US Stamps

New U.S. stamps planned for new rates

May 18, 2015, 6 AM

The United States Postal Service will soon issue new nondenominated stamps to fulfill five different mailing rates. The stamps are similar to the nondenominated forever stamps for first-class letter mail, in that they will fulfill their designated rates regardless of future rate changes.

These new stamps, however, are each expected to bear a text inscription specifically identifying the rate that is fulfilled by the stamp, rather than the word "forever."

Rates are now set to increase May 31, and most of the new stamps will be issued June 1.

The 49¢ first-class letter rate is not going up, but prices for additional ounce and postcard mail are on the rise.

The five first-class rates that will be fulfilled by new nondenominated stamps are additional ounce for letters (22¢), first-class postcard (35¢), 1-ounce nonmachineable (71¢), 2-ounce rate (71¢), and 3-ounce rate (93¢).

Following are descriptions of preliminary designs for stamps the Postal Service has planned to fulfill these five rates.

A nondenominated (22¢) stamp simply inscribed "Additional ounce" and showing two adult emperor penguins will be issued in panes of 20 and coils of 100. The stamp design was created by artist Nancy Stahl, whose animal illustrations have appeared on several U.S. definitive stamps, including the 37¢ Snowy Egret coil and booklet stamps first issued in 2003 (Scott 3829-3830D) and the 34¢ Hummingbird sheet and coil stamps issued in 2014 (Scott 4857-4858). 

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Four different coastal birds will be shown on nondenominated (35¢) stamps fulfilling the postcard rate. The birds depicted in the set are the red knot, king eider, spoonbill and frigatebird. The inscription that will appear on these stamps reads "Postcard." These stamps, illustrated by Tyler Lang, will also be issued in panes of 20 and coils of 100.

The nonmachineable rate stamp will continue the butterfly theme used on four previous issues for this rate. The new nondenominated (71¢) stamp will depict the Eastern tiger swallowtail, and will be issued in panes of 20. The illustrator is Tom Engeman, who created the designs on the earlier issues: 70¢ Monarch Butterfly (Scott 4462), 65¢ Baltimore Checkerspot (4603), 66¢ Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly (4736) and 70¢ Great Spangled Fritillary (4859). The new stamp bears the inscription "Non-Machineable Surcharge."

Three nondenominated (71¢) stamps will be issued for the first-class 2-ounce rate, all reusing designs that have appeared recently on U.S. stamps. The three stamps are the Vintage Tulip (used previously on Scott 4960, a 70¢ stamp issued Feb. 14, 2015), Wedding Cake (seen previously on Scott 4397, 4521, 4602, 4735, 4867 in five denominations issued between 2009 and 2014), and the Yes I Do floral design (previously featured on Scott 4765 and 4881, 66¢ and 70¢ stamps issued in 2013 and 2014). All are planned as panes of 20. The inscription on these stamps reads "Two Ounce."

The nondenominated (93¢) first-class 3-ounce rate stamp will honor author Flannery O'Connor in the Literary Arts series. The stamp will be issued in panes of 20 on June 5, with a first-day ceremony at the Napex stamp show in McLean, Va. The stamp inscription reads "Three Ounce."

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