Two new American Landmarks stamps for expedited mail debut Feb. 14
By Charles Snee
The United States Postal Service will issue two new high-denomination stamps for expedited mail service on Feb. 14. The stamps are in response to new postage rates that went into effect Jan. 9.
These rate changes did not impact the cost of domestic first-class letter mail, but they increased postage rates for expedited mail, including the familiar flat-rate envelopes used for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express.
The new $8.95 Priority Mail stamp features Monument Valley in Utah, and the $26.95 Priority Mail Express stamp showcases the Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District of San Francisco. 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.
The $8.95 stamp satisfies the new flat rate for standard Priority Mail envelopes, and the $26.95 stamp pays the corresponding Priority Mail Express rate.
According to the USPS, the $8.95 stamp will be issued in Monument Valley, Utah, while San Francisco will serve as the first-day city for the $26.95 stamp. Both stamps are being issued without an official first-day ceremony.
It remains possible, however, that one or both of the corresponding post offices will hold a local event on the issue date.
The $8.95 Priority Mail stamp is the first in the series to picture a Utah landmark, while the $26.95 stamp for Priority Mail Express service is the fifth to highlight a landmark in California.
Both stamps showcase artwork by Dan Cosgrove and were designed by USPS art director Greg Breeding.
Several of the enormous sandstone buttes in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park are front and center in Cosgrove’s illustration on the $8.95 Monument Valley stamp.
“Reminiscent of a vintage travel poster, this stamp features a digital illustration that emphasizes the vast stone formations of Monument Valley while highlighting the vivid colors of the sky, the earth, and the area’s distinctive plant life,” the Postal Service said.
Cosgrove’s artwork for the $26.95 Palace of Fine Arts stamp pictures the palace’s prominent rotunda and some of the colonnades in the background. A small lagoon is visible in the foreground.
The USPS said that the Palace of Fine Arts “has long been a source of pride for local residents and an attraction for visitors from around the world.”
Ashton Potter USA Ltd. in Williamsville, N.Y., printed the stamps in separate panes of four on its Mueller A76 press. Print quantities are 4 million $8.95 stamps and 1 million $26.95 stamps.
The $26.95 Palace of Fine Arts stamp will have the highest face value of any regular postage stamp issued by the United States. It claims that title from the $26.35 Grand Island Ice Caves stamp issued Jan. 18, 2020 (Scott 5430).
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