U.S. # 4727-30b
2013 33¢ Apples Imperforate
Set of 4
Puritans brought the apple tree to North America, where William Blaxton first harvested what was called “winter bananas” or “melt-in-the-mouths.” Known today as apples, the fruit is one of the most complex examples of Mother Nature’s work. Scientists recently discovered the Golden Delicious apple has 57,000 genes, the highest of any plant and nearly twice that of humans.
Mankind has played a role in developing more than 7,500 different apple varieties, something nature would not have done on its own. Apple trees are difficult to start from seed, most are not self-pollinators, and those that survive usually produce fruit that is not edible. Instead, growers rely on propagation, during which a branch or bud from a desired variety is grafted onto rootstock. The tree that grows produces fruit similar to the grafted variety.
Propagation allows for two promising scenarios. Modern varieties are developed through genetic mutation before grafting. And the chance discovery of heirloom trees in old orchards means our ancestors’ favorites can be resurrected through grafting. But whether we bite into the same variety people of the Stone Age enjoyed or thrill to a newly created sensation, we’ll be savoring a tasty and healthy treat.
Artist John Burgoyne created the apple artwork for these stamps using watercolor with pen and ink before adding finishing touches with computer software.
Value: 33¢ domestic postcard rate
Issued: January 17, 2013
First Day City: Yakima, WA
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products
Method: Offset printing in sheets of 200, with 10 panes of 20
Apples have been pictured on U.S. stamps since 1966, when one was issued to honor Johnny Appleseed (U.S. #1317). Apples were also pictured on a pair of 2001 definitives (U.S. #3491 and #3193), the 2002 Greetings from Washington stamps (U.S. #3607 and #3742) and the 2012 Heart Health stamp (U.S. #4625).
Scarce Modern Imperforates
The modern imperforate stamps are one of the hottest stories around. In 2012, the U.S. Postal Service released some issues as press sheets. The sheets with die cut perforations were issued in limited quantities.
To the surprise of many collectors, officials then issued a small number of press sheets without perforations. The uncut sheets were only available in Kansas City, Missouri, yet most sold out immediately. In an instant, the imperforate stamp sheets became modern rarities. For example, only 75,000 Baseball All-Star se-tenant sheets were issued compared to 118,000 Bugs Bunny sheets with the 10th stamp imperforate.
In a controversial move, the editors of Scott Catalogue announced they would not list or give numbers to these stamps because they did not fit Scott guidelines. This decision was strongly debated since the imperforate stamps are valid for postage. They eventually decided to give the stamps minor numbers and have continued issuing imperforates in the years since.
Because they were issued in such limited quantities, these scarce modern imperforates can be difficult to find. Luckily Mystic purchased a small number of each imperforate stamp issued so you can add these modern rarities to your collection. Be one of the lucky few – order today.