United States Stamps
The USPS has been creating and distributing its own stamps since the mid-1800s. Now, whether you are a stamp collector or simply need to mail a letter, you will find stamps that depict everything from historical events to endangered wildlife. The ever-evolving designs depicted on stamps have grown since their beginning to interweave both aesthetics and practicality.What are some common stamp designs in the United States?
The different designs on postage stamps target a range of audiences, including special releases targeted at collectors and other styles for those who may only need to mail a letter for postal delivery. Here are some common design types:
- Commemorative postage: These often celebrate or serve as a reminder of a historical event. These are often released near the event's anniversary.
- Artwork: Some postage stamps feature a particular artist's work, like a collection featuring the works of Van Gogh
- Nature themed: Some may depict nature-focused images like endangered animals, domestic pets like cats or dogs, or scenery from a national park
Forever stamps are a type of stamp released by the United States Post Office in 2006. They can be used for first-class mail and are referred to as "Forever stamps" due to the fact that they will not depreciate in value as rates for postage stamps increase. These can also be called non-denominated stamps.What are ways to protect postage stamps for a collection?
When collecting postage stamps, it is imperative to protect them from damage from light and movement. Consider some of the following methods to protect your collection.
- Store them safely: Collectors often place their stamps in binders with plastic pockets made specifically for stamps, which protect them from damage.
- Use tongs to handle stamps: Stamp tongs have rounded edges to pick up and move stamps, thus avoiding smudging skin oils onto the stamps
- Acid-free paper: If you choose to use a mount for your stamps, place them on acid-free paper to prevent breakdown
When choosing stamps for a particular piece of mail for postal delivery, several factors need to be addressed before selecting.
- Domestic or international: Whether your mail will be sent to someone else in the United States or someone abroad, via USPS or otherwise, factors into your choice of postage intended for international or domestic mail
- Class of mail: Depending on which class of mail you are sending, you may need different postage
- Weight of mail: The weight of the mail you are sending will determine the value of the stamps you need to ship it