YAKIMA, Wash., Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Postcards navigating the nation's mail stream will begin to bear four varieties of fruit now that the Postal Service has harvested the 33-cent Apples Postcard stamps.
Available today in panes of 20 or coils of 100, customers may purchase the stamps now at usps.com/stamps, by phone at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide to prepare for the Jan. 27 1-cent price change.
Featuring (clockwise from top left) images of the Northern Spy, Golden Delicious, Baldwin and Granny Smith apples, the stamp art was illustrated with pen and ink and watercolor, with some additional detail added on computer. Designed by art director Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, the Apples Postcard stamps features the work of John Burgoyne of West Barnstable, MA.
"Spies are for pies!" The homey little rhyme offers a reminder that generations of cooks have found the Northern Spy apple delicious when baked in desserts. Its tart, tangy taste makes it less of a favorite for eating in hand, for some people, but it stores well and tends to last longer because of its late season. This variety is also good for cider and juice. A Northern Spy apple tree was reportedly "discovered" around 1800 near Rochester, NY.
The Golden Delicious apple, named for its yellow-gold skin and sweet flavor, was declared the official state fruit of West Virginia in 1995. This tasty variety was first found 90 years earlier on the Mullins family farm in that state's Clay County. Unsurprisingly, news of the Mullins family's wonderful apple caused a "gold" rush. It quickly became a popular variety both in America and abroad, and is now planted wherever apples are grown around the world. A yearly Golden Delicious Festival has been held in Clay County since 1972.
The juicy and aromatic Baldwin apple, thought to be native to Massachusetts, is named for Colonel Loammi Baldwin, a politician and soldier in the American Revolutionary War who was greatly responsible for spreading its popularity throughout colonial New England. These winter apples are delicious when eaten in season — fresh, cooked or in baked goods — and are prized by makers of cider.
Though people have been cultivating apples since the Stone Age, the Granny Smith variety isn't that old. It is said to have originated in the late 1860s in a suburb of Sydney, Australia, where a local grandmother cared for and reproduced a chance seedling. About a hundred years after she first marketed them at home, Granny Smith apples became popular in the United States. This tart green fruit, now one of the world's most well-known varieties, is sometimes called the Green Delicious, especially in Canada.
Customers may view the Apples Postcard stamps, as well as many of this year's other stamps on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, on Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2013-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service's online site for information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.
Ordering First-Day Postmarks
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at usps.com/stamps, or by calling 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724). They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:
U.S. Postal Service
205 W. Washington Ave.
Yakima, WA 98903-9998
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by March 17, 2013.
Ordering First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
There are seven philatelic products available for the pane and *two for the coil:
- 116206, Press Sheet with die cuts, $66
- 116208, Press sheet without die cuts, $66
- 116210, Keepsake (Pane & Digital Color Postmark Set of 4), $13.95.
- 116216, First-Day Cover Set of 4, $4.40.
- 116221, Digital Color Postmark Set of 4, $7.24.
- 116231, Stamp Deck Card, $0.95.
- 116232, Stamp Deck Card w/Digital Color Postmark, $2.16.
- *789516, First-Day Cover Set of 4, $4.40
- *789521, Digital Color Postmark Set of 4, $7.24.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation — 151 million residences, businesses and Post Office™ Boxes. The Postal Service™ receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com®, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world's mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 35th in the 2011 Fortune 500. In 2011, Oxford Strategic Consulting ranked the U.S. Postal Service number one in overall service performance of the posts in the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency for six years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.
SOURCE U.S. Postal Service