The 2014-dated version of the United States (49¢+11¢) Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp will be issued Sept. 30 in Sacramento, Calif., with a noon first-day ceremony on the west steps of the capitol.
The new semipostal has the same design as the variety first issued 16 years ago, but the year date, stamp printer and printing process have changed.
Banknote Corporation of America will print 20 million stamps in panes of 20 for Sennett Security Products using the offset process.
The original stamp issued July 29, 1998, was gravure-printed by Avery Dennison (Scott B1).
Press sheets, both with and without die cuts, will be made available for the new stamp. Each press sheet consists of 12 panes of stamps and sells for $144. A total of 1,000 sheets with die cuts and 1,500 without die cuts were produced.
The current purchase price of an individual semipostal stamp is 60¢. The amount collected in excess of the 49¢ first-class letter rate is transferred to the National Institutes of Health and the medical research program at the Department of Defense. Sales of the stamp are scheduled to continue until Dec. 31, 2015.
The stamp artwork was created by Whitney Sherman, who worked with U.S. Postal Service art director Ethel Kessler on the project in the late 1990s.
The Postal Service describes the design as depicting “a woman standing with her right arm raised, reaching behind her head in the position recommended for breast self-examination.”
The female figure in the design, however, also represents the Greek goddess Artemis, with her right hand reaching for an arrow in her quiver.
Post offices will not receive an automatic distribution of the 2014-date variety. Collectors wishing to purchase the new variety should order the stamp through USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services.
Collectors have 60 days to mail in requests for the first-day cancel.
Nondenominated (49¢+11¢) Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp
FIRST DAY— Sept. 30, 2014; city— Sacramento, Calif., and nationwide.
DESIGN: artist— Whitney Sherman; art director, typographer and designer— Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, Md.; 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— Pantone Matching System 1365 yellow, PMS 322 light blue, cyan, magenta, yellow, black; paper— phosphor tagged, overall; gum— self-adhesive; issue quantity— 20 million stamps; format— pane of 20, from 240-subject cylinders; size— 0.84 inches by 1.42 inches (image); 0.98 inches by 1.56 inches (overall); 5.92 inches by 7.24 inches (full pane); plate numbers— “S” followed by six single digits; marginal markings— plate numbers (front); “©1998 USPS,” USPS logo, plate position diagram, bar code, Breast Cancer Research proceeds explanation, promotional text (back); USPS item No.— 555304.
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 Breast Cancer Research Stamp, USPS Customer Relations Coordinator, 2000 Royal Oaks Drive, Sacramento, CA 95813-9998. Requests for first-day cancels must be postmarked by Nov. 30.
The Postal Service’s uncacheted first-day cover for the Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp is item No. 555316 at $1.04.