fun stickers on the envelope...

And a nice selvages collage card inside.

Many thanks, Patricia!

(i see a "face" on that energy stamping...from West Palm Beach, ohhh!)

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Comment by Bradford on November 25, 2020 at 5:50pm

Again, it was the short time frame between adoption/approval of a proposed rate change and the effective date of that change that made for an "Emergency".  Taking almost a year to do studies and such, by the time the rate change was approved, there wasn't enough time to print and distribute new stamps, hence, the letter designation. With the forever designation, much of the bother has been eliminated. Only some rates, like Priority or Express stamps are explicitly rated now. There is currently a stamp depicting Big Bend in the Grand Canyon for Priority Mail denoted $7.75 and printed in a pane of 4 while the Priority Express stamps are now $26.35 or $105.40 for a pane of 4. When these rates go up, you'll need additional postage as before.

If you note the time span between some of the rate changes, the "next" letter stamps had to be printed and on hand awaiting their deployment. That meant in the case of the "D" rate stamps, they were printed and sat in storage for years before they were needed/issued.

Only stamps designated, "FOREVER", are not fixed as to value. All preceeding non-denoms are fixed as to the rate at the time of issue.

I like the Royal Mail's "E" stamp. I had never seen it before.

Comment by Alan Brignull on November 25, 2020 at 11:14am

I think I understand why I was initially confused. The purpose of non-denominated stamps, I thought, was to enable the value to be changed without invalidating existing stamps. That's the way they work here — a '1st' stamp is 70p this week but 76p next week, you can still use the old ones but they're worth more.

Those US stamps labelled A, B, C etc have no value on them but it is fixed so when the rate goes up they are no longer sufficient and have to be supplemented with other low value stamps, sometimes another specially printed non-denominated one. Is this correct? My only question now is why — if the value doesn't change why not print it on the stamp?

Comment by Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) on November 25, 2020 at 9:30am

So these "non-denominated" stamps were special for "Christmas" and "Holiday Season" ...

nice for USPS to do that...are they of any value today?

Comment by Bradford on November 25, 2020 at 12:18am

Nope.  They are non-denominated, but that was a trend started before the Emergency rate stamps were necessary.  It was for the Holiday Season as we have been conditioned to call it here in the USA.  Then, special class stamps followed with formerly denominated changing to non-denominated "BULK RATE", or other such presort, volume discount rate classifications.

Comment by Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) on November 24, 2020 at 11:01pm

So back in 1981, Brad, this "Teddy Bear" Holiday Greetings stamp was really an "emergency rate" stamp?

Comment by Alan Brignull on November 24, 2020 at 9:05am

Thanks, Bradford, I think I'll print that for reference. I've seen a lot of those in stamp mixtures but never looked into them. I pity the sorting office staff. We have our own E-rate stamps, which were for 20g letters to Europe and are still valid (currently £1.45) though they haven't been issued for years, possibly because people thought they were something to do with the EU or were valued in Euros.

Comment by Bradford on November 23, 2020 at 11:55pm
Comment by Bradford on November 23, 2020 at 10:45pm

To answer Alan's question, no, the "make-up" rate stamp is valued at 4¢ since it bridged the gap between old letter-rate stamps on hand, 25¢, and the new rate of 29¢ effective 22 JAN 1991.

There's also the postcard rates which were affected with some of the letter-rate increases.  It's somewhat confusing to postal employees, especially younger ones.  I had to educate the Postmaster himself on one occasion after moving to Deadwood when a package was returned for postage although I had franked it with the proper amount.

Comment by Bradford on November 23, 2020 at 10:41pm

The history of non-denominated US stamps predates the "Emergency Rate" issues which were created due to the short timeframe between adoption of rate changes and their effective dates.  I have a table for quick reference I've used for years (see below, hopefully).  I was fascinated with the generic-looking early "Emergency Rate" issues since you assume printmaking technology and artistic design evolve in a mostly forward direction.  The orange "A"-rate stamps were so perfunctory, yet colorful that I was strangely excited with their release in 1978.

Comment by Alan Brignull on November 23, 2020 at 6:34pm

So that ugly 'stamp' has a value of F-25¢, which is 1991 was 4¢ but what if they increase the F rate, what is it now? Still 4 cents?



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