Stamp Announcement 07-42: Polar Lights

Aurora Borealis 41-cent stamp.

On October 1, 2007, in Washington, DC, the Postal Service™ will issue 41-cent, Polar Lights commemo­rative stamps in two designs in a pressure-sensitive adhe­sive (PSA) pane of 20 (Item 461900). Designed by Phil Jordan of Falls Church, Virginia, the stamp goes on sale nationwide October 1, 2007.

This pane of 20 stamps features photographs of auroras. The photograph of the aurora borealis, or northern lights, was made by Fred Hirschmann of Wasilla, Alaska. The photograph of the aurora australis, a phenomenon of the southern polar region, was made by Per-Andre Hoffmann who resides in Manila, Philippines.

These two designs were previously issued as 84-cent stamps on a $1.68 International Polar Year Souvenir Sheet (Item 569800) on February 21, 2007.

Aurora Australis 41-cent stamp.

How to Order 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™, at The Postal Store® Web site 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:

PO BOX 92282
WASHINGTON DC 20090-9998

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 November 30, 2007.


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:

DEPT 6270
PO BOX 219014
KANSAS CITY MO 64121-9014

Philatelic Products

There are five philatelic products available for this stamp issue:

Items with an asterisk (*) 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.

Distribution: Item 461900, 41-cent Polar Lights, PSA Pane of 20 Stamps

Stamp distribution offices (SDOs) will receive approxi­mately 90 to 95 percent of their full standard automatic dis­tribution quantity for a PSA sheet stamp. Distributions are rounded up to the nearest master carton size (40,000 stamps).

Initial Supply to Post Offices

SDOs will make a subsequent automatic distribution to Post Offices of their full standard automatic distribution quantity using PS Form 17, Stamp Requisition/Stamp Return. SDOs must not distribute stamps to Post Offices before September 25, 2007.

Additional Supply

Post Offices requiring additional stamps must requisi­tion Item 461900 from their designated SDO using PS Form 17. SDOs requiring additional stamps must order them from the appropriate accountable paper depository (APD) using PS Form 17.

For fulfilling supplemental orders from SDOs, the San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Memphis APDs will each receive 1,400,000 additional stamps; and the Denver APD will receive 480,000 additional stamps.



Polar Lights

Item Number:


Denomination &
Type of Issue:

41-cent Commemorative


Pane of 20 (2 designs)



Issue Date & City:

October 1, 2007,
Washington, DC 20066


Phil Jordan, Falls Church, VA

Art Director:

Phil Jordan, Falls Church, VA


Phil Jordan, Falls Church, VA



Existing photo:

Per-Andre Hoffmann, Manila,

Existing photo:

Fred Hirschmann, Wasilla, AK

Selvage existing photo:

LeRoy Zimmerman, Ester, AK




Joseph Sheeran

Manufacturing Process:



Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)

Printed at:

Williamsville, NY

Press Type:

Muller Martini, A 76

Stamps per Pane:


Print Quantity:

80 million stamps

Paper Type:

Nonphosphored, Type III

Adhesive Type:


Processed at:

Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.


Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black,
PMS 579 (Green)

Stamp Orientation:


Image Area (w x h):

1.42 x 0.84 in./36.068 x 21.336 mm

Overall Size (w x h):

1.56 x 0.98 in./39.624 x 24.892 mm

Full Pane Size (w x h):

7.24 x 6.5 in./183.896 x 165.10 mm

Plate Size:

240 stamps per revolution

Plate Numbers:

“P” followed by five (5) single digits

Marginal Markings:



© 2006 USPS • Plate position
diagram • Price “.41 x 20 =
$8.20” • 4 plate numbers


Descriptive text on back of stamp
• Barcode “461900” • USPS

Sales Policy

All Post Offices must acquire and maintain a supply of each new commemorative stamp as long as customer demand exists, until inventory is depleted, or until the stamp is officially withdrawn from sale. If supplies run low, Post Offices must reorder additional quantities using their normal ordering procedures.

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