Wonders of the Sea
Issue Date: October 3, 1994
City: Honolulu, HI
Printed By: Barton Press for Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: 11 x 10.9
To encourage young people to join in the educational and entertaining hobby of stamp collecting, the Postal Service kicked off National Stamp Collecting Month with four Wonders of the Sea stamps. Dubbed the “fanta-sea” issue, this block of four stamps formed a single underwater scene.
First-time stamp designer Charles Lynn Bragg combined fish, birds, boats, and divers to create a colorful portrayal of the plant and animal life found in the world’s oceans. At the Postal Service’s request, four underwater themes were shown: recreation, scientific research, exploration, and commercial fishing. Although this was Bragg’s first stamp design, his work has appeared in magazines, books, and zoos, and has also been exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and Japan.
The first day ceremony for the stamps took place off Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach, 80 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean in a submarine. Held at a shipwrecked site, the ceremony marked the first time a U.S. stamp was canceled underwater. Tourists taking the Atlantis Submarines tour of the area can see an enlargement of the stamps, encased in protective material, mounted on the side of the wrecked ship.