1992 29¢ Shield and Bunting
Variable Rate Coil
Computer Vended Postage
Issue Date: August 20, 1992
City: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Intaglio Press
Color: Blue and red
A test program began in 1992 for a new kind of variable-rate postage stamp. A Postage and Mailing Center machine printed any denomination from 1¢ to $99.99 on the stamp. Customers used the built-in scale to determine the necessary postage. The machines were originally set up 15 post offices. There were many mechanical problems, and when the machines were working properly, collectors quickly emptied them.
Questions soon arose over what constituted a complete variable rate stamp collection. Obtaining one stamp with each denomination would have cost $499.950.
The denomination printed on these stamps, dispensed by ECA GARD machines, had an asterisk instead of a dollar sign. The later version (CVP32) used a dollar sign.
Phosphorous tagging is added to stamps for use by the automatic cancelling machines used by the post office. These variable-rate stamps sometimes passed through the machines, even if the stamps had only a1¢ denomination..