- Rate Change Stamp
- Printed by three different companies
- Produced in three formats
Category of Stamp: Definitive
Value: 29¢, First-Class mail rate
First Day of Issue: January 22, 1991
First Day City: Washington, DC
Quantity Issued: 1,700,000,000
Printed by: United States Bank Note Corporation
Printing Method/Format: Photogravure. Panes of 100 (10across, 10 down) from printing cylinders of 400 (20 across, 20 down)
Reason the stamp was issued: The Flower stamp was issued as a result of a rate change for First Class letters from 25¢ to 29¢. The rate change stamp was issued to meet demand until stamps with the new rate were produced.
About the stamp design: Beginning in 1978, rate change stamps were marked by a letter of the alphabet. This stamp was the sixth in this progression, so it bears the letter “F.” It pictures a red tulip with a single green leaf. The design is the work of Wallace Marosek, who produced the artwork for a project when he was a student at Yale University School of Art and Architecture.
About the printing process: In addition to the sheet stamps printed by United States Bank Note Corporation, the same design was printed in by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in coils and booklets. KCS Industries Inc. printed booklets as well. The tulip and leaf are lighter on the sheet stamps than the other varieties.
First Day City: There was no official First Day of Issue ceremony for the “F” stamp.
History the stamp represents: Since 1978, the USPS has accompanied a change in rate with a non-denominated stamp on which a letter of the alphabet represents the new denomination. Prepared long in advance, the “F” stamp was ready and waiting for the 1991 rate change. Like the 1988 “E” stamp, the subject of this stamp, a single red tulip, was chosen to match the letter “F.”