1993 Eagle and Shield
- Non-Denominated Bulk Rate stamp
- Same design produced by three different printers
Category of Stamp: Definitive
Value: Non-Denominated, Bulk Rate
First Day of Issue: May 29, 1993
First Day City: Secaucus, New Jersey
Quantity Issued: 316,776,000
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method/Format: Photogravure, Coils of 3,000 from cylinders of 432 subjects (18 across, 24 down)
Reason the stamp was issued: The Eagle and Shield stamp was in 1993 because the US Postal Service’s supply of stamps with the same design printed in 1991 were running low. Its use was for bulk mailers, who paid 10¢ for each stamp. When the stamp was used, the mailer would make up the difference between the cost of the stamp and the cost of the mailing.
About the stamp design: The artwork for this stamp was produced by Christopher Calle, who has designed more than 30 US stamps.
Special design details: The 1993 design is slightly different from the original 1991 stamp. The new stamp’s wording is “USA Bulk Rate,” while the older stamp read “Bulk Rate USA.” The colors of the “USA” and “Bulk Rate” are reversed from the previous stamp.
The 1993 Eagle and Shield stamp was also printed by Stamp Venturers in coils of 10,000. The gold on the eagle’s feathers were printed with metallic ink on the Stamp Venturers stamps and with regular gold ink on those produced by BEP. In addition, the stars on the shield are slightly smaller on this stamp than the Stamp Venturers stamp.
First Day City: The stamp was issued on the opening day of Nojex 93, a stamp show sponsored by the North Jersey Federated Stamp Clubs. Though the USPS didn’t have an official ceremony, the show held a ceremony of its own.
Unusual thing about this stamp: A cover with a May 25 postmark exists. On May 23, a collector found a cover with this stamp at the Wilmette, Illinois, Post Office. Two days later, he had it postmarked. Not only was this before the official First Day of Issue, it is also unusual because Bulk Rate stamps are not normally cancelled.
History the stamp represents: The American eagle holding a shield and olive branch is similar to the image on the Great Seal of the US. It first appeared on a postage stamp in the 1869 series (#121).