US Stamps

Engraving returns to the U.S. federal duck stamp

Jun 14, 2022, 2 PM
The 2022-23 $25 Redheads migratory bird hunting and conservation stamp issued June 24 includes an engraved element, a detail of which is shown.

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

I’ve stated in previous columns that I’m a sucker when it comes to a nice engraved stamp. And I feel that I am not alone in that sentiment.

The June 2 Postal Bulletin, a publication of the U.S. Postal Service, provided technical details for the printing of the $25 Redheads migratory bird hunting and conservation stamp, commonly called the federal duck stamp.

An article in the June 27 Linn’s looks at the full story about the new 2022-23 duck stamp being issued June 24. Pictured nearby is the stamp and a close-up of the water below the drake redhead showing what was printed using an intaglio ink.

The story also includes the tidbit that engraved elements were last included for the duck stamp issued in 2006. To say that engraving has been missed is an understatement.

I applaud the duck stamp office for going down this path, which I’m certain was meant as more of a security/anti-counterfeiting measure than as a bonus for collectors. Either way, I’ll take it. At $25, the price tag felt steep for just an offset printed stamp.

I hope the engraved element becomes a permanent feature of duck stamps for years to come.

For more information on the federal duck stamp program, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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