U.S. # 4740
2013 $1.10 Global Forever
Since the Earth was formed over 4.5 billion years ago, it has undergone several transformations that have allowed life to thrive. As humans emerged in all areas of the globe, each civilization formed its own ideas about mother earth.
It is no coincidence that the phrase “mother earth” is so widespread today. Several early civilizations saw the earth as a goddess. To the Aztecs, she was Tonantzin, “our mother;” to the Incas, Pachamama; to the Chinese, Hou Tu; and to the Greeks, Gaia. One culture that differed from the others was the Egyptians, who depicted the planet as a male, Geb.
Earth has the distinction of being the only planet in our Solar System not named directly after a Roman deity. The word “earth” comes from the eighth century Anglo-Saxon word erda, meaning ground or soil. This word originates from Jörð, the giantess mother of Thor in Norse mythology. In Latin, Jörð’s name is Terra Mater, the Roman goddess of Mother Earth.
Today, as science and technology advance, knowledge of our planet is ever-changing. We now know the earth is not a perfect sphere. Melting glaciers push water toward the equator, which is stretched by gravity. The moon’s gravitational pull on the earth is also slowing the planet’s rotation, which increases the length of our days by 1.7 milliseconds every century.
The 2013 Global Forever stamp was designed by Greg Breeding using artwork by Italian artist Leonello Calvetti. Calvetti created this dramatic image with satellite images and 3-D computer technology.
Value: $1.10 First-Class International 1-ounce rate
Issued: January 28, 2013
First Day City: New York, NY
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Avery Dennison
Method: Photogravure printing in sheets of 80, with 4 panes of 20
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut
Quantity Printed: 80,000,000 stamps
Global Forever Series
On January 28, 2013, the USPS issued the first stamp in its Global Forever Series. These stamps are used on international mail.
Up until the mid-to-late 1800s, mail sent to other countries was regulated by a number of different agreements that were binding only to signing members. Then in 1874, representatives from 22 nations met in Bern, Switzerland to discuss a better system, and to found the General Postal Union (later called the Universal Postal Union).
The Universal Postal Union revolutionized how mail was sent between countries. They decided that there should be a uniform rate to mail a letter anywhere in the world, that domestic and international mail should be treated equally, and that each country should keep all money collected for international postage. It also made sending international mail easier in another important way. Previously, people had to attach a stamp from each country their mail would pass through. This no longer was necessary. Participating countries also standardized postal rates and units of weight.
Another major development in the delivery of international mail came in 1920, with the establishment of international airmail. In the early years, airmail was flown between the US and Canada and Cuba. By late 1930, the US was delivering airmail to nearly every country in the Western Hemisphere. Service continued to expand to Europe and other parts of the world in the coming years.
In May 1977, airmail as a separate class of domestic mail ended when the USPS announced that First Class postage would provide the same or better service. And 30 years later, international airmail ended on May 14, 2007, though airmail stamps continued to be issued into 2012.
In October 2012, the USPS filed to change international mailing prices. Additionally, following the popularity of the domestic Forever stamps, first issued in 2007, they decided to start issuing Global Forever stamps. These new stamps would simplify international mail, by offering a single stamp for all international destinations.
Issued on January 28, 2013, the first Global Forever stamp had a face value of $1.10. The international rate stamp could be used on one-ounce letters sent overseas and two-ounce letters to Canada. Fittingly, this first stamp pictured a three-dimensional image of the Earth. The image was created by using satellite data and centers over the blue of the Atlantic Ocean, South America, and West Africa. To differentiate the classes of Forever stamps, the Global Series is a round stamp and has the word “GLOBAL” printed right on it. At least one Global Forever stamp has been issued every year since, except for 2015.