25¢ Eagle and Shield
Issue Date: November 10, 1989
City: Virginia Beach, VA
Printed By: American Bank Note Company
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: Die cut
In 1974, the Postal Service released an experimental, self-adhesive, precanceled Christmas issue. The experiment was a failure and the project was abandoned. In the years following this test, numerous requests were received for self-adhesive stamps. Not only would they be more sanitary, but they wouldn't stick to each other and they would be easier to handle.
Eventually, the first EXTRAordinary stamp was introduced. Featuring an eagle and shield motif, this 25¢ stamp actually sold for 27.7¢. It was released in both booklet and coil form. Distribution of the panes was limited to 15 cities for 30 days as a test. The stamps weren’t received well by the public – maybe because of the premium price. They were used during the Persian Gulf War, where humid conditions caused problems for ordinary stamps, until Congress authorized free postage for active-duty military personnel.