KENNER, LA — If these Meyer Lemons stamps were real, they’d be sweeter than true lemons, with hints of mandarin and sweet lime… yum!
Available in coils of 10,000, the 2-cent denominated stamps were dedicated today, Jan. 19, at the Winter 2018 Stampfest and Postcard Show in Kenner, LA. The stamp can be used as additional postage that can be added to other stamps to meet the necessary postage for any given mail piece. For collectors, this stamp is also available in coil strips of 500 through Stamp Fulfillment Services.
“I am honored to represent the Postal Service for the unveiling of the Meyer Lemons stamp,” said U.S. Postal Service Louisiana District Operations Programs Support Manager Keith Accardo in dedicating the stamp. “These lemons are sought by chefs and home cooks throughout our region. The new postage stamp will depict the word “USA” on the side and will value a new two-cent definitive. I look forward to purchasing these stamps and encourage you all to do the same.”
Thought to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin or sweet orange, the Meyer lemon has its roots in China, though no one knows when the plant first appeared. Frank N. Meyer, for whom the lemon was later named, encountered the dwarf fruit trees in the early 1900s in Beijing where they were grown primarily for ornamental rather than culinary purposes. Meyer, who worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), had been tasked with discovering native plants of other countries that might thrive in the United States. In 1908, he sent a specimen of the tree to the USDA Plant Introduction Station in California. It rapidly gained popularity with gardeners as an ornamental potted plant.
Sometimes smaller and rounder than true lemons, Meyer lemons have a smooth skin and range in color from deep yellow to light orange, with a dark yellow or orange pulp. Moderately acidic, they are very juicy and somewhat sweeter than true lemons, with hints of mandarin and sweet lime. Their rinds have a complex scent, slightly herbal and spicy. The bitter pith layer found in regular lemons is quite thin in the Meyer, so the fruit can be used in its entirety. Though stories vary about who is responsible for making the fruit a culinary superstar, today Meyer lemons are sought by chefs and home cooks for their aromatic, slightly sweet quality.
Meyer lemon trees are easily grown by individuals in gardens in citrus-growing areas and in containers elsewhere.
Art director Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, designed this stamp with an existing illustration by John Burgoyne of West Barnstable, MA. Burgoyne used pen and ink and watercolor to create the stamp art depicting a whole Meyer lemon next to two wedges of the cut fruit.
Stamp ideas welcome
The public is encouraged to submit stamp suggestions. Visit usps.com for details on the stamp selection process and instructions for submitting suggestions in writing. Due to the time required for research and approval, ideas for stamp subjects should be received at least three years prior to proposed release. Each submission should include pertinent historical information and important dates associated with the subject.
Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks
Customers have 60 days to obtain first-day-of-issue postmarks by mail. They may purchase new stamps at Post Office locations, at the Postal Store usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers must affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:
FDOI – Meyer Lemons Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for postmarks up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers are charged 5 cents each. All orders must be postmarked by March 19.
Ordering First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamps and stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the USA Philatelic Publication and online at usps.com/shop. Customers may register to receive a free USA Philatelic Publication online at usps.com/philatelic .
The following Philatelic products are available at usps.com/shop.
- 760416 First-Day Cover (Lemon plus Flowers from Garden coil) 95-cents
- 760415 coil strips of 500 stamps $10
You may view many of this year’s other stamps on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps or via Twitter @USPSstamps. All postage stamps are available for purchase at Post Offices, online at usps.com and by toll-free phone order at 1-800 STAMP-24.
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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