Stamp Announcement 13-03: Lunar New Year: Year of the Snake Stamp

Stamp Announcement 13-03: Lunar New Year: Year of the Snake Stamp

On January 16, 2013, in San Francisco, California, the Postal Service™ will issue a Lunar New Year: Year of the Snake First-Class Mail® stamp (Forever® stamp priced at 45 cents) in one design in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 12 stamps (Item 578600).

The stamp will go on sale nationwide January 16, 2013.

The Year of the Snake is the sixth of 12 stamps in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series. The Year of the Snake begins on February 10, 2013, and ends on January 30, 2014. The stamp art depicts red firecrackers of the sort traditionally used to scare off evil spirits and welcome the New Year. Artist Kam Mak created this original painting. Art director Ethel Kessler incorporated elements from the previous series of Lunar New Year stamps to create continuity between the series.

To learn more about the stories behind the stamps, visit

Distribution: Item 578600, Lunar New Year: Year of the Snake First-Class Mail (Forever stamp priced at 45 cents) PSA Pane of 12 Stamps

Stamp distribution offices (SDOs) and stamp distribution centers (SDCs) will receive their standard automatic distribution quantity for a PSA pane of 12 stamps. Distributions are rounded up to the nearest master carton size of 2,000 panes. The stamps will be shipped and sold as a pane of 12 ($5.40).

Initial Supply to Post Offices

SDOs/SDCs will make a subsequent automatic distribution to Post Offices™ of a quantity to cover approximately 45 days of sales. Distribution quantities for the automatic distribution will be posted, by finance number and unit id, on the Asset Management SDC webpage at SDOs/SDCs must not distribute this commemorative sheet to Post Offices before January 02, 2013.

Additional Supply

Post Offices requiring additional Item 578600 must requisition them from their designated SDO/SDC after the First Day of Issue using PS Form 17, Stamp Requisition/Stamp Return. Post Offices may order these stamps through the eBuy2 SEAM Catalog.

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All Post Offices should maintain a sufficient inventory level of this item until the stamp is officially withdrawn from sale.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, 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:

Lunar New Year: Year of the Snake Stamp
180 Steuart Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-9992

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 16, 2013.

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, online at, or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:

U.S. Postal Service
Catalog Request
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014

Philatelic Products

There are 11 philatelic products available for this stamp issue:

n 578610*, Keepsake (2 SS, 1 DCP), $12.95.

n 578616*, First-Day Cover, $0.89.

n 578618*, First-Day Cover (Full Pane), $7.90.

n 578619*, First-Day Cancelled (Full Pane), $7.90.

n 578621*, Digital Color Postmark, $1.60.

n 578623, Notecards, $16.95.

n 578630*, Ceremony Program, $6.95.

n 578631*, Stamp Deck Card, $0.95.

n 578632*, Stamp Deck Card w/Digital Color Postmark, $1.95.

n 578684*, Press Sheet with Die Cuts, $48.60 (Print Quanity of 2,500)

n 578686*, Press Sheet without Die Cuts, $48.60 (Print Quantity of 2,500).

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



Lunar New Year: Year of the Snake Stamp

Item Number:


Denomination & Type of Issue:

First-Class Forever


Souvenir Sheet of 12 (1design)


Celebrating Lunar New Year

Issue Date & City:

January 16, 2013, San Francisco, CA 94105


Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD

Art Director:

Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD


Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD


Kam Mak, Brooklyn, NY




Avery Dennison, Designed and Engineered Solutions

Manufacturing Process:



Avery Dennison (AVR)

Printed at:

AVR, Clinton, SC

Press Type:

Dia Nippon Kiko (DNK)

Stamps per Pane:


Print Quantity:

31.2 million stamps

Paper Type:

Non-phosphored, Type III, Block

Adhesive Type:


Processed at:

AVR, Clinton, SC


Yellow, Magenta, Cyan, Black, 132 (Brown), 2745 (Blue), 872 (Gold)

Stamp Orientation:


Image Area (w x h):

1.42 x 0.85 in./36.07 x 21.59 mm

Overall Size (w x h):

1.56 x 0.98 in./39.62 x 24.89 mm

Full Pane Size (w x h):

7.25 x 5.85 in./184.15 x 148.59 mm

Plate Size:

108 stamps per revolution

Plate Numbers:


Marginal Markings:




Short summary of Lunar New Year
Barcode (578600) at bottom of pane
Promotional text