Stamp Services

Stamp Announcement 20-01: Lunar New Year: Year of the Rat Stamp


On January 11, 2020, in Monterey Park, CA, the United States Postal Service® will issue the Lunar New Year: Year of the Rat stamp (Forever® priced at the First-Class Mail® rate) in one design, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive pane of 20 stamps (Item 475600). The stamp will go on sale nationwide January 11, 2020, and must not be sold or canceled before the first-day-of-issue. The Lunar New Year: Year of the Rat pane of 20 stamps may not be split and the stamps may not be sold individually.

In 2020, the United States Postal Service will issue the first of 12 stamps in its third Lunar New Year series. The Year of the Rat begins January 25, 2020, and ends on February 11, 2021. Calling to mind the elaborately decorated masks used in the dragon dance often performed in Lunar New Year parades, this three-dimensional mask depicting a rat is a contemporary take on the long tradition of paper-cut folk art crafts created during this auspicious time of year. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp with original artwork by Camille Chew.

Availability to Post Offices: Item 475600, Lunar New Year: Year of the Rat (Forever Priced at the First-Class Mail Rate) Pane of 20 Stamps

Stamp Fulfillment Services will make an automatic push distribution to Post Offices of a quantity to cover approximately 30 days of sales. Distribution quantities for the automatic push distribution will be available by logging on to SFS Web at Post Offices may begin ordering stamps on the first-day-of-issue through SFS Web; offices must also check the amount they will receive on their automatic push distribution.

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark

Customers have 120 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office™ or at The Postal Store® website at They must affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

FDOI – Lunar New Year: Year of the Rat Stamp
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 the postmark up to a quantity of 50. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by May 11, 2020.

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 USA Philatelic catalog and online at Customers may register to receive a free USA Philatelic catalog online at

Locally produced items are not authorized. Only merchandise that has been approved and assigned an item number by Headquarters Retail Marketing may be produced and sold.



Lunar New Year: Year of the Rat Stamp

Item Number:


Denomination &
Type of Issue:

First-Class Mail Forever


Pane of 20 (1 design)


Lunar New Year

Issue Date & City:

January 11, 2020, Monterey Park, CA 91754

Art Director:

Antonio Alcalá, Alexandria, VA


Antonio Alcalá, Alexandria, VA


Antonio Alcalá, Alexandria, VA


Camille Chew, Providence, RI


Sandra Lane/Michelle Finn

Manufacturing Process:

Offset, Foil Stamping, Flexographic, Microprint


Banknote Corporation of America

Press Type:

Gallus RCS

Stamps per Pane:


Print Quantity:

24,000,000 stamps

Paper Type:

Phosphor, Block Tag

Adhesive Type:


Processed at:

Banknote Corporation of America


Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Pantone 7579 Orange, Pantone 7563 Brown, Gold Foil Luxor MTS 413 Gold

Stamp Orientation:


Image Area (w x h):

0.84 x 1.42 in./ 21.336 x 36.068 mm

Overall Size (w x h):

0.98 x 1.56 in./24.892 x 39.624 mm

Full Pane Size (w x h):

7.25 x 8.5 in./184.15 x 215.9 mm

Press Sheets Size (w x h):

14.5 x 18.25 in./368.3 x 463.55 mm

Plate Size:

80 stamps per revolution

Plate Numbers:

“B” followed by six (6) single digits

Marginal Markings:


Header: Lunar New Year: Year of the Rat • Plate number in bottom two corners


©2019 USPS • USPS logo • 2 barcodes (475600) • Plate position diagram (4) • Promotional text