New U.S. global forever stamp features African daisy
By Charles Snee
The eighth stamp in the United States Postal Service’s series of round global forever stamps will be issued March 14 in Kansas City, Mo. An official first-day ceremony is not planned.
The nondenominated ($1.30) stamp showing an African daisy will be available for purchase nationwide in panes of 10 on the day of issue.
Like the seven previous global forever stamps issued since the first one appeared in 2013, the new stamp is a round self-adhesive with die-cut simulated perforations.
The picture of an African daisy on the stamp is based on an existing photograph by Cindy Dyer of Alexandria, Va.
“The photo was shot from above and shows the detail of the central disk formed by tiny tubular florets surrounded by petal-like ray florets,” the Postal Service said.
Greg Breeding designed the stamp. William J. Gicker, director of the Postal Service’s Stamp Services division, served as art director.
Ashton Potter USA Ltd., one of two contract printers for the USPS, printed 60 million stamps in a quantity of 6 million panes of 10.
A plate number consisting of a “P” followed by six single digits is printed in the four corners of the pane. Each digit represents one of the colors used to print the stamp: black, cyan, magenta, yellow, Pantone Matching System 158C orange and PMS 6C black.
The global forever stamp concept was developed following public acceptance of the domestic-rate forever stamp for letter mail sent within the United States. (The first forever issues were the Liberty Bell stamps issued in 2007.)
The round shape and the “GLOBAL” inscription are designed to alert users that the global forever stamp is intended for international mail.
The global forever stamps effectively eclipsed the Scenic American Landscapes airmail stamps issued from 1999 to 2012. That airmail series is the last one listed in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers.
Global forever stamps are always valid for the current first-class international letter rate for machineable mail weighing 1 ounce or less. That rate increased from $1.20 to $1.30 on Aug. 29, 2021.
The first issue in the global forever series, the 2013 Planet Earth (Scott 4740), had a face value of $1.10 at the time of issue. Since then, the global forever rate has increased just 20¢ (roughly 18 percent) in nine years.
The previous stamp in the global forever series (Scott 5460) illustrates a pink chrysanthemum. That stamp was issued not quite two years ago, April 24, 2020, and is still on sale from the USPS.
The new African Daisy stamp is sold in panes of 10, but smaller quantities and single stamps can be purchased at post offices. The Postal Service is not making an automatic push distribution to post offices, so some locations might not have the stamp in stock on the issue date.
African daisies are similar to common daisies, having petals that radiate from a central disk. They require ample amounts of sunlight and thrive in soil with reliable drainage.
“The center disks of the flowers even can look like they’re colored with metallic paint,” said author and master gardener Marie Iannotti in an article on the www.thespruce.com website.
“African daisies work equally well in the ground or in containers. Blooms peak in late spring to early summer and again in late summer to early fall,” Iannotti said.
To encourage reblooming, Iannotti recommends removing the spent blooms, a process that botanists refer to as deadheading.
Flowers have appeared on numerous U.S. stamps over the years, and stamps picturing flowers have long been popular with the mailing public. However, daisies are emphatically not among the most frequently encountered on the nation’s stamps.
In 2007, a single red gerbera daisy and a single orange gerbera daisy were illustrated on similar stamps in the 41¢ Flowers set that features 10 different designs in a coil and a double-sided pane (Scott 4175 and 4177, and 4169 and 4181, respectively).
Daisies also are pictured on a 42¢ Flowers personal computer postage stamp issued in 2008 (Scott 1CVP79).
To the best of Linn’s knowledge, these are the only other U.S. stamps to picture daisies.
The Postal Service is making available two pictorial first-day cancels for the new African Daisy global forever stamp.
Collector-submitted envelopes for first-day covers will receive a traditional black four-bar cancel with the words “FIRST DAY OF ISSUE” centered between the bars.
Full color pictorial first-day cancels found on covers marketed by the Postal Service and others prepared by some cachetmakers will illustrate three African daisies and decorative text spelling out “African Daisy.”
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