Stamp Announcement 15-17: Gifts of Friendship Stamps

Stamp Announcement 15-17: Gifts of Friendship Stamps

On April 10, 2015, in Washington, DC, the U.S. Postal Service® will issue the Gifts of Friendship (Forever® priced at 49 cents) in four designs, in a pressure-sensitive adhe­sive (PSA) souvenir sheet of 12 stamps (Item 589800). This is a joint issue with Japan Post who will issue their stamps on the same day. The $5.88 Gifts of Friendship souvenir sheet may not be split, and the stamps may not be sold individually.

The stamp will go on sale nationwide April 10, 2015.

The U.S. Postal Service and Japan Post jointly issue Gifts of Friendship, a pane of 12 Forever stamps fea­turing beautiful images of dogwood and cherry blossom trees. This issuance celebrates the enduring bond between two nations on the centennial of the gift of flowering dog­wood trees from the United States to Japan in 1915. The left side of the pane features four new stamp designs, two created by the Postal Service™ and two by Japan Post. It also includes two Japanese characters meaning “friend­ship,” the title of the issuance “Gifts of Friendship,” and a short line of selvage text.

On the right side of the pane are eight additional stamps (four each of the two U.S. designs). The first U.S. stamp showcases the Lincoln Memorial with cherry blossoms in the foreground and the second stamp, the U.S. Capitol Building surrounded by pink and white dogwood trees. The Japanese-designed stamps each feature a prominent building in Tokyo: the National Diet Building framed with cherry blossoms and the clock tower outside the National Diet Building behind a foreground of white dogwoods. Text appears on the back of the stamp pane. Stamp artist Paul Rogers worked with art director and designer William J. Gicker to create the stamps. Gicker and Greg Breeding designed the stamp pane. Junko Kaifuchi illustrated the stamps for Japan Post.

To learn more about the stories behind the stamps, visit

Initial Supply to Post Offices — Item 589800, $5.88 Gifts of Friendship (Forever priced at 49 cents) Commemorative PSA Pane of 12 Stamps

Stamp Fulfillment Services will make a subsequent automatic push distribution to Post Offices™ of a quantity to cover approximately 30 days of sales. Distribution quantities for the automatic push distribution are available by logging on to SFS Web at Post Offices may begin ordering stamps prior to the FDOI through SFS Web. However, offices should check the web­site noted above to determine the amount they will receive on their automatic push distribution.

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:

Gifts of Friendship Stamps
Special Events
PO Box 92282
Washington, DC 20090-2282

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 up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers have to pay five cents each. All orders must be postmarked by June 10, 2015.

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 twelve philatelic products for this stamp issue:

n 589806, Press Sheet without Die cut, $35.28, (print quantity 1,000).

n 589808, Press Sheet with Die cut, $35.28, (print quantity 1,500).

n 589810*, Keepsake with Digital Color Postmark, $12.95.

n 589816*, First-Day Cover (Set of 4), $3.72.

n 589818*, Full Pane First-Day Cover, $8.38.

n 589819*, Cancelled Full Pane, $8.38.

n 589821*, Digital Color Postmark (Set of 4), $6.56.

n 589823*, Notecards, $16.95.

n 589824*, Framed Art, $39.95.

n 589830*, Ceremony Program (random), $6.95.

n 589831*, Stamp Deck Card, $0.95.

n 589832*, Stamp Deck Card with Digital Color Post­mark (random), $1.99.

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.



Gifts of Friendship Stamps

Item Number:


Denomination & Type of Issue:

First-Class Mail Forever


Pane of 12 (4 designs)



Issue Date & City:

April 10, 2015, Washington, DC 20066


William J Gicker, Washington, DC

Art Director:

William J Gicker, Washington, DC


Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA


Paul Rogers, Pasadena, CA


Joseph Sheeran

Manufacturing Process:

Offset, Microprint


Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)

Printed at:

Williamsville, NY

Press Type:

Muller A76

Stamps per Pane:


Print Quantity:

80,000,004 million stamps

Paper Type:

Nonphosphored Type III, Block Tag applied

Adhesive Type:

Pressure-sensitive adhesive

Processed at:

Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)


Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow

Stamp Orientation:


Image Area (w x h):

1.35 x 0.91 in./34.22 x 23.18 mm

Overall Size (w x h):

1.49 x 1.05 in./37.78 x 26.74 mm

Full Pane Size (w x h):

8.50 x 5.25 in./215.90 x 133.35 mm

Press Sheet Size (w x h):

10.63 x 25.75 in./269.88 x 654.05 mm

Plate Size:

144 stamps per revolution

Plate Numbers:


Marginal Markings:


Header: Gifts of Friendship


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Barcode (589800) Promotional text
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