US Stamps

Press sheets without die cuts are hot commodities

Mar 24, 2021, 9 AM
Uncut press sheets without die cuts of 2021 United States commemorative forever stamps have been instant sellouts from the U.S. Postal Service and are hot commodities in the retail stamp market. Image from USPS Postal Store online.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Earlier this year, the United States Postal Service resumed issuing some commemorative forever stamps in uncut press sheets without die cuts between the stamps.

To date, four new issues this year have been produced and sold in this format: the Love stamp issued January 14; the August Wilson stamp on Jan. 28; the Year of the Ox stamp on Feb. 2; and the Chien-Shiung Wu stamp on Feb. 11.

All were produced in panes of 20 but with the press sheets in different formats.

The Love stamp no-die-cut press sheet of eight panes was issued unannounced and sold out in 10 days. The August Wilson press sheet had six panes. The Year of the Ox press sheet was in panes of four, and the Chien-Shiung Wu press sheet was in panes of six. The last three of these uncut press sheets without die cuts sold out from the USPS within a matter of hours.

Despite their limited availability, or perhaps in part because of it, these no-die-cut press sheets have proven to be very popular with collectors.

Panes from the Love stamp no-die-cut press sheet are selling for about $30. Retail on a pane of the August Wilson stamps is about $45. Panes from the Lunar New Year press sheet are selling at $70. The greatest demand is for panes of the Chien-Shiung Wu stamp, which are currently selling for $120 per pane.

These new issues have also spiked interest in the uncut press sheets without die cuts issued from 2012 to 2016.

We cannot explain the price differentials between the various panes. Another mystery is the issue quantity of each uncut press sheet without die cuts. The Postal Service has remained mum on the subject. Hopefully at some point, it will reveal how many of each were produced and sold.

In the interest of full disclosure, uncut press sheets without die cuts are one of our retail specialties, but the pricing information here is from other sources. We have not yet offered the 2021 issues for sale.

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