The price of stamps went up by three cents on January 26, from 46 cents to 49 cents. That’s the bad news. The good news, however, is that those Forever stamps you purchased last year or before are still good – and they should be good, in fact, “forever.”
But, before you use up all of those old stamps, consider this. If you hold on to them, they will become – no, not more valuable, but – vintage! That flower or landscape or lighthouse you bought last year because you liked the design will one day be more unique and, assuming that letters in the mail do not go extinct, will make your personal correspondence even more special.
More good news is that the U.S. Postal Service has become savvy about stamps as a marketing tool. Forget about the 2012 overproduction and subsequent loss of $1.2 million through the disposal of 682 million unsold stamps commemorating The Simpsons television show. This year, an array of beautiful new stamps awaits us, in addition to priority mail delivered by Spiderman.
Longing for the 2013 La Florida or Vintage Seeds stamps? Check out this year’s Winter Flowers. Beautiful bird stamps issued over the decades have become classics. So take a look at the 2014 Songbirds, on sale by the USPS effective April 5. Maybe you liked the 2013 Johnny Cash stamps, featuring Cash on a vinyl record album. This year, you might like to add the new Jimi Hendrix stamps (and related merchandise) to your collection.
Perhaps most special of the postage stamp offerings is last year’s re-release of a collector’s item – the inverted 24 cent Flying Jenny (pictured in the upper right corner of this website), in sets of 6 for $12.
The stamp, originally released on May 19, 1918, featured the Curtiss JN-4 bi-plane, or Flying Jenny, used at the time to deliver mail. Due to the process of two-color printing, which required that the sheets of stamps go through the press twice, an error occurred that resulted in several misprinted sheets, or 100 stamps, printed with the plane upside down. Today, all 100 of the misprinted stamps have been accounted for, and a single stamp was sold for $800,000 in 2011.
The postal service, seeing an opportunity, randomly distributed 100 sheets of the Flying Jenny printed right side up among the re-release of the sought after inverted image stamp.
“We are leveraging the incredible story behind the rare collectible as a creative way to generate interest in stamp collecting while highlighting the role the Post Office Department had in developing the commercial aviation industry,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in a press release issued in October 2013.
Whether it is muscle cars, Abraham Lincoln, commemorative stamps, cut paper heart flowers, or a beautiful butterfly, check out these stamps and more at your local post office or at USPS.com.