New Strawberries Stamp Ripe for the Picking This Spring

A new 3-cent Strawberries stamp will be available in coils of 10,000 when formally issued May 5 with a first day of issue in Acton, Massachusetts, the U.S. Postal Service said Friday. This was the first formal announcement of the new stamp from the USPS.

The first-day date coincides with the first day of the Philatelic Show (May 5-7) sponsored by the Northeastern Federation of Stamp Clubs at the Boxborough Regency Hotel and Conference Center. The show will host a first-day ceremony for the new stamp at 11 a.m.

The stamp features an illustration of three ripe, red strawberries surrounded by leaves and hulls adjacent to three smaller, green strawberries in various stages of growth. A small white flower from the strawberry plant completes the picture.

Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp using an existing illustration by John Burgoyne, the same artist for the recent Apples, Grapes, and Pears definitives.

*updated to reflect the ceremony time

New Green Succulent Global Forever Stamp Announced

A new $1.15 Green Succulent global forever international rate stamp will be formally issued April 28 in San Francisco, the U.S. Postal Service said Friday.

The Green Succulent global forever stamp will be valid to send a 1-ounce letter to any country where first-class mail international service is available. The stamp, which features a photograph of an echeveria, a succulent native to the Americas, will be sold in panes of 10.

The stamp release coincides with the Westpex stamp show scheduled for April 28-30 at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront Hotel. The show will host a first-day ceremony for the stamp at 1 p.m.

William J. Gicker was the art director and Greg Breeding designed the stamp with an existing photograph by Erika Kirkpatrick.

Stamp Madness Round Two Starts

The public has chosen and Round 2 of 2017 Stamp Madness has begun.

Not surprisingly, the two contestants from the United States — the 1962 Mercury space capsule and 1964 World’s Fair stamps — remain in the running, as do stamps from Japan, India, New Zealand, Canada, Greece, and Laos.

The winners of this round will advance to the first Final Four in the American Philatelic Society’s inaugural contest. Lucky entrants from our Preview contest and from the championship round will win some fun philatelic prizes.

Round 1 victors included two stamps each from the Americas: United States’ World’s Fair and Canada Eastern Farm; and from the Afro-India Division: Greece’s Grapes and Bread and India’s Taj Mahal.

Shockingly, no stamps from Europe survived Round 1 and all four survivors come from the Pacific Division: the Elephant from Laos; New Zealand’s Southern Alps and Chapel; the U.S. Project Mercury; and Suigo Quasi-National Park from Japan.

Vote via Facebook or Twitter. May the best stamp win!