Two new American Landmarks stamps featuring Florida Everglades, Great Smoky Mountains debut Jan. 22
By Charles Snee
The United States Postal Service will issue two new high-denomination stamps for expedited mail service on Jan. 22. The stamps are in response to new postage rates that went into effect on that day.
These rate changes impacted the cost of domestic first-class letter mail and also increased postage rates for expedited mail, including the familiar flat-rate envelopes used for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express.
The new $9.65 Priority Mail stamp features the Florida Everglades in Florida, and the $28.75 Priority Mail Express stamp shows a scene in the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee. They are the latest additions to the Postal Service’s American Landmarks series of Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express stamps that began in 2008.
According to the Postal Service, the $9.65 stamp features “a sawgrass marsh as seen at sunset from the edge of a cypress dome.”
“In the foreground, a stand of mature bald cypress trees shelters a great egret in flight while a great blue heron patiently awaits its prey. In the background, the marsh meanders toward the horizon, dotted with tree islands, as roseate spoonbills and other waterbirds fly overhead.”
The artwork for the $28.75 stamp “captures an iconic mountain scene located near Newfound Gap between Gatlinburg, TN, and Cherokee, NC,” the USPS said. A red-tailed hawk in the foreground soars over the landscape below.
The $9.65 stamp satisfies the new flat rate for standard Priority Mail envelopes, and the $28.75 stamp pays the corresponding Priority Mail Express rate.
Homestead, Fla., is the first-day city for the new Priority Mail stamp, and the new Priority Mail Express stamp is being issued in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Both stamps will be issued without an official first-day ceremony, the USPS said.
When the Postal Service first revealed the design of the Great Smoky Mountains stamp, it showed a $26.95 denomination. That image was included among the designs of other U.S. 2023 issues that were shown for the first time in the Nov. 14, 2022, issue of Linn’s Stamp News.
The design of the $9.65 Florida Everglades was revealed in a page 1 story in the Jan. 2 Linn’s announcing additional stamps in the Postal Service’s 2023 stamp program.
The $9.65 Priority Mail stamp is the third in the series to picture a Florida landmark, while the $28.75 stamp for Priority Mail Express service is the first to highlight a landmark in North Carolina and Tennessee.
The $28.75 Great Smoky Mountains stamp will have the highest face value of any regular postage stamp issued by the United States. It claims that title from the $26.95 Palace of Fine Arts stamp issued Feb. 14, 2022 (Scott 5667).
This is the eighth consecutive year that has seen January increases in one or both of the U.S. expedited mail rates and the corresponding issuance of new postage stamps to fulfill those rates.
Since 2016, the cost of Priority Mail flat-rate service has increased by $3.20, and the flat rate for Priority Mail Express has jumped by $5.80.
Chicago-based artist Dan Cosgrove has created the poster-style illustrations for all the stamps in the American Landmarks series, including the 2023 issues. His palette of bright colors adds a vibrancy to the stamps’ designs adding to their visual appeal.
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