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Donna Houseman

Monday Morning Brief | Is a U.S. 50¢ first-class stamp on the horizon?

September 01, 2017 08:30 AM

During a recent meeting in Washington, D.C., U.S. Postal Service officials hinted at a possible increase in the cost to mail a letter. Linn’s editorial director Donna provides details, and explores stamps honoring two remarkable women: Princess Diana and Mother Teresa.

Full Video Transcript:

Welcome to the Monday Morning Brief for September 4, 2017.

Linn’s Stamp News Washington Correspondent Bill McAllister reports that an increase in first-class letter rates may be coming in January 2018. At this time, the increase is just speculation, but officials of the United States Postal Service stated at an August meeting of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee in Washington, D.C., that the increase for letter mail would be about 2 percent, which would place the cost to mail a first-class letter at 50¢.

The increase would need to be reviewed by the Postal Regulatory Commission. Visit Linns.com and read Linn’s for the most up-to-date information.

This week and last week mark the 20th anniversary of the deaths of two women who touched the hearts of people around the world. Princess Diana died 20 years ago on August 31, and Mother Teresa died 20 years ago tomorrow, September 5.

Princess Diana is one of the most celebrated women on postage stamps. Many collectors remember the glitzy, robust Royal Wedding omnibus stamp series marketed through direct-mail channels in 1981.

From the time of her marriage to Prince Charles until her death in a tragic automobile accident in 1997, Diana was honored on hundreds of stamps from almost 100 countries.

Philatelic agencies flooded the market with stamps honoring the royal wedding; Diana’s 21st birthday; the births of Charles and Diana’s children, Prince William and Prince Harry; and, of course, her untimely and unexpected death.

The 20th anniversary of Diana’s death has yet to bring the onslaught of stamp issues that past anniversaries and events surrounding the princess have brought. Thus far her death anniversary has been honored by a handful of countries, including Isle of Man, Romania, Gibraltar, Grenada, Burkina Faso, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu and many others.

Mother Teresa hasn’t quite captured the postal attention that Diana has, but she has been honored on numerous stamps, including one from the United States issued in 2010. We are aware of only stamps and souvenir sheets issued by St. Thomas and Prince Islands and Sierra Leone for the 20th death anniversary of this great humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Vatican City, Albania, and India, all stamp-issuing entities closely associated with Mother Teresa (who is now St. Teresa of Calcutta), issued stamps to commemorate her canonization September 4, 2016, along with other countries.

We wish all of you a happy Labor Day. For many, today marks the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. For those you who have been lured away from your stamps by summer’s outdoor activities, it is time to open those albums once again.

For Linn’s Stamp News and the Scott catalogs, I’m Donna Houseman.