US Stamps

New Ferns coils: One of these things is not like the other

Apr 30, 2015, 10 AM


Anytime the United States Postal Service issues a new letter-rate coil stamp in rolls of 3,000 and rolls of 10,000, you can pretty much expect that the stamps from either size roll will be exactly the same if they come from the same printer.

At least, that's the way it used to be.

On March 27 the Postal Service issued new Ferns forever stamps in coils, very similar to the photogravure coil printed by CCL Label and issued in 2014 (Scott 4874-4878), but these new coils are lithographed and printed by Banknote Corp. of America for Sennett Security Products.

The new Ferns coils come in rolls of 3,000 and 10,000, so it would be normal for the stamps from both of these new rolls to be exactly alike. But they're not.

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The coil stamps in rolls of 10,000 have a 2014 year date in the lower left corner (reading across). The coil stamps in rolls of 3,000 have a 2015 year date in the upper right corner (reading down).

Collectors looking for varieties will want to order both from the Postal Service or a dealer in new issue coil stamps.

A strip of 25 stamps from the coil of 10,000 is USPS item 777335. A strip of 25 stamps from the coil of 3,000 is USPS item 786703.

Scott catalog new issues editor Martin Frankevicz pointed out the unexpected difference after receiving a call from a stamp dealer who made the discovery.

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