US Stamps

New Floral Geometry dollar-denominated stamp to arrive April 26 at Westpex

Apr 2, 2024, 11 AM
The Westpex 2024 stamp show near San Francisco will host the April 26 first-day ceremony for the United States $1 Floral Geometry stamp. The $1 denomination joins $2, $5 and $10 stamps in the series that began in 2022.

By Charles Snee

A new addition to the United States Postal Service’s Floral Geometry series of high denomination definitive (regular-issue) stamps will be issued April 26 at the Westpex 2024 stamp show.

The show will be April 26-28 at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront Hotel, 1800 Old Bayshore Highway, Burlingame, Calif., near San Francisco.

The first-day ceremony for the new $1 Floral Geometry stamp is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 26.

The names of the dedicating official and other potential ceremony participants were not available when this issue of Linn’s Stamp News went to press in late March.

The first two Floral Geometry stamps, denominated $2 and $5 (Scott 5700 and 5701), were issued June 20, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. The $2 stamp was issued in panes of 10, and the $5 stamp in panes of four.

A $10 stamp (Scott 5755) joined the series Feb. 24, 2023, the first day of the Feb. 24-26 San Diego Stamp Show.

Spaeth Hill, a contemporary design firm in Alexandria, Va., designed the four Floral Geometry stamps. The Postal Service described the designs as “a series of overlapping geometric shapes that mimic the symmetry of floral patterns found in nature. … The watercolor backgrounds and the glimmer of the foil-stamped designs and typography create a sophisticated look.”

The $1 features six circles overlapping to form a central pattern that looks like a four-petal flower. Dots in the shape of a stylized six-point star make other geometric patterns.

In a similar but somewhat more complex arrangement on the $2 stamp, six circles overlap to form a symmetrical pattern that resembles a flower with six petals. Arrangements of dots combine with the circles to form additional geometric shapes.

More complexity appears in the design of the $5 stamp, which features the same pattern of circles, additional lines and different dot patterns. A triangle can be seen in combination with the flowerlike

Even greater intricacy is exhibited in the design of the $10 stamp, which features a hexagon at the center. A flower with six symmetrical petals is nested inside the hexagon. The Postal Service said the designs become more complex as the denominations of the Floral Geometry stamps rise ($1 to $10).

Postal Service art director Antonio Alcala worked directly with Jill Spaeth and Nathan Hill of Spaeth Hill to create the designs for the Floral Geometry stamps.

“I’ve known Jill Spaeth and Nathan Hill for many years,” Alcala told Linn’s. “No specific project led me to collaborate with them.”

“I was drawn to their demonstrated interest in exploring more experimental design solutions, including wrapping papers, furniture, and their design journal äntrepō,” Alcala said.

“From our initial conversations which imposed few guidelines, they explored a variety of directions. Ultimately, we decided on developing the floral geometry theme.”

The denomination of the $1 stamp, expressed as “1,” and the word “DOLLAR” are lettered down the left side. “USA” is printed between the two denomination elements. A small “2024” year date is in the bottom right corner.

A microprinted “USPS” will appear somewhere on the stamp, according to the USPS.

Banknote Corporation of America printed the stamp using offset lithography with foil stamping. The geometric design, denomination and “USA” were printed using Kurz silver foil with an Alufin satin gloss.

On June 27, 2018, the USPS issued $1, $2 and $5 stamps (Scott 5295-5297) featuring an illustration of the head of Thomas Crawford’s bronze Statue of Freedom that sits atop the dome of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Of these three Statue of Freedom stamps, the $2 and $5 denominations are sold out at the Postal Service’s online Postal Store, while the $1 is still available.

The $1, $2 and $5 Floral Geometry stamps are intended to replace their Statue of Freedom counterparts at post offices and philatelic centers. The $10 Floral Geometry stamp replaced the $10 Waves of Color stamp (Scott 4720) issued Dec. 1, 2012.

With the issuance of the $1 Floral Geometry stamp, it is likely that the Postal Service’s stocks of the $1 Statue of Freedom are running low.

“As the inventory level of the current $1 Statue of Freedom stamp draws to an end, we’ll be replacing it with the new $1 Floral Geometry stamp design,” Leisha Palmore-Drummond, a corporate communications representative for the USPS, told Linn’s.

“There are no plans for additional Floral Geometry stamps,” Palmore-Drummond said.

The first U.S. dollar-denominated stamps — the $1, $2, $3, $4 and $5 Columbians (Scott 241-245) — were issued in 1893.

All 16 Columbian stamps in the set (Scott 230-245) were engraved to show the denomination in both symbols and words. For example, the $1 Columbian reads “$1 POSTAGE ONE DOLLAR $1” just above the curved top border of the vignette.

This dual use of symbols and words for denominations was repeated on stamps of the 1894 First Bureau Issue (Scott 246-263), the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Exposition issue (285-293) and the 1902-03 Second Bureau Issue (300-313). All three of these definitive series have dollar-denominated stamps.

Since then, other denomination styles have appeared on U.S. dollar-sign stamps.

For example, the $1 violet brown stamp (Scott 342) in the 1908-09 Washington-Franklin series is inscribed “ONE DOLLAR” across the bottom. This stamp is the first dollar-denominated issue in the Washington-Franklin series, which has challenged and intrigued collectors for more than a century.

The 1923 $1, $2 and $5 stamps (Scott 571-573) of the Fourth Bureau Issue show the denominations as two numerals without a dollar sign and with the word “DOLLAR” or “DOLLARS” between them.

The 1938 $1, $2 and $5 stamps (Scott 832-834) of the Presidential series simply show a dollar sign followed by a numeral.

On the 1967 $1 and 1966 $5 Prominent Americans stamps (Scott 1294-1295), the denomination is written out. For instance, the $5 John Bassett Moore is inscribed “FIVE

The USPS used a slightly more subtle approach with the 1979 $1, 1978 $2 and 1979 $5 Americana stamps (Scott 1610-1612), which show the denomination as a numeral followed by a decimal point and two zeros.

In fact, the somewhat ambiguous denominations of the dollar-denominated Americana stamps have caused some mailers to use them inadvertently as 1¢, 2¢ and 5¢ stamps.

More recent dollar-sign stamps, such as the 2012 $1, $2, $5 and $10 Waves of Color (Scott 4717-4720), feature the denomination in a manner similar to the Floral Geometry stamps.

With the addition of a $1 stamp, the four denominations of the Floral Geometry series mirror those of the Waves of Color series.

Two pictorial first-day postmarks for the $1 Floral Geometry stamp are available from the Postal Service.

Collector-submitted envelopes for first-day covers will receive a standard black postmark consisting of a circular datestamp with the first-day date and location for the stamps and a four-bar killer with “FIRST DAY OF ISSUE” between the second and third bars.

Full color pictorial first-day cancels found on covers marketed by the Postal Service and others prepared by some cachetmakers will feature geometric design elements shown on the stamp.

The color postmark for the $1 Floral Geometry stamp is rendered in shades of blue and purple.

All orders for these first-day cancels must be postmarked by Aug. 26.

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