US Stamps

The message is the mystery on new U.S. forever stamp

Jun 26, 2021, 9 AM

By Michael Baadke

“Put your sleuthing skills to the test with the bright colors and interesting shapes of the new Mystery Message Forever stamp,” the United States Postal Service teases about its latest self-adhesive creation, which will be issued July 14 in Washington, D.C.

The nondenominated (55¢) stamp “offers intrigue and excitement for customers with a stamp that needs deciphering to be fully appreciated,” the Postal Service hints.

In keeping with the spirit of the stamp, we won’t reveal the secret of the mystery message just yet, but you will find the answer to the mystery later in this article.

When you buy the full pane of 20 Mystery Message stamps, the Postal Service also reveals the message on the pane’s reverse side.

The colorful new stamp will debut with a first-day ceremony on its Wednesday issue date at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

The venue for the stamp event is the International Spy Museum at 700 L’Enfant Plaza SW in Washington. The museum is a close neighbor of USPS national headquarters at 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW.

Participating in the ceremony will be Robert M. Duncan of the USPS board of governors; Tamara Christian, president and chief operating officer of the International Spy Museum; and Rebecca Roberts, program curator of Planet Word Museum in Washington, which is just a couple of miles north of the L’Enfant Plaza locations.

USPS art director Antonio Alcala designed the new stamp, which was printed by USPS contractor Banknote Corporation of America.

The stamp was printed by a combination of offset and flexography on the BCA Gallus RCS press, according to information from the Postal Service.

The pane of 20 stamps has a plain white margin around the stamp block, with the issue name “MYSTERY MESSAGE” neatly lettered across the top of the pane.

The stamp design consists of 20 rectangles of varying sizes and colors with different tangled horizontal and vertical lines within.

Sharp-eyed sleuths might notice that seven colors are used twice in the design and two colors appear three times. However, that has no apparent connection to resolving the mystery.

Lettering below the geometric design in gray reads “FOREVER/USA.”

Mystery message revealed

The mystery message on the new Mystery Message stamp might be easy to read for some individuals and impossible to comprehend for others.

The Postal Service gives this clue to figuring out the puzzle: “Featuring bright colors and interesting shapes, the stamp design is a perplexing puzzle that will tie your brain in knots. This visual riddle spells out a difficult-to-discern message. Each colorful square contains a letter in an interesting pattern.”

If you have tired of straining your eyes trying to figure it out, here is the answer to the mystery: The 20 colorful boxes spell out the phrase “MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE!”.

To read more about the Mystery Message stamp and its innovative design, subscribe to Linn’s Stamp News.

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