Carmel Mission Honored on Stamp

Landmark of California’s Spanish Heritage Appears on Express Mail Postage

February 28, 2012 

Release No. 12-033 


Carmel Mission Honored on Stamp

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CARMEL, CA — The U.S. Postal Service honors nearly 250 years of California history with the issuance of the $18.95 Carmel Mission Express Mail stamp today. Often described as one of the most beautiful mission churches in the state, Carmel Mission is known for its dome-shaped bell tower and elaborate star-shaped window.

“Today we pay tribute to nearly 250 years of California history with the issuance of this stamp as we postmark another chapter in a proud tradition of honoring places and events that enrich our shared heritage,” said Kim Fernandez, U.S. Postal Service Bay-Valley district manager in dedicating the stamp at Carmel Mission.

Joining Fernandez in dedicating the stamp were Most Reverend Richard J. Garcia, Bishop of the Diocese of Monterey; Dr. Ruben Mendoza, professor of Archeology, California State University, Monterey Bay; and, Louise Ramirez, tribal chairwoman, Ohlone Costanoan-Esselen Nation.

Designed by art director Phil Jordan of Falls Church, VA, this Express Mail stamp features an illustration of Carmel Mission in Carmel, CA, by artist Dan Cosgrove of Chicago, IL. Rendered in deeply saturated colors reminiscent of a vintage travel poster, the artwork depicts the façade of Carmel Mission with its dome-shaped bell tower and elaborate star-shaped window. Text on the stamp reads, “Carmel Mission.”

Formally known as Mission San Carlos Borroméo del Río Carmelo, Carmel Mission was founded on    June 3, 1770. It was the second in what would become a chain of 21 Spanish missions along the coast of California, each positioned about one day’s ride on horseback from the next. It was also the second mission established by Father Junípero Serra (1713 - 1784), the founder of the California mission system. Father Serra is buried in the mission church.

This historic site is open to the public and welcomes some 150,000 visitors each year.

Customers may view the Carmel Mission Express Mail stamp, as well as many of this year’s other stamps, on Facebook at, through Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for background on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.

Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at a local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at or by calling 800-782-6724. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:

Carmel Mission Stamp
3845 Via Nona Marie
Carmel, CA 93923-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes by mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by April 28, 2012.

How to Order First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:

US Postal Service
Catalog Request
PO Box 219014
Kansas City MO 64121-9014

Philatelic Product
There is one philatelic product available for this stamp issue: 113661, First-Day Cover, $19.39.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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 A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 151 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government,, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 35th in the 2011 Fortune 500. In 2011, the U.S. Postal Service was ranked number one in overall service performance, out of the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world, by Oxford Strategic Consulting. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency for six years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

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