Featuring Research Volunteer Contributions

Flora & Fauna Issue (1988-2001)

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01-cent American Kestrel single

Flora & Fauna, depicting the animal and plant life characteristic of the United States, was originally announced as a “Wildlife” series intended to replace the Great Americans series. The 2-dollar multicolor Bobcat stamp was the first of the series, issued on June 1, 1990. When the USPS issued a coil version of the 2-cent multicolored Red-Headed Woodpecker on June 22, 1999, they identified its series as "Flora and Fauna." This was the first time this term had been used by the Postal Service.

The series comprised thirty-six face-different stamps, equally depicting flora and fauna subjects. Flora subjects pictured flowers, berries, fruit, and even included a pine cone. The majority of fauna stamps depicted birds, but in addition to the Bobcat, also featured a fawn, squirrel, honeybee, fox, and sunfish. The Tulip sheet and coil stamps were produced with the transitional 'F' denomination as well as the rate changed 29-cent version.

In 1991, the USPS depicted all values less than ten cents with a leading zero and no cents (¢) sign. The 1-cent American Kestrel had its value preceded by a zero, being express as '01' rather than simply '1'. The 3-cent Eastern Bluebird stamp also had its value expressed in this manner. In 1995 that decision was reversed, and values less than ten cents once again included a cents sign. Both the American Kestrel and Eastern Bluebird stamps were reissued with the designs bearing 1-cent and 3-cent respectively.

Flora and Fauna stamps were designed and printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and several private security printers. Most of the stamps were produced by photogravure, some by lithography, and two by a combined lithography and engraved process. Various designs were produced as sheet, booklet, or coil stamps. The formats were made as perforated with water activated gum or with straight or serpentine die cuts and self-adhesive gum. Booklet stamps of the latter were issued single and double sided. The four berry stamps (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries) and the two apple and orange stamps were available as side by side (se-tenant) booklets and coils.

The lack of cohesive stamp design, issued over an eleven-year period, and the contemporaneous issuance of other non-series definitive stamps led to the introduction of a new definitive series in 2000, the Distinguished Americans.

Encyclopedia of United States Stamps and Stamp Collecting
May 16, 2006

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01-cent American Kestrel single

The 1-cent multicolored American Kestrel (Scott 2476) definitive was issued on June 22, 1991, at the Topex ’91 stamp show in Aurora, Colorado. Along with the Bluebird stamp issued the same day, the American Kestrel was the first U.S. denominated postage stamp to be printed on an offset press since World War I. It was also the first 1-cent stamp to have the denomination expressed as two digits (01).

The magenta, yellow, cyan, and black stamp was designed by Michael R. Matherly, printed on a Miller four-color offset sheet fed press by American Bank Note Company (ABNC), and perforated 11 on an L perforator. The stamp was printed and distributed in panes of one hundred, ten across and ten down, printed by plates of 400 subjects. One group of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘A’ is printed alongside the corner stamp. “© USPS 1991.” and “USE CORRECT ZIP CODE ®” are printed in the selvage.

The American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) is the smallest falcon in North America. Adorned with reddish, blue, and cinnamon colors, both sexes have reddish and blue crowns. Males have blue wings and cinnamon or rusty backs and tails with a chestnut patch on top of the head. The breast is white with dark spots. Females have a cinnamon body color with dark streaks with chestnut wings with black bars and chestnut streaks on the breast. The breast is a lighter tan color with vertical brown streaks. The American Kestrel is approximately 9-12 inches long with a wingspan of 20-24 inches, weighing 2.8-5.8 ounces. It feeds on large insects, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds.

American Kestrels are widely distributed across the Americas, their breeding range extending as far north as central and western Alaska, across northern Canada to Nova Scotia, and south throughout North America into central Mexico, the Baja, and the Caribbean. During the winter, female and male American Kestrels use different habitats, especially in the southern regions. The female uses the more open habitat, and the male uses areas with more trees.

References:

Doug D'Avino

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1-cent Kestrel Cut single

On May 10, 1995, without advance publicity, the Postal Service issued a redesigned version of the American Kestrel (Scott 2476) definitive. The denomination inscription “01” was replaced with “1¢.” In addition, a black “1995” year date was added to the stamp's bottom left corner. Since American Bank Note Co. no longer had a contract with USPS, the printing job was given to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

The redesigned yellow, magenta, cyan, and black definitive (Scott 2477) was printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on the six-color Goebel Optiforma webfed offset press (043) and perforated 11. The stamp was printed and distributed in panes of one hundred, ten across and ten down, offset printed by plates of four hundred subjects. One group of four offset plate numbers is printed in the selvage adjacent to one upper-corner stamp and one lower-corner stamp on the same side. “© USPS 1991.” “100 x .01 = $1.00.” and “PLATE/POSITION” and a pane position diagram are printed in the selvage.

On January 20, 1996, a 1-cent American Kestrel (Scott 3044) coil stamp was issued at the American Postage Stamp Show in New York City. The design was the same as that of the previous BEP American Kestrel stamps, except that the year date changed to “1996.”

The black, yellow, magenta, and cyan definitive was printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on the six-color offset, three-color intaglio webfed D press (902) and perforated 9.8 vertically using a Huck stroke perforator. The stamp was printed and distributed in coils of five hundred and 3,000. Offset printing plates of 432 subjects were used. One group of four offset plate numbers is printed on every 24th stamp.

On November 19, 1999, USPS issued a self-adhesive version of the American Kestrel (Scott 3031) definitive in conjunction with American Stamp Dealers Association’s Postage Stamp Mega-Event in New York City. The design was the same as that of the previous BEP American Kestrel stamps, except that the year date changed to “1999.”

The self-adhesive was printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on the offset portion of the Giori four-color offset, three-color intaglio webfed press (801) with die-cut simulated perforations, 11. The stamp was printed and distributed in panes of fifty, ten across and five down, using offset printing plates of three hundred subjects. One set of four offset plate numbers are printed in the selvage above or below each corner stamp. “© USPS 1991.” and “PLATE/POSITION” and a pane position diagram are printed in the selvage.

A fifth revised American Kestrel stamp (Scott 3031A) was issued October 2000. The design was the same as that of the previous BEP American Kestrel stamps, except that the year date changed to “2000,” and it was printed in blue. It was also the first of the American Kestrel stamps to be microprinted, with “USPS” in black on the vertical branch below the bird’s claws.

The grey, black, cyan, magenta, yellow, and blue self-adhesive stamp was printed on the Banknote Corporation of America Goebel 670 offset press, and distributed in panes of fifty, ten stamps across and five down on the pane. Offset printing plates of four hundred subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of six plate numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears in the selvage above or below each corner stamp. The stamp has die-cut simulated perforations, 11¼, cut on a rotary die cutter. “© USPS 1991.” “.01/x50/$0.50.” and “PLATE/POSITION” and a pane position diagram are printed in the selvage.

The American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) is the smallest falcon in North America. Adorned with reddish, blue, and cinnamon colors, both sexes have reddish and blue crowns. Males have blue wings, and cinnamon or rusty backs, and tails with a chestnut patch on top of the head. The breast is white with dark spots. Females have a cinnamon body color with dark streaks with chestnut wings with black bars and chestnut streaks on the breast. The breast is a lighter tan color with vertical brown streaks. The American Kestrel is approximately 9-12 inches long with a wingspan of 20-24 inches, weighing 2.8-5.8 ounces. It feeds on large insects, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds.

American Kestrels are widely distributed across the Americas, their breeding range extending as far north as central and western Alaska, across northern Canada to Nova Scotia, and south throughout North America, into central Mexico, the Baja, and the Caribbean. In winter in many southern parts of the range female and male American Kestrels use different habitats. The female uses the more open habitat, and the male uses areas with more trees.

References:

  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1991
  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1995
  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1996
  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1999
  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 2000
  • Scott 2005 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds (www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/American_Kestrel.html)

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2-cent Red-Headed Woodpecker single

The 2-cent multicolored Red-Headed Woodpecker (Scott 3032) definitive was issued on February 2, 1996, in Sarasota, Florida.

Michael R. Matherly designed the black, yellow, cyan, magenta, and light tan stamp, which was printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on the six-color Goebel Optiforma webfed offset press (043) and perforated 11. The stamp was printed and distributed in panes of one hundred, ten across and ten down, offset printed by plates of four hundred subjects. One group of five offset plate numbers are printed in the selvage adjacent to one upper-corner stamp and one lower-corner stamp on the same side. “© USPS 1996.” “100 x .02 = $2.00.” and “PLATE/POSITION” and a pane position diagram are printed in the selvage. The words “Red-Headed Woodpecker” appear in black italics below the design in the lower-left corner, and the year date “1996” appears below the design on the left side.

On June 22, 1999, USPS issued a coil version of the 2-cent multicolored Red-Headed Woodpecker (Scott 3045) definitive. In announcing the coil, USPS identified its series as 'Flora and Fauna', the first time the Postal Service used this term. Scott had been listing the series under that title since issuing its 1995 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers.

The light yellow, magenta, cyan, yellow, and black stamp was again printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on the six-color Goebel Optiforma webfed offset press (043), but perforated 9¾ vertically. The stamp was printed and distributed in rolls of 10,000, offset printed by plates of 480 subjects. One group of five offset plate numbers were printed on every 24th stamp. In addition, a four-digit counting number in cyan was printed on the back of every 20th stamp. The year date “1999” appears below the design on the left side.

The red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) is a medium-sized woodpecker, approximately 7-9 inches in length, with a wingspan of 17 inches, weighing approximately 2-3.2 ounces.

Adults have a black back and tail with a red head and neck. Their underparts are mainly white. The wings are black with white secondaries. Their breeding habitat is open country across southern Canada and the eastern-central United States. The red-headed woodpecker is one of only four woodpeckers known to store food, and it is the only one known to cover the stored food with wood or bark. It hides insects and seeds in cracks in wood, under bark, in fence posts, and under roof shingles.

References:

Doug D'Avino

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3-cent Eastern Bluebird single

The 3-cent multicolored Eastern Bluebird (Scott 2478) definitive was issued on June 22, 1991, at the Topex ’91 stamp show in Aurora, Colorado. Two other definitives were issued at the same time—the 1-cent American Kestrel and the 30-cent Cardinal. Like the American Kestrel, the Eastern Bluebird expressed its denomination as a zero with a value digit (03).

Michael R. Matherly designed the yellow, cyan, and black stamp, which American Bank Note Company printed on a Miller four-color offset sheetfed press. It was perforated 11 on an L perforator. The stamp was printed by plates of four hundred subjects and distributed in panes of one hundred, ten across and ten down. One group of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘A’ was printed alongside the corner stamp. “© USPS 1991.” and “USE CORRECT ZIP CODE ®” were printed in the selvage.

The eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis) is a medium-sized thrush found in open woodlands, farmlands, and orchards. The eastern bluebird is approximately 6-8 inches long with a wingspan of 10-13 inches, weighing 1-1.1 ounces. Adults have a white belly. Adult males are bright blue on top and have a red throat and breast. Adult females have duller blue wings and tail, a brownish throat and breast, and a grey crown and back. Eastern bluebirds are found in the eastern United States.

The Bluebird is the state bird of Missouri (1927) and New York (1970).

References:

Doug D'Avino

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3-cent Eastern Bluebird single

On April 3, 1996, the United States Postal Service issued a redesigned version of the stamp (Scott 3033). To conform to current USPS policy, the denomination inscription “03” was replaced with “3¢” and a black “1996” year date was added to the bottom left corner of the stamp. Since American Bank Note Company no longer held the contract with the Postal Service, the printing job went to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing printed the redesigned black, yellow, cyan, magenta, and light tan definitive on the six-color Goebel Optiforma webfed offset press (043). The stamp was perforated 11 on the Eureka stroke perforator. The stamp was printed and distributed in panes of one hundred, ten across and ten down, offset printed by plates of four hundred subjects. One group of five offset plate numbers was printed in the selvage adjacent to one upper-corner stamp and one lower-corner stamp on the same side. “© USPS 1996.” “100 x .03 = $3.00.” and “PLATE/POSITION” and a pane position diagram were printed in the selvage.

The eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis) is a medium-sized thrush found in open woodlands, farmlands, and orchards. The eastern bluebird is approximately 6-8 inches long with a wingspan of 10-13 inches, weighing 1-1.1 ounces. Adults have a white belly. Adult males are bright blue on top and have a red throat and breast. Adult females have duller blue wings and tail, a brownish throat and breast, and a grey crown and back. Eastern bluebirds are found in the eastern United States.

The Bluebird is the state bird of Missouri (1927) and New York (1970).

References:

Doug D'Avino

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19-cent Fawn single

Issued on March 11, 1991, the 19-cent multicolored Fawn definitive covered the new postcard rate. The stamp’s subject corresponded with the Flower theme of the non-denominated (29-cent) F-stamps issued a few weeks earlier. Peter Cocci designed the magenta, cyan, yellow, black, and green stamp. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced the issue on the seven-color Andreotti gravure press (601) using gravure printing cylinders with four hundred subjects. The stamp was perforated 11½ x 11 on the Eureka off-line perforator. One group of five cylinder numbers appears alongside the corner stamp. “©U.S. Postal Service 1991” and “Use Correct ZIP Code ®” are printed in the selvage. The stamp was distributed in panes of one hundred, ten stamps across and ten down on the pane.

A deer is a ruminant mammal belonging to the family Cervidae. Young deer are called calves or fawns. The fawn depicted on the stamp is a White-tailed deer (odocoileus virginianus), a medium-sized deer found throughout most of the continental United States, southern Canada, Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.

A doe usually gives birth to one or two fawns at a time. Most fawns are born with white-spotted fur, though they lose their spots as they mature. A fawn takes its first steps within twenty minutes of birth. After two days, it is able to walk, and by three weeks it can run and jump. The fawn and its mother stay together for about one year and then go separate ways. A male usually never sees his mother again, but females sometimes come back with their own fawns and form small herds.

The White-tailed deer is the state mammal (or game mammal) of Wisconsin (1957), Pennsylvania (1959), South Carolina (1972), Mississippi (1974), Nebraska (1981), Illinois (1982), New Hampshire (1983), Ohio (1988), Oklahoma (1990), Arkansas (1993), and Michigan (1997).

The White-tailed Deer was also depicted on the American Wildlife booklet stamp (Scott 1888).

References:

Doug D'Avino

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20-cent Blue Jay booklet single

The 20-cent multicolored Blue Jay (Scott 2483) definitive was issued on June 15, 1995, to satisfy the postcard rate. Issued in booklets of ten, the stamp met the need for vending machines.

The yellow, magenta, cyan, and black serpentine die-cut self-adhesive stamp was designed by Robert Giusti and printed for Stamp Venturers by J.W. Fergusson & Sons on the Champlain gravure press 1, formatted as one pane of ten vertical stamps, with two across and five down. One group of four gravure cylinder numbers preceded by the letter 'S' appears on the binding stub. The serpentine die cut was perforated 11 x 10. The year date "1995" appears just below the value "20" on the stamp.

On August 2, 1996, the Blue Jay definitive was re-issued as a self-adhesive booklet of ten (Scott 3048) and as a self-adhesive coil stamp in rolls of one hundred (Scott 3053). The Blue Jay was the first postcard-rate stamp produced as a self-adhesive. Stamp Venturers again produced both stamps. The new booklet had a horizontal peel-off strip below row two of the five rows of stamps. The die-cut simulated perforations, cut on the Comco custom die-cutter, were perforated 10½ x 11. Preceded by the letter 'S', one group of four gravure cylinder numbers appears on the top selvage strip.

The coil stamps were separated by die-cut simulated perforations, perforated 11½ vertically, with straight edges on top and bottom.

The same design appears on all three of the stamp's versions. On the self-adhesive pane and coil, however, the year date "1996" appears just below the value "20" on the stamp. In addition, the paper of the self-adhesive stamps appears whiter that the paper of the booklet stamps.

The Blue Jay had previously been depicted on a 13-cent stamp (Scott 1757d) on the Capex '78 souvenir sheet and a 22-cent stamp (Scott 2318) on the American Wildlife pane of 1987.

The Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is a North American jay with predominantly lavender-blue to mid-blue feathering from the top of the head to midway down the back and a pronounced crest on the head. The color changes to black, sky-blue, and white on the wings and the tail. The bird has an off-white underside, a black collar around the neck and sides of the head, and a white face. The Blue Jay is approximately 10-12 inches long with a wingspan of 13-17 inches, weighing 2.5-3.5 ounces. It is found over a very large area of eastern North America, from Newfoundland in the northeast to Florida in the southeast, and westward to Texas and Colorado in the north. It is mainly a bird of the mixed woodlands, including those including American beech and various oak species.

References:

Doug D'Avino

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20-cent Ring-necked Pheasant single

Two 20-cent multicolored Ring-necked Pheasant definitives were issued on July 31, 1998, at the Americover ’98 stamp show in Somerset, New Jersey. The stamps replaced the 20-cent Blue Jay stamps produced by Stamp Venturers. Two different printers—Bureau of Engraving and Printing and Avery Dennison Security Printing—produced the Ring-necked Pheasant stamps, both using gravure. Robert Giusti designed the stamp.

The yellow, magenta, cyan, and black self-adhesive stamp (Scott 3050) in a booklet pane of ten was printed by Avery Dennison Security Printing on a Dai Nippon Kiko 8-color webfed gravure press and die-cut in a serpentine fashion on a Comco Commander rotary die cutter, simulating perforations of 11¼ on three sides. Panes of ten were distributed, arranged vertically five across by two down. Gravure printing cylinders of forty-four panes, two across and twenty-two down, were used. One set of four gravure cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘V’ appears on the top selvage strip in the convertible booklet.

The yellow, magenta, cyan, and black coil stamp (Scott 3055) was printed on the Bureau of Engraving and Printing seven-color Andreotti gravure press (601) and distributed in vertically perforated rolls of one hundred. Gravure printing cylinders with 480 subjects were used to print the stamp. One group of four cylinder numbers appears on every 24th. The stamp was perforated 10 on the Goebel rotary die cutter.

In July 1999 the Postal Service began distributing the 20-cent Ring-necked Pheasant definitives in a ten-stamp booklet format for vending machines. Produced by Avery Dennison Security Printing, the new format differs from its previous product in the positioning of the stamps. On the vending booklet, there are four rows of the pheasant facing left, with single stamps at the top and bottom of the pane, the bird facing down. The eight stamps (Scott 3051) have serpentine die cut perforations either 10.6 on top and bottom or 10.6 on top and 10.4 on bottom and are perforated on three sides. The top and bottom stamps (Scott 3051A) have serpentine die-cut perforations 10.6 x 10.4 on three sides.

Two previous stamps had depicted the Ring-necked pheasant, the 20-cent South Dakota stamp (Scott 1993) and the earlier Flora and Fauna 25-cent Pheasant stamp (Scott 2283). The Ring-necked pheasant is the official state bird of South Dakota (1943).

The Ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) was introduced into North America from Asia and is established over much of the continent, especially in agricultural lands. The adult is about 20-28 inches long, with a wingspan of 22-34 inches, weighing 17.6-106 ounces. The male has a red eye patch, brilliant green head, and (usually) white neck ring and body patterned in soft brown and iridescent russet. The female is a mottled, sandy brown with a shorter tail. Adults feed on berries, seeds, buds, and leaves.

References:

Doug D'Avino

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25-cent Pheasant single

The 25-cent multicolored Ring-necked Pheasant (Scott 2283) definitive was issued on April 29, 1988, in Rapid City, South Dakota, as a booklet of twenty stamps. This was the first booklet produced by a printer other than the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the first booklet featuring the 25-cent rate.

Chuck Ripper designed the magenta, yellow, cyan, and black stamp, which American Bank Note Company printed on a gravure press under the supervision of Sennett Enterprises. The stamp was distributed in booklet form as two panes of ten stamps, with two across and five down, printed by gravure printing cylinders of four hundred subjects. One group of four gravure cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘A’ appears on the binding stub. The stamp was perforated 11 on the L perforator.

The ring-necked pheasant is the official state bird of South Dakota. The 20-cent South Dakota stamp (Scott 1993) also depicted this bird.

The ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) was introduced into North America from Asia and is established over much of the continent, especially in agricultural lands. The adult is about twenty to twenty-eight inches long and has a wingspan of 22 to 34 inches. It weighs just over a pound. The male has a red eye patch, brilliant green head, and usually a white neck ring. Its body is patterned in soft brown and iridescent russet. The female is a mottled sandy brown, with a shorter tail. Adults feed on berries, seeds, buds, and leaves.

References:

Doug D'Avino

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25-cent Grosbeak single

The 25-cent multicolored Grosbeack definitive was issued on May 28, 1988, at the NAPEX stamp show in Arlington, Virginia. The booklet of two ten-stamp panes featured a rose-breasted Grosbeack and a saw-whet owl. The stamps were se-tenant in a checkerboard pattern, the first booklet to be so formatted.

The magenta, cyan, yellow, and black stamp was designed by Chuck Ripper, printed on the Bureau of Engraving and Printing seven-color Andreotti gravure press (601), and distributed in two panes of ten, five owl and five Grosbeack stamps per pane with the two designs se-tenant vertically and horizontally. Gravure printing cylinders with 480 subjects were used to print the stamp. One group of four cylinder numbers and registration marks appear on each pane binding stub. The stamp was perforated 10 on the Goebel booklet machine stroke perforator.

The rose-breasted Grosbeack (Pheucticus ludovicianus) is a large seed-eating bird in the same family as the northern cardinal. The adult is about 7.5 inches long and weighs 1.6 ounces, with dark upperparts, white underparts, and a large pale bill. The adult male has a black head, wings and upperparts, and a bright rose-red patch on its breast. Its wings have white patches and rose red linings. The adult female has dark grey upperparts, a white stripe over the eye, streaked underparts, and yellowish wing linings.

The rose-breasted Grosbeack's breeding habitat is open, deciduous woods across most of Canada and the eastern United States. This species migrates to southern Mexico and south through Central America to Peru and Venezuela. The rose-breasted grosbeak forages in shrubs or trees for insects, seeds and berries, and also catches insects in flight.

References:

  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1988
  • Scott 2005 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers

Doug D'Avino

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25-cent Owl and Grosbeak horizontal pair

The 25-cent multicolored Owl definitive was issued on May 28, 1988, at the NAPEX stamp show in Arlington, Virginia. The booklet of two ten-stamp panes featured a Saw-whet Owl and a Rose-breasted Grosbeack. The stamps were se-tenant in a checkerboard pattern, the first booklet to be so formatted.

Chuck Ripper designed the magenta, cyan, yellow, and black stamp, which was printed on the Bureau of Engraving and Printing seven-color Andreotti gravure press (601) and distributed in two panes of ten—five Owl and five Grosbeak stamps per pane with the two designs se-tenant vertically and horizontally. Gravure printing cylinders with 480 subjects were used to print the stamp. One group of four cylinder numbers and registration marks appear on each pane binding stub. The stamp was perforated 10 on the Goebel booklet machine stroke perforator.

The Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus) is small, an adult reaching approximately 7 inches in length with a 17-inch wingspan. It has a large, round, light grey face with brown streaks, a dark bill, and yellow eyes, and the under parts are pale with dark streaks; the upper parts are brown with white spots.

This owl's breeding habitat is coniferous forests, sometimes mixed or deciduous woods, across North America. It waits on a low perch at night and swoops down on prey, mainly small rodents. On the Pacific coast, it might also eat crustaceans and aquatic insects. Like many owls, these birds have excellent vision and exceptional vision in low light.

References:

  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1988
  • Scott 2005 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers

Doug D'Avino

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25-cent Honeybee coil single

The 25-cent multicolored Honeybee definitive coil stamp (Scott 2281) was issued on September 2, 1988. The Honeybee stamp was the first combination-process coil stamp issued by the United States Postal Service.

The magenta, yellow, PMS yellow, black (offset), and black (intaglio) stamp was designed by Chuck Ripper and engraved at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing by Edward Archer. Initially printed on the BEP’s six-color Goebel offset Optiforma press (043) and three-color intaglio C press (901), the BEP later printed it on the six-color offset, three-color intaglio D press (902) so that the entire process could be completed in a single operation, reducing spoilage. It was distributed in coils of one hundred and 3,000.

Offset printing plates of 450 subjects and 500 subjects were used by the Optiforma press in conjunction with C press intaglio printing sleeves of, respectively, 864 subjects and 960 subjects. Offset printing plates of 432 subjects and 480 subjects were used by the D press with press intaglio printing sleeves of, respectively, 864 subjects and 960 subjects. One sleeve number appears on every 48th stamp. The coils of one hundred were perforated 10 vertically on the Goebel stroke perforator; the coils of 3,000 were perforated 10 vertically on the Huck rotary perforator.

The honeybee is the designated state insect in Arkansas (1973), North Carolina (1973), Georgia (1975), Maine (1975), Nebraska (1975), Kansas (1976), Louisiana (1977), Vermont (1977), Wisconsin (1977), South Dakota (1978), Mississippi (1980), Utah (1983), Missouri (1985), Oklahoma (1992), and West Virginia (2002). It is the state bug of New Jersey (1974) and the official agricultural insect of Tennessee (1990).

The honeybee is a colonial insect that is often maintained by beekeepers. Honeybees collect nectar and store it as honey in their hives. Nectar and honey provide the energy for the bees’ flight muscles and for heating the hive during the winter. Honeybees provide indispensable help to farmers and fruit growers by pollinating crops and fruit trees while gathering nectar among flowering plants.

A colony generally includes one breeding female ('queen'), a few thousand males ('drones'), and a large population of sterile female workers. The female workers transform from nurse bees to foragers. Foragers die usually when their wings are worn out, which takes place after approximately 500 miles of flight. Honeybee wings beat at a constant rate of 13,800 beats/minute. The population of a healthy hive in mid-summer can average between 40,000 and 80,000 bees.

References:

Doug D'Avino

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29-cent Red Squirrel single

The 29-cent multicolored Red Squirrel definitive stamp (Scott 2489) was issued on June 25, 1993, in a pane of eighteen die-cut self-adhesive stamps. Strips, or coils, were also produced to facilitate affixing the stamps by machine.

The magenta, yellow, black, green, and line black stamp was designed by Michael R. Matherly, printed on a gravure eight-color webfed press by Dittler Brothers Inc., die cut, and separated into panes or wound into coils of 5,004 stamps by Voxcom Web Printing Company. One group of five cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘D’ is printed on the selvage peel-off strip of panes. Selvage markings on the peel-off strip include “Self-adhesive stamps? DO NOT WET ? Peel here to fold ?” and the cylinder numbers.

Five previous stamps had portrayed members of the squirrel family: the 1987 CAPEX (Scott 1757f) souvenir sheet (chipmunk) and five stamps of the 1987 American Wildlife pane of fifty, including gray squirrel (Scott 2295), eastern chipmunk (Scott 2297), woodchuck (Scott 2307), and black-tailed prairie dog (Scott 2325).

The American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) is a common North American pine squirrel. It is frequently found from Alaska across Canada to the Northeastern United States and as far south as the Appalachian states and the northern Rocky Mountains. Red squirrels live primarily in coniferous forests but also thrive in deciduous forests.

Eleven to thirteen inches from nose to tail tip, the red squirrel weighs five to nine ounces. Intensely territorial, these squirrels scold trespassers with chatters, chirps, rattles, growls, and foot stomping and tail flicking.

References:

Doug D'Avino

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32-cent Yellow Rose booklet single

The United States Postal Service issued the 29-cent multicolored Rose definitive stamp (Scott 2490) on August 19, 1993, in Houston, Texas, as a pane of eighteen die-cut self-adhesive stamps. Strips, or coils, were also produced to facilitate machine-affixing of the stamps. The stamp depicts a red rose.

Stamp Venturers printed the red, green, and black self-adhesive stamp on a Champlain webfed gravure press. It was distributed in panes of eighteen, three stamps across and six down on the pane. Gravure printing cylinders of 360 subjects were used to print the stamps. One group of three cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘S’ appears on the peel-off selvage strip. The stamp has die-cut perforations.

The coil stamps were printed from gravure printing cylinders of 220 subjects. No cylinder numbers were printed on the coil stamps.

On June 2, 1995, USPS issued a 32-cent Rose definitive stamp (Scott 2492) with a pink rose instead of a red rose. The change in color resulted from the change in first-class rates from twenty-nine cents to thirty-two cents. It was sold in panes of twenty and included a “1995” year date in the lower left corner below the design. The coil version was sold in rolls of 5,000 and strips of twenty.

Stamp Venturers printed the pink, green, and black self-adhesive stamp on a Champlain webfed gravure press 1. It was distributed in panes of twenty stamps plus a label, three stamps across and seven down on the pane. Gravure printing cylinders of 360 subjects were used to print the stamps. One group of three cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘S’ appears on the peel-off selvage strip and on every 20th coil stamp. The stamps have die-cut perforations on two, three, or four sides.

On October 24, 1996, USPS issued a third version of the definitive rose stamp, a 32-cent Rose stamp (Scott 3049) with a yellow rose. It was issued in the convertible booklet pane of twenty. Then in December 1996 two new formats became available—a vending machine booklet of fifteen and a prefolded pane of thirty. The stamp incorporated a “1996” year date in the lower left corner below the design. The two new formats included a first for booklet stamps—one plate number single in each booklet.

Stamp Venturers printed the green, yellow, warm red, and black self-adhesive stamp was again. The pane of twenty was formatted three stamps across and seven down on the pane, with a label instead of the lower right stamp. Gravure printing cylinders of 315 subjects were used to print the stamps. One group of four gravure cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘S’ appears on the first horizontal peel-off selvage strip. The stamps have serpentine die cut 11¼ x 11¾ perforations on two, three, or four sides.

The pane of fifteen was formatted two stamps across and eight down with a label instead of the lower right stamp. Gravure printing cylinders of 384 subjects were used to print the stamps. One group of four gravure cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘S’ appears on the bottom left stamp on the five-stamp (bottom) pane. The stamps have serpentine die cut 11.25 x 11.75 perforations on two or three sides.

The pane of thirty was formatted two stamps across and fifteen down on the pane. Gravure printing cylinders of 360 subjects were used to print the stamps. One group of four gravure cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘S’ appears on the bottom right stamp. The stamps have serpentine die cut 11.25 x 11.75 perforations on two or three sides.

On August 1, 1997, USPS issued a 32-cent Rose definitive coil stamp (Scott 3054) with a yellow rose. The stamp incorporated a “1997” year date in the lower left corner below the design and “USPS 1997” is microprinted as part of the narrow stem that projects to the right from the main stem of the rose.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced the magenta, yellow, green, and black definitive on the Giori four-color offset three-color intaglio F press (801) and perforated 9.9 vertically using the Goebel die-cutter. The stamp was printed and distributed in coils of one hundred. Offset printing plates of 480 subjects were used. One group of four offset plate numbers is printed on every 24th stamp.

Roses had previously been depicted on a 1978 booklet pane (Scott 1737), 1981 se-tenant Flowers block of four (Scott 1876), 1982 International Peace Garden commemorative (Scott 2014), State Birds and Flowers pane (Scott 1962, 1967, 1984, and 1986), and the 25-cent Love stamp (Scott 2378) and 45-cent Love stamp (Scott 2379).

A rose is a flowering shrub (genus Rosa) as well as the flower of this shrub. There are more than a hundred species of wild roses, all native to the northern hemisphere and primarily from temperate regions. The species form a group of generally thorny shrubs or climbers, and sometimes trailing plants, reaching 6.5–16.5 feet tall.

The flowers typically have five petals, usually white or pink, in a few species yellow or red.

The Rose is the state flower of Iowa (Wild Prairie Rose, 1897), New York (Rose, 1955), and Oklahoma (Oklahoma Rose, 2004), and the official floral emblem of Georgia (Cherokee Rose, 1916) and North Dakota (Wild Prairie Rose, 1907).

References:

  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1993
  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1995
  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1996
  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1997
  • Scott 2005 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers
  • NETSTATE.com (www.netstate.com/states/tables/st_flowers.htm)

Doug D'Avino

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29-cent Wood Duck booklet perf

Two 29-cent Wood Duck booklet stamps (Scott 2484 and 2485) were issued on April 12, 1990, at the Colopex '91 stamp show in Columbus, Ohio. The booklets of two panes of ten stamps were produced by two different contractors, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and KCS Industries. This was the first time the United States Postal Service employed two printers for a stamp in a single format.

The magenta, cyan, yellow, and black stamp (Scott 2484) was designed by Robert Giusti, printed on the Bureau of Engraving and Printing seven-color Andreotti gravure press (601), and distributed in two panes of ten horizontal stamps, five stamps across and two down on the pane. Gravure printing cylinders with 480 subjects were used to print the stamp. Cylinder markings are printed on each pane stub binding. The stamp was perforated 10 on the Goebel booklet machine stroke perforator.

The KCS Industries stamp (Scott 2485) was printed on the Champlain gravure presses at J.W. Fergusson, formatted in two panes of ten horizontal stamps, five stamps across and two down on the pane. Line red was used to print the "29 USA" logo, in contrast to the Bureau version of the stamp with the logo in black. Gravure printing cylinders with four hundred subjects were used to print the stamp. One group of five cylinder numbers preceded by the letter 'K' was printed on each pane stub binding. The stamp was perforated 11.

The wood duck (Aix sponsa) is a medium-sized perching duck. The adult male has distinctive multi-colored iridescent plumage and red eyes. The female, less colorful, has a white eye-ring and a whitish throat. Both have crested heads. The duck is approximately 19-21 inches long and weigh 16-30 ounces.

The ducks breed wooded swamps, shallow lakes, marshes, or ponds in eastern North America and the west coast of the United States. They usually nest in cavities in trees close to water. The wood duck is the only North American duck that regularly produces two broods in one year.

The wood duck is the state waterfowl of Mississippi (1974).

References:

Doug D'Avino

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29-cent African Violets single

The 29-cent multicolored male African Violets (Scott 2486) definitive was issued on October 8, 1993, as a replacement for the Wood Duck (Scott 2484 and 2485) booklets.

The magenta, yellow, green, and black stamp was designed by Ned Seidler and printed for KCS Industries, Inc., for Sennett Enterprises, on a Champlain gravure webfed press. The stamp was distributed in booklet form as one or two panes of ten stamps, with two across and five down, printed by gravure printing cylinders of four hundred subjects. One group of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘K’ appears on each binding stub. The stamp was perforated 10 x 11 on a sheetfed stroke perforator.

The African violet or Saintpaulia is named after Baron Walter von Saint Paul Illaire, the district commissioner of Tanga province, who discovered the plant in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) in Africa in 1892. They range in flower color from white, pink, violet, yellow, and some even green, and the flowers may be either single (five petals) or double (more than five). Saintpaulias grow from 2.4-6 inches tall and can be anywhere from 2.4-12 inches wide. The leaves are rounded, and the flowers grow in clusters of 3-10.

Reference:

  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1993
  • Scott 2005 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers

Doug D'Avino

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29-cent Pine Cone booklet single

The 29-cent multicolored Pine Cone (Scott 2491) definitive stamp was issued on November 5, 1993, at the Midaphil ’93 stamp show in Kansas City as a die-cut, self-adhesive pane of eighteen. It was the first self-adhesive stamp to be printed solely by the intaglio process.

Paul Breeden designed the green, red-brown, and black stamp, which Banknote Corporation of America printed on a four-color webfed intaglio press. The panes of eighteen were arranged vertically, three across by six down with a horizontal peel-off strip in the middle. The intaglio printing plates contained 324 subjects. One intaglio plate number preceded by the letter ‘B,’ printed in black, appears on the selvage peel-off strip.

The Pine Cone was also offered to collectors in strips, or coils, of eighteen. These coil stamps were printed from intaglio printing plates containing 216 subjects. One intaglio plate number preceded by the letter ‘B,’ printed in green, appears below and to the left of the design on every 18th stamp.

First discovered by David Douglas in 1826 in eastern Washington, the ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) is native throughout western North America. It has a broadly columnar form when young and develops a rounded crown with age. Cones are 3 to 6 inches long, red-brown in color, and mature in August and September. Its habitat is southeast British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon east of the Cascade Range, northeast California, northwestern Nevada, Idaho, and western Montana.

Reference:

  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1993
  • Scott 2005 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers

Doug D'Avino

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F rate (25-cent) Flower single

A non-denominated 'F' stamp depicting a single tulip was issued on January 22, 1991, with an assigned postage value of twenty-nine cents. This was the Flower stamp, and it was issued in sheet, coil, and booklet formats. On the 'F' stamp, the term 'Domestic Mail' used on previous rate-change stamps was replaced with "For U.S. Addresses Only" as clarification that the stamp was valid for letters mailed within the U.S. but not for letters mailed in the U.S. to foreign destinations.

The printing was divided among three printing contractors.

The yellow, magenta, cyan, and black Flower sheet stamp (Scott 2517), designed by Wallace Marosek, was printed by the Jeffries Banknote Division of the United States Bank Note Corporation on an eight-color combination Andreotti-Giori gravure-intaglio webfed press and perforated 13 on an Ormag rotary perforator. The pane of one hundred, ten across and ten down, was printed from gravure printing cylinders of four hundred subjects. One group of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘U’ appears beside the corner stamp. “United States Postal Service 1991.” and “Use Correct ZIP Code.” are printed in the selvage.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced the red, cyan, yellow, and black Flower coil stamp (Scott 2518) on a seven-color Andreotti gravure press (601) and perforated 10 vertically. It was distributed in coils of one hundred, five hundred, and 3,000. Printing cylinders of 432 subjects, eighteen across and twenty-four down, were used to print the coils of five hundred and 3,000; printing cylinders of 480 subjects, twenty across and twenty-four down, were used to print the coils of one hundred. One group of four cylinder numbers appears on every 24th stamp.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing also printed the red, cyan, yellow, and black Flower booklet stamp (Scott 2519) in two formats—a booklet with a single pane of ten stamps and a booklet with two panes of ten stamps. Printed on the seven-color Andreotti gravure press (601), the stamps were perforated 11.2 on the Goebel booklet machine stroke perforator. One group of four cylinder numbers appears on each pane binding stub. Red electric-eye remnants appear on 10 percent of the binding stubs.

The final non-denominated 'F' stamp was printed by KCS Industries. The yellow, black, magenta, and cyan Flower booklet stamp (Scott 2520) was printed on the Champlain gravure presses at J.W. Fergusson, formatted in two panes of ten horizontal stamps, two stamps across and five down on the pane. The stamps were perforated 11 on the L perforator. One group of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘K’ appears on each pane binding stub. Magenta cut marks appear at the outer edge of the third stamp down on 20 percent of the panes.

References:

  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1991
  • Scott 2005 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers
  • Encyclopedia of United States Stamps and Stamp Collecting

Doug D'Avino

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29-cent Flower single

On April 5, 1991, the United States Postal Service issued a 29-cent denominated stamp depicting the Flower design. This was the first time that USPS had converted the design for a non-denominated stamp by changing the letter to a value. In addition to changing the ‘F’ to "29¢," the inscription “For U.S. Addresses Only” was removed. As with the non-denominated stamps, three printing contractors were used.

The Jeffries Banknote Division of the United States Bank Note Corporation produced the yellow, magenta, cyan, and black 29-cent Flower sheet stamp (Scott 2524A) on an eight-color combination Andreotti-Giori gravure-intaglio webfed press and perforated 13 on an Ormag rotary perforator. The pane of one hundred, ten across and ten down, was printed from gravure printing cylinders of four hundred subjects. One group of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘U’ appears in beside the corner stamp.

When the Ormag rotary perforator failed during production, Jeffries completed the job using an off-line L perforator, which perforated the stamps 11 (Scott 2524). “USPS 1991.” and “USE CORRECT ZIP CODE.” are printed in the selvage.

KCS Industries printed the yellow, magenta, cyan, and black 29-cent Flower booklet stamp (Scott 2527) on the Champlain gravure presses at J.W. Fergusson, formatted in a single pane of ten horizontal stamps, two stamps across and five down on the pane. The stamps were perforated 11 on the L perforator. One group of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘K’ appears on each pane binding stub. Magenta cut marks at the outer edge of the third stamp down appear on 20 percent of the panes.

On August 16, 1991, USPS released a 29-cent denominated coil stamp (Scott 2525) depicting the Flower. Stamp Venturers produced the yellow, magenta, cyan, and black stamp on the Champlain gravure presses at J.W. Fergusson from gravure printing cylinders of 429 subjects. The stamps were perforated 10 vertically with slit perforations (roulettes). One group of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘S’ appears on every 33rd stamp.

The coils were also distributed to post offices in a new format that stacked ten connected rolls into 'stamp sticks.' The individual coil rolls were attached to one another with a form of roulettes that allowed a coil to be broken off the stick.

On March 3, 1992, the USPS issued a second 29-cent Flower coil stamp (Scott 2526) produced by Stamp Venturers. This stamp had conventional round-hole perforations, perf. 10 vertically, in place of the roulettes and was the ninth stamp issued with the Flower design.

Tulip (Tulipa) is a genus of about one hundred species of flowering plants native to southern Europe, North Africa, and Asia from Anatolia and Iran east to northeast China and Japan. They are perennial bulbous plants growing to 4 to 28 inches tall, with a small number of strap-shaped, waxy-textured, usually green leaves and large flowers with six petals. The fruit is a dry capsule containing numerous flat disc-shaped seeds.

References:

  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1991
  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1992
  • Scott 2005 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers
  • Encyclopedia of United States Stamps and Stamp Collecting

Doug D'Avino

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30-cent Cardinal single

Issued on June 22, 1991, the 30-cent multicolored Cardinal (Scott 2480) definitive was reportedly issued to meet the postcard rate to Canada and Mexico. Many speculated, however, that it was issued to meet the 30-cent first-class rate previously denied by the Postal Rate Commission. The United States Postal Service formally filed for a rate consideration on July 2.

Robert Giusti designed the stamp, which was printed in yellow, red, blue, and black by Stamp Venturers on a Champlain gravure press at J.W. Fergusson and Sons and perforated 11½ x 11 by KCS Industries on an L-perforator.

The Cardinal definitive was distributed in panes of one hundred, ten stamps across and ten down on the pane. Gravure printing cylinders with four hundred subjects were used to print the stamp. A group of four numbers preceded by an 'S' are printed alongside the corner stamp. "©USPS 1991" and "USE CORRECT ZIP CODE ®" are printed in the selvage.

A member of the cardinal family of birds in North America, the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) draws its name from the red-robed Roman Catholic clerics known as 'cardinals'. Its crested head is said to resemble a bishop's mitre. The birds eat primarily seeds, fruits, wastes, small animals, and insects, and almost always live in pairs. If one is seen, its mate will usually be nearby.

Males are bright, deep red with black faces and yellow beaks. Females are lighter with mostly grayish-brown tones. Both possess prominent raised crests and strong beaks. Cardinals are approximately 8-9 inches long, weighing 1.48-1.69 ounces.

Abundant across the United States and Canada, cardinals' range extends west to the U.S.-Mexico border and south through Mexico to northern Guatemala and northern Belize. They have been introduced in Bermuda, Hawaii, and Southern California. Their natural habitats include woodlands, suburbs, gardens, swamps, and thickets.

In the U.S., the Northern Cardinal is the state bird of Kentucky (1926), Illinois (1929), Indiana (1933), Ohio (1933), North Carolina (1943), West Virginia (1949), and Virginia (1950). The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 protects this species, which also bans their sale as cage birds.

The cardinal was depicted on the four Wildlife Conservation stamps (Scott 1465),

one of the Capex '78 souvenir sheet stamps (Scott 1757a), and seven of the stamps on the State Birds and Flowers 50-stamp pane (Scott 1965, 1969, 1985, 1987, 1998, and 2000).

References:

Doug D'Avino

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32-cent Peach single

A 32-cent multicolored Peach definitive was issued on July 8, 1995, se-tenant in a checkerboard pattern with a stamp depicting a pear, at Topex-Nevpex ’95 in Reno, Nevada. The stamps were issued in two formats: a pane of self-adhesives (convertible booklet) and a conventional booklet with water-activated stamps.

The stamp was designed by Ned Seidler. The magenta, yellow, cyan, black and line blue booklet stamp (Scott 2487) was printed on the Bureau of Engraving and Printing seven-color Andreotti gravure press (601) and distributed in two panes of ten, five Pear and five Peach stamps per pane with the two designs se-tenant vertically and horizontally. Gravure printing cylinders with 480 subjects were used to print the stamp. One group of five cylinder numbers appears on each pane binding stub; wide or narrow cross-register lines appear on some stubs. The stamp was perforated 11 x 10 on the Goebel booklet machine stroke perforator.

The yellow, magenta, cyan, black and dark blue self-adhesive stamp (Scott 2493) was designed by Ned Seidler, printed by Avery Dennison Security Printing on a Dai Nippon Kiko 8-color gravure press and die-cut in a serpentine fashion on a Comco Commander die cutter. Panes of twenty-one (twenty stamps and one non-stamp) were distributed, arranged vertically three across by seven down. Gravure printing cylinders of ten panes, five across and four down were used. Coil stamps (Scott 2495), or strips, were printed from gravure cylinders of four hundred subjects and sold in rolls of 5,000 or strips of twenty. One set of five cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘V’ appears on the first selvage strip in the convertible booklet and below the design on every 20th coil stamp. The booklet stamp exists with serpentine die-cut perforations on one side, two side, three sides, and four sides. The coil stamp has vertical serpentine die-cut perforations.

The ‘1995’ year date printed below the bottom frame line is black on the booklet stamps and is only about one-half the size of the blue year data on the self-adhesive stamps.

The Peach (Prunus persica) is a tree native to China that bears a juicy fruit of the same name. It is a small deciduous tree growing to 16.5–33 feet tall. The flowers are produced in early spring with five petals. The fruit has a single large seed encased in hard wood (called the "stone" or "pit"), yellow or whitish flesh, a delicate aroma, and a velvety skin.

Cultivated peaches are divided into 'freestone' and 'clingstone' cultivars, depending on whether the flesh sticks to the stone or not; both kinds can have either white or yellow flesh; both colors often have some red on their skin.

The peach is the state flower of Delaware (1895) and the state fruit of South Carolina (1984) and Georgia (1995). Georgia and Delaware are both nicknamed the Peach State.

References:

Doug D'Avino

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32-cent Pear single

A 32-cent multicolored Pear definitive was issued on July 8, 1995, se-tenant in a checkerboard pattern with a stamp depicting two peaches. It was issued at Topex-Nevpex ’95 in Reno, Nevada. The stamps were issued in two formats: a pane of self-adhesives (convertible booklet) and a conventional booklet with water-activated stamps.

Ned Seidler designed the stamp. The magenta, yellow, cyan, black and line blue booklet stamp (Scott 2488) was printed on the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) seven-color Andreotti gravure press (601) and distributed in two panes of ten, five Pear and five Peach stamps per pane with the two designs se-tenant vertically and horizontally. Gravure printing cylinders with 480 subjects were used to print the stamp. One group of five cylinder numbers appears on each pane binding stub; wide or narrow cross-register lines appear on some stubs. The stamp was perforated 11 x 10 on the Goebel booklet machine stroke perforator.

The yellow, magenta, cyan, black and dark blue self-adhesive stamp (Scott 2492) was also designed by Ned Seidler, printed by Avery Dennison Security Printing on a Dai Nippon Kiko 8-color gravure press and die-cut in a serpentine fashion on a Comco Commander die cutter. Panes of twenty-one (twenty stamps and one non-stamp) were distributed, arranged vertically three across by seven down. Gravure printing cylinders of ten panes, five across and four down were used. Coil stamps (Scott 2495A), or strips, were printed from gravure cylinders of four hundred subjects and sold in rolls of 5,000 or strips of twenty. One set of five cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘V’ appears on the first selvage strip in the convertible booklet and below the design on every 20th coil stamp. The booklet stamp exists with serpentine die-cut perforations on one side, two side, three sides, and four sides. The coil stamp has vertical serpentine die-cut perforations.

On the booklet stamps the ‘1995’ year date printed below the bottom frame line is black and is only about one-half the size of the blue year data on the self-adhesive stamps.

The European Pear (Pyrus communis) is a species of pear native to central and eastern Europe and southwest Asia. The European Pear is one of the most important fruits of temperate regions, being the species from which most orchard pear cultivars grown in Europe, North America, and Australia are developed.

They are medium sized trees, reaching 33-56 feet tall, often with a tall, narrow crown. The flowers are white, rarely tinted yellow or pink, 0.8-1.5 inches in diameter, and have five petals. The pear fruit in some cultivated forms can grow to 7 inches long and 3 inches broad. European Pears are picked when the fruit matures but before they are ripe.

References:

  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1995
  • Scott 2005 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers

Doug D'Avino

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33-cent Coral Pink Rose single

In conjunction with the Americover ‘99 show in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Postal Service issued the 33-cent multicolored Coral Pink Rose (Scott 3052) self-adhesive definitive on August 30, 1999. Issued as a vending booklet of fifteen and a convertible booklet of twenty, the stamp incorporated a “1999” year date in the lower left corner below the design.

The pink, green, and black stamp was designed by Ned Seidler, printed for Sennett Security Products by American Packaging Corporation on a Roromec 3000 ES gravure press and perforated 11.5 x 11.5 on two, three, or four sides, with die-cut simulated perforations on a Comco Custom rotary die cutter. The convertible booklet was formatted seven across by three down, including a label; the vending booklet was formatted in panes of four, six, and five. Both were gravure printed from cylinders of 360 subjects.

The convertible booklet has one group of three cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘S’ on the second peel-off selvage strip. The vending booklet has one group of three cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘S’ on the back cover below the bar code.

On April 7, 2000, the Postal Service issued the 33-cent multicolored Coral Pink Rose (Scott 3052E) self-adhesive definitive in a third format—a double-sided convertible booklet of twenty—at the Postage Stamp Mega-Event in New York City. The stamp incorporated a “2000” year date in the lower left corner below the design.

The green, pink, and black stamp was printed for Sennett Security Products by American Packaging Corporation on a Roromec 3000 ES gravure press and perforated 10.75 x 10.5 on two or three sides, with die-cut simulated perforations on a Comco Custom rotary die cutter. The convertible booklet was formatted two across by four down, plus the booklet cover; two across by six down on the other side plus two horizontal peel-off strips. It was gravure printed from cylinders of 288 subjects for the cover side, 432 subjects for the other side. The booklet has one group of three cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘S’ on one of the peel-off selvage strips.

Roses had previously been depicted on a 1978 booklet pane (Scott 1737), 1981 se-tenant Flowers block of four (Scott 1876), 1982 International Peace Garden commemorative (Scott 2014) and State Birds and Flowers pane (Scott 1962, 1967, 1984, and 1986), the 25-cent Love stamp (Scott 2378) and 45-cent Love stamp (Scott 2379), and the earlier red, pink, and yellow Rose stamps (Scott 2490, 2492, 3049, and 3054) of the Flora and Fauna series.

A rose is a flowering shrub (genus Rosa), and the flower of this shrub. There are more than a hundred species of wild roses, all from the northern hemisphere and mostly from temperate regions. The species form a group of generally thorny shrubs or climbers, and sometimes trailing plants, reaching 6.5–16.5 feet tall.

The flowers typically have five petals, usually white or pink; in a few species yellow or red.

The Rose is the state flower of Iowa (Wild Prairie Rose, 1897), New York (Rose, 1955) and Oklahoma (Oklahoma Rose, 2004) and the official floral emblem of Georgia (Cherokee Rose, 1916) and North Dakota (Wild Prairie Rose, 1907).

References:

Doug D'Avino

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33-cent Blueberries single

On April 10, 1999, the Postal Service issued the Fruit Berries, a group of 33-cent multicolored self-adhesive definitives, se-tenant with four designs: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. The stamps were issued in three formats: a convertible booklet of twenty, a booklet of fifteen, and a coil, in rolls of one hundred. The stamps incorporated a “1999” year date in the lower left corner below the design.

The cyan, magenta, yellow, and black Blueberries (Scott 3294) self-adhesive stamp (convertible booklet) was printed for the Banknote Corporation of America by Guilford Gravure on a Cerutti 8/C gravure press and distributed in booklets of twenty, three stamps across and seven down on the pane, including a label in the lower right corner. Gravure printing cylinders of twenty-one subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears on the first peel-off strip. The stamp has die-cut simulated serpentine 11¼ x 11½ perforations cut on an Innotech rotary die cutter.

The cyan, magenta, yellow, and black Blueberries (Scott 3298) self-adhesive stamp was also printed for the Banknote Corporation of America by Guilford Gravure on a Cerutti 8/C gravure press and distributed in booklets of fifteen, two stamps across and eight down on the pane, including a label in the lower right corner. Gravure printing cylinders of three hundred subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears on the first peel-off strip. The stamp has die-cut simulated serpentine perforations, 9½ x 10 on two or three sides of each stamp, cut on an Innotech rotary die cutter.

The magenta, yellow, cyan, and black Blueberries (Scott 3302) coil self-adhesive stamp was also printed for the Banknote Corporation of America by Guilford Gravure on a Cerutti 8/C gravure press and distributed in rolls of one hundred. Gravure printing cylinders of 384 subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears centered in the bottom selvage on every 12th stamp, which is always a Blackberry stamp. The stamp has vertical die-cut simulated serpentine 8½ perforations cut on a George Schmidt rotary die cutter. The sequence of the four designs on the roll is Blackberry-Strawberry-Blueberry-Raspberry.

On June 16, 2000, USPS issued the Fruit Berries in a fourth format, a linerless roll of 100 self-adhesive stamps, with horizontal die-cut simulated serpentine perforations. The stamps incorporated a “2000” year date in the lower left corner of the design. The Fruit Berries were the first regularly issued horizontal U.S. coil stamps since the 3-cent Francis Parkman (Scott 1297) Prominent American stamp in 1975.

The magenta, yellow, cyan, and black Blueberries (Scott 3404) coil self-adhesive stamp was printed by Guilford Gravure on a Cerutti 8/C gravure press and distributed in rolls of one hundred. Gravure printing cylinders of 384 subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘G’ appears on every 12th stamp—always a Blackberry stamp—along the right-side straight edge, reading bottom to top. The stamp has vertical die-cut simulated serpentine 8½ perforations cut on a George Schmidt rotary die cutter. The sequence of the four designs on the roll is Strawberry- Blackberry-Raspberry- Blueberry.

Blueberries are a group of flowering plants, native to North America and eastern Asia. They are shrubs varying in size from 3.9 inches tall to 13 feet tall. The leaves can be either deciduous or evergreen, from 0.4-3.1 inches long and 0.2-1.4 inches broad. The flowers are bell-shaped, white, pale pink, or red, sometimes tinged greenish. The fruit is botanically a false berry 0.2-0.6 inches in diameter. They are pale greenish at first, then reddish-purple, and finally turn blue or dark purple on ripening.

The blueberry is the official state berry of Maine (Wild Blueberry, Vaccinium angustifolium, Aiton, 1991), the official blue berry of North Carolina (Blueberry, Genus Vaccinium, 2001), and the official state fruit of New Jersey (High Bush Blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum, 2003).

References:

Doug D'Avino

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33-cent Raspberries single

On April 10, 1999, the Postal Service issued the Fruit Berries, a group of 33-cent multicolored self-adhesive definitives, se-tenant with four designs: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. The stamps were issued in three formats: a convertible booklet of twenty, a booklet of fifteen, and a coil, in rolls of one hundred. The stamps incorporated a “1999” year date in the lower left corner below the design.

The cyan, magenta, yellow, and black Raspberries (Scott 3295) self-adhesive stamp (convertible booklet) was printed for the Banknote Corporation of America by Guilford Gravure on a Cerutti 8/C gravure press and distributed in booklets of twenty, three stamps across and seven down on the pane, including a label in the lower right corner. Gravure printing cylinders of twenty-one subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears on the first peel-off strip. The stamp has die-cut simulated serpentine 11¼ x 11½ perforations cut on an Innotech rotary die cutter.

The cyan, magenta, yellow, and black Raspberries (Scott 3300) self-adhesive stamp was also printed for the Banknote Corporation of America by Guilford Gravure on a Cerutti 8/C gravure press and distributed in booklets of fifteen, two stamps across and eight down on the pane, including a label in the lower right corner. Gravure printing cylinders of three hundred subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears on the first peel-off strip. The stamp has die-cut simulated serpentine perforations, 9½ x 10 on two or three sides of each stamp, cut on an Innotech rotary die cutter.

The magenta, yellow, cyan, and black Raspberries (Scott 3303) coil self-adhesive stamp was also printed for the Banknote Corporation of America by Guilford Gravure on a Cerutti 8/C gravure press and distributed in rolls of one hundred. Gravure printing cylinders of 384 subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears centered in the bottom selvage on every 12th stamp, which is always a Blackberry stamp. The stamp has vertical die-cut simulated serpentine 8½ perforations cut on a George Schmidt rotary die cutter. The sequence of the four designs on the roll is Blackberry-Strawberry-Blueberry-Raspberry.

On June 16, 2000, USPS issued the Fruit Berries in a fourth format, a linerless roll of one hundred self-adhesive stamps with horizontal die-cut simulated serpentine perforations. The stamps incorporated a “2000” year date in the lower left corner of the design. The Fruit Berries were the first regularly issued horizontal U.S. coil stamps since the 3-cent Francis Parkman (Scott 1297) Prominent American stamp in 1975.

The magenta, yellow, cyan, and black Raspberries (Scott 3407) coil self-adhesive stamp was printed by Guilford Gravure on a Cerutti 8/C gravure press and distributed in rolls of one hundred. Gravure printing cylinders of 384 subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘G’ appears on every 12th stamp—always a Blackberry stamp—along the right-side straight edge, reading bottom to top. The stamp has vertical die-cut simulated serpentine 8½ perforations cut on a George Schmidt rotary die cutter. The sequence of the four designs on the roll is Strawberry- Blackberry-Raspberry- Blueberry.

The raspberry or red raspberry, (Rubus idaeus) is a plant that produces a tart, sweet, red composite fruit. It is not a berry at all, but instead an aggregate fruit of numerous drupelets around a central core. It typically grows in forest clearings or fields, particularly where fire or wood-cutting has produced open space for colonization. The raspberry flower can be a major nectar source for honeybees. As a cultivated plant in moist temperate regions, it is easy to grow and has a tendency to spread unless cut back.

References:

  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1999
  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 2000
  • Scott 2005 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers

Doug D'Avino

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33-cent Strawberries single

On April 10, 1999, the Postal Service issued the Fruit Berries, a group of 33-cent multicolored self-adhesive definitives, se-tenant with four designs: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. The stamps were issued in three formats: a convertible booklet of twenty, a booklet of fifteen, and a coil, in rolls of one hundred. The stamps incorporated a “1999” year date in the lower left corner below the design.

The cyan, magenta, yellow, and black Strawberries (Scott 3296) self-adhesive stamp (convertible booklet) was printed for the Banknote Corporation of America by Guilford Gravure on a Cerutti 8/C gravure press and distributed in booklets of twenty, three stamps across and seven down on the pane, including a label in the lower right corner. Gravure printing cylinders of twenty-one subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears on the first peel-off strip. The stamp has die-cut simulated serpentine 11¼ x 11½ perforations cut on an Innotech rotary die cutter.

The cyan, magenta, yellow, and black Strawberries (Scott 3299) self-adhesive stamp was also printed for the Banknote Corporation of America by Guilford Gravure on a Cerutti 8/C gravure press and distributed in booklets of fifteen, two stamps across and eight down on the pane, including a label in the lower right corner. Gravure printing cylinders of three hundred subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears on the first peel-off strip. The stamp has die-cut simulated serpentine perforations, 9½ x 10 on two or three sides of each stamp, cut on an Innotech rotary die cutter.

The magenta, yellow, cyan, and black Strawberries (Scott 3305) coil self-adhesive stamp was also printed for the Banknote Corporation of America by Guilford Gravure on a Cerutti 8/C gravure press and distributed in rolls of one hundred. Gravure printing cylinders of 384 subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears centered in the bottom selvage on every 12th stamp, which is always a Blackberry stamp. The stamp has vertical die-cut simulated serpentine 8½ perforations cut on a George Schmidt rotary die cutter. The sequence of the four designs on the roll is Blackberry-Strawberry-Blueberry-Raspberry.

On June 16, 2000, USPS issued the Fruit Berries in a fourth format, a linerless roll of 100 self-adhesive stamps, with horizontal die-cut simulated serpentine perforations. The stamps incorporated a “2000” year date in the lower left corner of the design. The Fruit Berries were the first regularly issued horizontal U.S. coil stamps since the 3-cent Francis Parkman (Scott 1297) Prominent American stamp in 1975.

The magenta, yellow, cyan, and black Strawberries (Scott 3405) coil self-adhesive stamp was printed by Guilford Gravure on a Cerutti 8/C gravure press and distributed in rolls of one hundred. Gravure printing cylinders of 384 subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘G’ appears on every 12th stamp—always a Blackberry stamp—along the right-side straight edge, reading bottom to top. The stamp has vertical die-cut simulated serpentine 8½ perforations cut on a George Schmidt rotary die cutter. The sequence of the four designs on the roll is Strawberry- Blackberry-Raspberry- Blueberry.

The strawberry plant is a stemless, low creeping, and usually perennial herb that may live for many years. The leaves form a blanket cover of the ground from a few inches to two feet deep, which shelters the fruit. The creeping runners occasionally produce roots at the leaf bases. The ripe fruit is 1 to 2 inches long and light red to dark red when ripe.

The Strawberry is the official state fruit of Louisiana (1980) and Oklahoma (2005).

References:

Doug D'Avino

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33-cent Blackberries single

On April 10, 1999, the Postal Service issued the Fruit Berries, a group of 33-cent multicolored self-adhesive definitives, se-tenant with four designs: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. The stamps were issued in three formats: a convertible booklet of twenty, a booklet of fifteen, and a coil, in rolls of one hundred. The stamps incorporated a “1999” year date in the lower left corner below the design.

The cyan, magenta, yellow, and black Blackberries (Scott 3297) self-adhesive stamp (convertible booklet) was printed for the Banknote Corporation of America by Guilford Gravure on a Cerutti 8/C gravure press and distributed in booklets of twenty, three stamps across and seven down on the pane, including a label in the lower right corner. Gravure printing cylinders of twenty-one subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears on the first peel-off strip. The stamp has die-cut simulated serpentine 11¼ x 11½ perforations cut on an Innotech rotary die cutter.

The cyan, magenta, yellow, and black Blackberries (Scott 3301) self-adhesive stamp was also printed for the Banknote Corporation of America by Guilford Gravure on a Cerutti 8/C gravure press and distributed in booklets of fifteen, two stamps across and eight down on the pane, including a label in the lower right corner. Gravure printing cylinders of three hundred subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears on the first peel-off strip. The stamp has die-cut simulated serpentine perforations, 9½ x 10 on two or three sides of each stamp, cut on an Innotech rotary die cutter.

The magenta, yellow, cyan, and black Blackberries (Scott 3304) coil self-adhesive stamp was also printed for the Banknote Corporation of America by Guilford Gravure on a Cerutti 8/C gravure press and distributed in rolls of one hundred. Gravure printing cylinders of 384 subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears centered in the bottom selvage on every 12th stamp, which is always a Blackberry stamp. The stamp has vertical die-cut simulated serpentine 8½ perforations cut on a George Schmidt rotary die cutter. The sequence of the four designs on the roll is Blackberry-Strawberry-Blueberry-Raspberry.

On June 16, 2000, USPS issued the Fruit Berries in a fourth format, a linerless roll of one hundred self-adhesive stamps with horizontal die-cut simulated serpentine perforations. The stamps incorporated a “2000” year date in the lower left corner of the design. The Fruit Berries were the first regularly issued horizontal U.S. coil stamps since the 3-cent Francis Parkman (Scott 1297) Prominent American stamp in 1975.

The magenta, yellow, cyan, and black Blackberries (Scott 3406) coil self-adhesive stamp was printed by Guilford Gravure on a Cerutti 8/C gravure press and distributed in rolls of one hundred. Gravure printing cylinders of 384 subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four cylinder numbers preceded by the letter ‘G’ appears on every 12th stamp—always a Blackberry stamp—along the right-side straight edge, reading bottom to top. The stamp has vertical die-cut simulated serpentine 8½ perforations cut on a George Schmidt rotary die cutter. The sequence of the four designs on the roll is Strawberry- Blackberry-Raspberry- Blueberry.

The blackberry is a widespread and well known shrub growing to 10 feet and producing a soft-bodied fruit. The blackberry has dense arching stems carrying short, curved, very sharp spines. It grows at fast daily rates in woods, scrub, hillsides, and hedgerows, colonizing large areas in a relatively short time. It has palmate leaves of three to five leaflets with flowers of white or pink, ripening to a black or dark purple fruit, the blackberry.

The Blackberry is the official state fruit of Alabama (2004) and Kentucky (2004).

References:

Doug D'Avino

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34-cent Apple booklet single

Along with a stamp depicting an Orange (Scott 3491), the 34-cent multicolored Apple definitive (Scott 3491) was issued on March 6, 2001, se-tenant in a checkerboard pattern. The stamps were issued in a self-adhesive convertible booklet pane of twenty.

The black, cyan, magenta, and yellow self-adhesive stamp was designed by Ned Seidler, printed on the Banknote Corporation of America Goebel 670 offset press, and distributed in panes of twenty, five stamps across and four down on the pane. Offset printing plates of five hundred subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four offset plate numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears in the peel-off strip. The stamp has die-cut simulated 11¼ perforations with rouletting under the peel-off strip.

Selvage markings include “? Peel here to fold ? Self-adhesive stamps ? DO NOT WET? ©2000 USPS” on the peel-off strip. The "2001" year date printed below the bottom frame line and “USPS” is microprinted right above and slightly to the right of the top of the fruit.

In late April the Postal Service issued a vending booklet of twenty of the Apple (Scott 3493) and Orange (Scott 3494) stamps. Also printed by the Banknote Corporation of America on the same press, the format is vertical, two across and ten down, the stamps arranged in blocks of four, six, six, and four on the pane. Offset printing plates of 480 subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four offset plate numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears on the bottom left Orange stamp on the pane. The stamp has die-cut simulated 11½ x 10¾ perforations on two or three sides of each stamp.

Selvage markings also differed. The first and third peel-off strip read “Peel here to fold ? Self-adhesive stamps ? DO NOT WET.” on the peel-off strip. The second peel-off strip reads “©2000 USPS ? Peel here to fold ? Self-adhesive stamps ? DO NOT WET.”

The apple tree and its pomaceous fruit (Malus domestica) belong to the rose family Rosaceae. It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. It is a small deciduous tree reaching sixteen-forty feet tall, with a broad, often densely twiggy crown. Flowers are produced in spring with the leaves, white, usually tinged pink at first, 1-1.3 inches in diameter, with five petals and the fruit matures in autumn, and is typically two-three inches in diameter.

The apple is the state floral emblem of Arkansas (1901), state flower of Michigan (1897), and the state fruit of New York (1976), Washington (1989), Rhode Island (1991), West Virginia (1995), and Vermont (1999).

References:

Doug D'Avino

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34-cent Orange single

The 34-cent multicolored Orange definitive (Scott 3492) was issued on March 6, 2001, se-tenant in a checkerboard pattern with a stamp depicting an Apple (Scott 3491), in a self-adhesive convertible booklet pane of twenty.

The black, cyan, magenta, and yellow self-adhesive stamp was designed by Ned Seidler, printed on the Banknote Corporation of America Goebel 670 offset press, and distributed in panes of twenty, five stamps across and four down on the pane. Offset printing plates of five hundred subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four offset plate numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears in the peel-off strip. The stamp has die-cut simulated 11¼ perforations with rouletting under the peel-off strip.

Selvage markings include “? Peel here to fold ? Self-adhesive stamps ? DO NOT WET? ©2000 USPS” on the peel-off strip. The "2001" year date printed below the bottom frame line and “USPS” is microprinted right above and slightly to the right of the top of the fruit.

In late April the Postal Service issued a vending booklet of twenty of the Apple (Scott 3493) and Orange (Scott 3494) stamps. Also printed by the Banknote Corporation of America on the same press, the format is vertical, two across and ten down, the stamps arranged in blocks of four, six, six, and four on the pane. Offset printing plates of 480 subjects were used to print the stamps. One set of four offset plate numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appears on the bottom left Orange stamp on the pane. The stamp has die-cut simulated 11½ x 10¾ perforations on two or three sides of each stamp.

Selvage markings also differed. The first and third peel-off strip read “Peel here to fold ? Self-adhesive stamps ? DO NOT WET.” on the peel-off strip. The second peel-off strip reads “©2000 USPS ? Peel here to fold ? Self-adhesive stamps ? DO NOT WET.”

Orange refers to the citrus tree (Citrus sinensis) and its fruit. The tree grows to about thirty-three feet tall and has thorny shoots and evergreen leaves 1.5-4 inches long. Oranges originated in southeast Asia. The fruit of Citrus sinensis is called sweet orange.

Oranges are widely grown in warm climates worldwide, and the flavors of orange vary from sweet to sour. The fruit is commonly peeled and eaten fresh or squeezed for its juice. It has a thick, bitter rind that is usually discarded but can be processed into animal feed.

The orange is the official state fruit of Florida, which is also nicknamed the 'Orange State'.

References:

Doug D'Avino

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45-cent Pumpkinseed Sunfish single

The 45-cent multicolored Pumpkinseed Sunfish (Scott 2481) definitive was issued on December 2, 1992, to pay the second half-ounce weight for international airmail as well as the one-ounce rate to Mexico.

Michael R. Matherly designed the stamp, which was printed in black, cyan, magenta, and yellow by Stamp Venturers on a six-color Heidelberg sheetfed press at The Press, Inc., and in black on a T.A. sheetfed intaglio press at Stamp Venturers. The stamp was distributed in panes of one hundred, ten down and ten across. Offset printing plates and intaglio printing plates each contained four hundred subjects. It was perforated 11 on an L-perforator. “©United States/Postal Service 1991.” and “Use Correct/Zip Code ®.” are printed in the selvage. One intaglio sleeve number preceded by the letter ‘S’ and one group of four offset plate numbers appear adjacent to the corner stamps.

The pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) is a species of freshwater fish that is native to northeastern North America, from New Brunswick to South Carolina. It has been introduced elsewhere in North America as well as throughout much of Europe.

Pumpkinseed sunfish reach a maximum overall length of about sixteen inches, although sizes of six–eight inches are more typical. It normally weighs less than one pound. The fish presents an oval silhouette and is very narrow laterally. Its common name is a reference to its body shape, resembling the seed of a pumpkin. Its coloration includes (orange, green, yellow, or blue) speckles on the olive back and sides with a yellow-to-orange belly and breast. It has sharp spines, and care must be taken in handling it.

References:

Doug D'Avino

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1-cent Red Fox single

The 1-dollar multicolored Red Fox (Scott 3036) definitive was announced by the United States Postal Service on August 13, 1998, and issued the following day. It was the first definitive to contain a 'Scrambled Indicia' image that can only be seen through a special acrylic decoder lens.

Robert Giusti designed the black, cyan, magenta, and yellow self-adhesive stamp, which was printed on the Banknote Corporation of America's Goebel 670 offset press and distributed in panes of twenty, four stamps across and five down on the pane. Offset printing plates of 240 subjects were used to print the stamp. One set of four offset plate numbers preceded by the letter ‘B’ appeared in the selvage above or below each corner stamp. The stamp had die-cut simulated perforations, 11½ x 11¼, cut on the Arpesco/Innotech rotary die cutter.

As a security measure, BCA incorporated a 'Scrambled Indicia' image in the stamp—a small silhouette of a fox printed in the lower left corner of the design. In addition, microprinting was also incorporated in the design: “RED FOX” can be found on a branch at the bottom of the design and “USPS” is on the splintered end of the limb on which the fox is lying. “©/USPS/1998.,” “$1.00/x20/$20.00.,” “PANE POSITION,” and an accompanying pane position diagram were printed in the selvage.

The red fox ranges more widely than any terrestrial carnivore, spanning most of North America and Eurasia, with several populations in North Africa. Red foxes are found in a variety of biomes, from prairies and scrubland to forest settings. Though best suited to lower latitudes, they sometimes venture considerably farther north.

Red foxes are most commonly a rusty red with white underbelly, black ear tips and legs, and a bushy tail with a distinctive white tip. They might reach an adult weight of nine to twelve pounds. They vary greatly in size, with red foxes in Europe being larger on average than those in North America. They eat rodents, insects, fruits, worms, eggs, mice, birds, and other small animals.

The red fox is the state land mammal of Mississippi (1997).

The American red fox (Vulpes fulva) was previously depicted on a stamp (Scott 1757g) on the Capex ’78 souvenir sheet.

References:

Doug D'Avino

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$2 Bobcat single

The 2-dollar multicolored Bobcat (Scott 2482) definitive stamp was released on June 1, 1990. Its release coincided with the opening of Napex ’90 in Arlington, Virginia. The Flora and Fauna Series had been originally announced as a commemorative-sized Wildlife series, intended to replace the Great American Series. Chuck Ripper designed the stamp, which was engraved at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing by Gary Chaconas (vignette) and Dennis Brown (lettering).

Printed on the Bureau’s six-color offset, three-color intaglio D Press (902), the Bobcat stamp was distributed in mini-panes of twenty. Its format is horizontal, four stamps across and five down on the pane. The magenta, yellow, cyan, and black colors were printed on the offset portion of the press using plates of eighty subjects. Intaglio printing sleeves of 160 subjects used black ink. The stamp was perforated 11.2 on the Eureka off-line perforator. “USPS” and “American Wildlife: Bobcat (Lynx rufus)” are printed in the selvage. There is one group of four offset plate numbers on the large margin of each pane and a single-digit intaglio sleeve number on the selvage of the adjacent stamp.

The Bobcat (Lynx rufus) is a small wild cat, indigenous to North America, with a reddish-brown or yellowish-brown coat streaked with black or dark brown. They have prominent, pointed ears with a tuft of black hair at the tip. Bobcats are named for their short or ‘bobbed’ tail, stand approximately 19–22 inches high at the shoulder, with the male typically weighing 24–35 lb.

The bobcats’ habitat includes deciduous forests, semi-deserts, scrublands, and wooded areas in most of the United States and Mexico and a few parts of southern Canada. They are carnivores that typically hunt wild rabbits, hares, and rodents but will also attempt to hunt deer in winter months when other food is scarce.

References:

  • Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbook 1990
  • Scott 2005 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers

Doug D'Avino

About U.S. Stamps