US Stamps

New plate number discovered on U.S. 2023 Patriotic Block coil stamp

Jan 11, 2024, 10 AM
This November 2023 fundraising letter, shown cropped, is franked with a U.S. 2023 nondenominated (5¢) Patriotic Block coil stamp bearing a new plate number, B222, that was first reported in the January issue of Coil Line. Image courtesy of Frank Covey.

By Charles Snee

A new plate number has been reported on the United States 2023 nondenominated (5¢) Patriotic Block nonprofit definitive coil stamp (Scott 5756), according to a page 1 report in the January issue of Coil Line, the journal of the Plate Number Coil Collectors Club.

Frank O’Brien, the author of that article, showed a cropped photo of a November 2023 fundraising cover franked with a Patriotic Block coil bearing the new plate number, B222. Thanks to plate number coil specialist Frank Covey, that cropped cover is illustrated here.

The “B” prefix in the plate number represents the printer, Banknote Corporation of America (BCA).

The stamp is tied to the cover by a mute (no postmark date) sprayed-on “Mailer’s Postmark Permit” cancel. The 19047 ZIP code in the marking indicates that the cover was sent from somewhere in Bucks County, Pa.

The first printing of the Patriotic Block coil bears plate number B111.

According to O’Brien, “The USPS has said that the change to a second plate number was made after the manufacturer changed the composition of the paper ordinarily used for the stamps.”

In another front-page story in the same issue of Coil Line, Covey revealed that the plate number interval for the Patriotic Block printing bearing plate number B222 was every 24th stamp, instead of every 25th stamp for the initial B111 printing.

“The big story on this one is that BCA changed the plate [number] interval,” Covey told Linn’s Stamp News in early January.

Covey said the cover pictured in Coil Line was one of two from the same mailing franked with a B222 Patriotic Block coil. The covers were found by two different members of the Plate Number Coil Collectors Club.

Since late December 2022, Linn’s has reported new plate numbers for the following issues: 2016 1¢ Apples coil stamp (Scott 5037; new plate number P222222), 2022 nondenominated (5¢) Butterfly Garden nonprofit-rate coil stamps (5664-5665; B2222), 2022 nondenominated (70¢) Sunflower Bouquet 2-ounce rate stamp (5682; B222222), 2021 nondenominated (58¢) A Visit From St. Nick stamps (5644-5647; P2222), 2018 2¢ Meyer Lemons coil stamp (5256; B22222), 2022 nondenominated (10¢) Flags on Barns presorted standard-rate coil stamps (5684-5687; P22222), 2017 3¢ Strawberries coil stamp (5201; P2222), and 2016 10¢ Red Pears coil stamp (5039; B222222).

To learn more about the Plate Number Coil Collectors Club and apply for membership, visit, or contact Daniel Farrar, Secretary, 3386 Excalibur Circle NW, Canton, OH 44708; email

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