October is National Stamp Collecting Month, and a good time to remind postal customers that not all stamps have a fixed rate of postage on them. On many occasions the U.S. Postal Service has issued “non-denominational” stamps, stamps issued without printed amounts of postage.
Many non-denominational stamps are utilized in “bulk mailings,” those mailings businesses or organizations send en masse to mailing lists. The price of the non-denominational stamp is based on various criteria, such as the weight of the mailing piece and the number of pieces being mailed. Several of these stamps include the Patriotic Banner, issued in 2007, the American Eagle, issued in 2005, and a Bicycle, issued in 1998.
Some non-denominational stamps are issued at specific times of the year, especially at the annual winter holiday time. Several examples are the Antique Toys ($.37), issued in 2002; Santa’s Visit ($.29), issued in 1991; Teddy Bear ($.20), issued in 1981; and Madonna and Child ($.29), issued in 1991, 1981 ($.20), and 1975 ($.10). Other stamps without specific postage were four flowers ($.34), issued in 2000; Love: True Blue ($.39), issued in 2006; Lady Liberty and the U.S. Flag ($.39), issued in 2006; the U.S. Flag ($.37), issued in 2003; and Love Letters ($.34), issued in 2001.
Semi-postal stamps are issued to provide funds for a specific purpose. The stamps are valid for the current first-class postage, but sell for a higher price—with the additional cost going to a specific cause. Three such stamps have been issued. The Stop Family Violence stamp was issued in 2003 with a purchase price of 45 cents and the postage cost of 39 cents. The Heroes of 2001 stamp, issued in 2002, had a purchase price of 45 cents, and the postage price of 37 cents. The Breast Cancer Awareness stamp, first issued in 1998, has been reissued several times and will be valid until 2011; its current purchase price is 55 cents, with 11 cents going toward breast cancer research.
To learn more about stamp collecting or check out the latest stamps, visit your local Post Office or go to shop.usps.com and look under “For Collecting” and “For Education.”
For more information about purchasing stamps, stamps by mail, postal regulations, a free subscription to USA Philatelic magazine, Post Office events, the location of the nearest postal store or contract unit, or for answers to your specific Postal Service questions, contact USPS at 1-800-275-8777, or visit www.usps.com. To schedule a presentation for your community, club or group on how the Postal Service brings the Post Office to your home or office computer, call 239-573-9638.
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An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 149 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes, six days a week. It has 34,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products and services, not tax dollars, to pay for operating expenses. Named the Most Trusted Government Agency five consecutive years by the Ponemon Institute, the Postal Service has annual revenue of $75 billion and delivers nearly half the world’s mail.