Stamp Announcement 12-12: Bonsai

Stamp Announcement 12-12: Bonsai, Sierra Juniper

Stamp Announcement 12-12: Bonsai, Black Pine

Stamp Announcement 12-12: Bonsai, Trident Maple

Stamp Announcement 12-12: Bonsai, Azalea

Stamp Announcement 12-12: Bonsai, Banyan

On January 23, 2012, in Sacramento, California, the Postal Service™ will issue a Bonsai stamp (Forever® priced at 45 cents), in five designs in a pressure-sensitive adhe­sive (PSA) double-sided booklet of 20 (Item 688000).

With these five stamps, the U.S. Postal Service® cele­brates the beauty of bonsai, a horticultural art form that has become quite popular in the United States. The word “bon­sai” is Japanese for “plant in a pot.” It also refers to the practice of cultivating plants — usually trees — in trays, pots, or other containers. One of the common styles of bonsai is depicted on each stamp: (1) a Sierra Juniper in semi-cascade style, (2) a Trident Maple in informal upright style, (3) a Black Pine in formal upright style, (4) an Azalea plant in multiple-trunk style, and (5) a Banyan in cascade style. John Dawson painted the stamp art. Ethel Kessler was the art director.

The stamp will go on sale nationwide January 23, 2012.

Distribution: Item 688000, First-Class Mail Bonsai (Forever priced at 45 cents), PSA Double-Sided Booklet of 20 Stamps

Stamp distribution offices (SDOs) and stamp distribu­tion centers (SDCs) will receive their standard automatic distribution quantity for a PSA booklet stamp. Distributions are rounded up to the nearest master carton size of 4,000 booklets.

Initial Supply to Post Offices

SDOs/SDCs will not make any automatic distribution to Post Offices™. Post Offices requiring quantities of Item 688000 must requisition them from their designated SDO/SDC using PS Form 17, Stamp Requisition/Stamp Return. Post Offices may preorder from SDOs/SDCs through the Stamp Services System beginning 30 days prior to the first day of issue. For Post Offices that have placed orders, ini­tial supplies to the Post Offices will be shipped as stamps are received at the SDCs from the stamp printers.

Sales Policy

All Post Offices should maintain a sufficient inventory level of this item until the stamp is officially withdrawn from sale. If supplies run low, Post Offices must reorder addi­tional quantities using their normal ordering procedures.

How to Order the First Day of Issue Postmark

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first day of issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office facility, at The Postal Store® website at, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Bonsai Stamp
2000 Royal Oaks Drive
Sacramento, CA 95813-9998

After applying the first day of issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by March 23, 2012.

How to Order First Day Covers

Stamp Fulfillment Services 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-STAMP-24 or writing to:

Information Fulfillment
Dept. 6270
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014

Philatelic Products

There are four philatelic products available for this stamp issue:

n 688063*, First Day Cover Set of 5, $4.45.

n 688068*, Digital Color Postmark Set of 5, $8.00.

n 688094, Notecards, $14.95.

n 688099*, Cancellation Keepsake (Random DCP w/Pane), $10.95.

Items with an asterisk (*) will use the 128 barcode from Stamp Fulfillment Services. All other philatelic products will continue to use barcode series A, with the exception of the Yearbook and the Guide Book.




Item Number:


Denomination & Type of Issue:

First-Class Mail Forever


Booklet of 20 (5 designs)



Issue Date & City:

January 23, 2012, Sacramento,
CA 95813


Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD

Art Director:

Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD


Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD


John D. Dawson, Hilo, HI


Joseph Sheeran

Manufacturing Process:

Offset/Microprint “USPS”




Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)

Printed at:

Williamsville, NY

Press Type:

Mueller Martini, A76

Stamps per Booklet:


Print Quantity:

400 million stamps

Paper Type:

Prephosphored Type I

Adhesive Type:


Processed at:

Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)

Stamp Orientation:


Image Area (w x h):

1.05 x 0.77 in./26.67 x 19.56 mm

Overall Size (w x h):

1.19 x 0.91 in./30.23 x 23.11 mm

Booklet Size (w x h):

2.38 x 5.76 in./60.45 x 146.30 mm


Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, PMS 7C (Cool Gray)

Plate Size:

880 stamps per revolution

Plate Numbers:

“P” followed by five (5) single digits

Marginal Markings:

Front Cover:

Header: “BONSAI Twenty First-Class Forever Stamps Barcode © 2011 USPS in peel strip area Plate numbers in peel strip area