Philosateleia
Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

A stamp is forever

Could 1¢ and 2¢ stamps be on the endangered species list? Such an idea may seem laughable, but it’s no longer unthinkable with the USPS announcing today that all 2011 commemorative stamps will be “forever” stamps.

If you live in the U.S., you’re no doubt familiar with the Liberty Bell forever stamps introduced in 2007, which will always be valid at the current first-class rate regardless of how much the cost of mailing a letter increases. But until now, only a handful of definitives and some of this year’s holiday stamps have received that designation.

The official announcement regarding the change states that the Liberty Bell stamps now constitute the majority of first-class stamp sales, but there’s also a potential financial benefit for the struggling post office. As David Failor, executive director of stamp services, explains, the USPS will no longer have to destroy unused stamps. What’s printed can simply remain on sale until supplies are exhausted, which actually makes sense.

While some denominated stamps will still be necessary for paying the postage on a second ounce, for example, or the non-machinable surcharge, the lowest value definitives would seem to become all but useless. If all first-class stamps are forever stamps, then there will never be any need to add a penny or two of postage to reach the current rate. It will be interesting to see where the postal service goes with this.

What do you think of the change? Will you miss denominated commemoratives, or do you think it’s high time the postal service made this move?

Published 2010-12-16

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