Forever Postage Stamps from USPS
The newest innovation from the United States Postal Service (USPS) is the forever stamp which made its first appearance in 2007. The forever stamps do not have a price or a value on them like the ones shown here for comparison purposes. The 37 cent 'flag' image is from 2003 and the 37 cent price identification is clearly visible on it.
Likewise, the denomination is shown on the 39 cent US flag ones from 2006 and also on the 42 cent versions from 2008. From these stamps it can be clearly seen that the cost of posting a letter is increasing gradually. the new forevers are shown further down the article.
USPS Forever - Lady Liberty
USPS Flag Booklet x 20 pieces
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2012 USPS postage 1st class costs 45 cents
2013 standard price is 46 cents
The 2012 USPS postage rate is 45 cents, so even if you have dozens of unused stamps from years ago you cannot use them without adding a number of smaller priced ones to make up the required amount for postage today. The US postage price may even be dearer by the year’s end.
The answer to all of this is, of course, the forever stamp which retains its value forever. You can hold on to it for years and years before you use it. And when you do post a letter with it, the mailed item will be just as valid as if you had bought the stamp that very same day.
From 2011 onwards, all new first-class mail stamps issued will be branded with the word 'forever' on them. Initially, in 2007, the first of the forevers were issued alongside stamps bearing the cent value (denomination). These new issues will simply display the word FOREVER, sometimes in capital letters, (but not always, as lower case letters are used sometimes too) on them.
See example below of a 2011 forever stamp featuring Owney, the USPS dog. You now can use your USPS forever purchases immediately or store them until needed without worrying about any increased postal rates, and more importantly, not having to go to the post office to buy low denomination stamps to supplement your old existing ones.
Forever benefits US
The customers of the USPS will take advantage by buying theses in bulk, especially during the days leading up to a price hike. The savings may be small on just a couple of them, but consideration should be given to buying your bulk stamps in advance. If you sent a lot of Christmas cards then perhaps you might purchase your forevers in mid year for use later in the festive season, especially, as seems likely, an increase in post prices will occur before the years end.
The traditional Christmas stamps will be forever types from now on and if you don’t use all of them when you purchase them they will be just as good in following years. So, 2013 stamps will work perfectly well as 2014 Christmas stamps or 2015 / 2016 and so on because of the 'forever' branding.
Gone is the need to buy those dreadful bitty one, two and three cent ones that we all needed when a modest price rise occurred. Be sure to stock up with US forever style where possible, especially collectibles like the Lady Bird Johnson forever issue (2012) shown here or my favorite Cash one below. These exciting images add a touch of sparkle to your mail and can brighten up the recipient's mailbox.
Based on the success of the forever methods in the US it does seem likely that the other postage stamp superpowers will follow with eternal or permanent post versions. Most likely to follow the lead of the USPS are Australia Post, Canada Post and the UK’s Royal Mail. This can only be good news for philatelists and stamp set collectors’ world wide.
Ringing the changes forever
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New for 2013
Global stamp issued in 2013
Credit: USPS Music Legends stampThe music legends series have been introduced in 2013 by USPS. The first one in the series is a classic because it features the great Johnny Cash. Typically, he is dressed in black, as befits his moody appearance. A great collectible item for philatelists to look out for. The contrast between the black and white makes this a classy collector's item.
A much earlier edition, featuring the postal service dog called Owney (shown above) was featured by the US postal services and issued in 2011.
Global version issued in 2013
Credit: USPSA new issue of Forever Global Stamps have come onto the market in 2013 too, to complement the domestic forevers. They are very distinctive too, as they are circular in shape and depict a map of the earth. Like the domestic variety, once you buy them, you have them forever.
Non US Philatelists will love them
Use them to contact friends and relatives throughout the world anytime. Store them away for a rainy day as their value as international mailing coupons will never diminish.
Miniature Art issued
Credit: USPSAn exciting new release for art lovers and philatelists alike is the issuing of a set featuring modern art in America. The modern artists whose works are depicted are from an era nearly 100 years ago. Like all good art the painting have stood the test of time. One of my favorites is this stunning Sheeler painting opposite (available from 2013).
Others I like in this artistic range are by Georgia O’Keeffe, Aaron Douglas, Marsden Hartley and the pop artist Marcel Duchamp.
The Modern Art in America series covers the art period from 1913 until 1931. Look out for these beauties in your mailbox today.