US Stamps

New plate numbers found on U.S. 2018 Meyer Lemons, 2022 Flags on Barns coil stamps

May 30, 2023, 11 AM
New plate numbers recently were reported for the United States 2018 2¢ Meyer Lemons coil stamp and the four 2022 Flags on Barns coil stamps. Images courtesy of the Plate Number Coil Collectors Club.

By Charles Snee

In early May, Linn’s Stamp News learned of the discovery of new plate numbers on two recent United States stamp issues.

The affected issues are the 2018 2¢ Meyer Lemons coil stamp (Scott 5256) printed by Banknote Corporation of America and the four 2022 Flags on Barns coil stamps (5684-5687) printed by Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.

Collector Andrew Barr of Pennsylvania told Linn’s that the new plate numbers — B22222 on the Myer Lemons coil and P22222 on the Flags on Barns coils — were reported in the April issue of Coil Line, the official journal of the Plate Number Coil Collectors Club.

The B and P prefixes in the plate numbers represent Banknote Corp. and Ashton Potter, respectively, and each number stands for one of the five colors used to print the two issues.

On the Flags on Barns issue, the P22222 plate number appears on the stamp picturing a U.S. flag on a white barn with a gambrel roof (Scott 5686).

The Meyer Lemons and Flags on Barns coil stamps pictured here bear the newly reported plate numbers.

Linn’s contacted the USPS to ascertain the cause of the plate number changes.

Jim McKean, senior public relations representative for the Postal Service, said the plates for both issues “were given new plate numbers due to a paper change by the respective printers.”

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

The “PRESORTED STANDARD” inscription at the bottom of the Flags on Barns stamps indicates that a permit is required to use them on mail. The stamps are intended for use by customers who sort their large mailings by service type, size and ZIP code.

Collectors can use these and other service-inscribed stamps on regular mail by completing USPS Form 3615, Mailing Permit Application and Customer Profile. When filling out the form, be sure to check the box labeled “Precanceled Stamp Authorization.”

The completed form must be submitted at your local post office. Mail franked with service-inscribed stamps must be presented at the counter for postmarking and processing.

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