US Stamps

New plate number found on U.S. 2017 Strawberries coil stamp

Jul 10, 2023, 7 AM
A new plate number, P2222, was recently reported for the United States 2017 3ยข Strawberries coil stamp. Image courtesy of the Plate Number Coil Collectors Club.

By Charles Snee

In early July, Linn’s Stamp News learned of the discovery of a new plate number on a recent United States stamp issue.

The affected issue, from the 2016-18 Fruits series of sheet and coil issues, is the 2017 3¢ Strawberries coil stamp (Scott 5201) printed by Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. in rolls of 3,000 and 10,000.

The new plate number, P2222, was reported in the July issue of Coil Line, the official journal of the Plate Number Coil Collectors Club. The P prefix in the number represents the printer, and each digit represents one of the four colors used to print the stamp.

Frank Covey, a seasoned collector of plate number coil stamps, discovered the new number over Memorial Day weekend, according to the front-page report in Coil Line.

“According to the USPS, a ‘2s’ number is being assigned for reprintings that occur after the paper manufacturer made a change in the same paper being ordered by the printers,” Coil Line said.

Jim McKean, senior public relations representative for the Postal Service, confirmed for Linn’s that the new plate number was due to a change in paper by the printer.

A change in paper has been the cause of new plate numbers appearing on other U.S. stamps in recent months.

Low-denomination Fruits coil stamps “are frequently used in combination with each other to meet the minimum 5¢ franking for bulk nonprofit mailings and 10¢ franking for bulk presort standard mailings,” according to Coil Line.

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

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