Requests for first-day cancels must be postmarked by March 13.