2020 Big Bend National Park
- Continues the US Postal Service series of special delivery service stamps showcasing the beauty of American landmarks and scenic views
Stamp Category: Priority Mail
Set: American Landmarks Series
First Day of Issue: January 18, 2020
First Day City: No national First Day of Issue Ceremony was held.
Quantity Issued: 6,000,000
Printed by: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method: Offset lithography.
Format: Panes of four semi-jumbo pressure-sensitive (self-adhesive) stamps.
Perforations: Serpentine die-cut 10¾ x 10½
Why the stamp was issued: The Big Bend National Park stamp is the 23rd in the continuing American Landmarks Series. It pays the postage for Priority Mail service, a USPS one-to-three-day guaranteed delivery anywhere in the U.S. The stamp marks a 40c increase in the cost of the service from the year before.
About the stamp design:
This stamp shows one of the most spectacular views in Big Bend National Park. The limestone cliffs of Santa Elena Canyon are shown towering over the waters of the Rio Grande, a natural border flowing between the U.S. and Mexico. The National Park Service states “the stamp depicts one of the park’s most iconic locations.”
Sunlight filters through from above and divides the beautiful natural setting, while it and the steep cliffs are reflected in the water below. The sun helps define the rugged peaks on either side of the river flowing between them. Simple white lettering stands out quietly in contrast to the rich, earthy colors in shades of blue, green and brown.
The stamp’s designer is Greg Breeding, art director of the USPS, using the original artwork of Dan Cosgrove. The National Park Service notes the design “echoes the classic artwork of WPA-era National Park posters.”
Special design details:
Year of issue – 2020 – is shown vertically in the bottom right margin of the stamp.
Large margins around the vignette (center design) frame the painting. They and the gold and black borders turn the stamp into a miniature masterpiece.
Design contains microprinting as a security measure to prevent counterfeiting. At least a 4x magnifier is needed to see it.
First Day Ceremonies: A special dedication was held in Texas at the Big Bend National Park Panther Junction Visitor Center. The stamp was officially unveiled there by representatives of the U.S. Postal Service® and the National Park Service.
About the set: The U.S. Postal Service has issued Priority Mail stamps since 2008. The series offers collectors some of the most beautiful modern stamp designs. Scenic views highlight some of America’s most stunning natural wonders.
History the stamp represents:
Big Bend was established as a National Park in 1944 and designated an International Biosphere Reserve in 1976. It is also an International Dark Sky Park, meaning the park has some of the darkest skies in North America. This makes it an ideal viewing location for stargazers. Its remoteness in West Texas means there is little artificial light to dim the heavens.
118 miles of the extensive border between the U.S. and Mexico runs through Big Bend National Park.
In an area larger than Rhode Island (over 801,000 acres), Big Bend National Park is a huge natural ecosystem. It is home to thousands of species of plants and animals, as well as archaeological sites dating back almost 10,000 years.