US Stamps

Which way does the stamp get placed on the envelope?

Jun 22, 2020, 9 AM
Because of the position of the typography “FOREVER USA” many users of the 2019 Cactus Flowers forever stamps and the 2020 Wild Orchids forever stamps are placing them on envelopes with an incorrect orientation.

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

It appears that typography has a heavier gravitational pull for postage stamp users than does than looking at the design.

I have observed this for a couple of years now. As a collector of used stamps, I have found it very challenging to find the 2019 Cactus Flowers forever stamps (Scott 5350-5359) and the 2020 Wild Orchids forever stamps placed correctly on envelopes.

About 90 percent of these stamps that have come in the mail to the office or to my home address have been placed with the word “FOREVER” horizontally. Looking at the stamp designs, however, you can see that cacti and flowers don’t grow in that direction as the examples shown nearby demonstrate.

I have noticed it on a few of the recent Wedding series stamps, too, but it’s a little harder for the user to know exactly how these stamps are supposed to be positioned.

Consider it a little obsessive-compulsive and probably a minor detail, but I thought I would bring it up in my column. If nothing else, it’s a fun modern postal history quirk to watch for.

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