Saturday, December 1, 2012

US High Face Values - Pt 1

Some of my favourite US stamps, these high face value stamps are not very rare, but I am one happy collector to have them in my collection of US stamps. There are about 35 to 40 or so of these stamps featuring the bald eagle, space ships, moon landing, bridges, forests etc.
I will post all of these in parts, as I keep adding them to my personal collection. As of now I have some 16 or so of these HFVs.

In this first part, I am putting up the first express mail and priority mail stamps issued by the USPS. Before I get to the stamps though, a little about these services and the difference between the two.
Priority Mail and Express Mail services are two of the most popular USPS mail classes.
Express Mail guarantees delivery by noon or 3:00 pm next-day to most U.S. locations. Priority Mail is delivered in an average of 2-3 days (without any guaranteed delivery times). Priority Mail is often delivered the next day if sent within the same postal zone.
Both letters and packages can be sent using the services
Express mail is automatically insured against loss. Priority mail does not include any insurance.
Express mail is priced higher than priority mail.

To compete with Federal Express the USPS started its own Express Mail Next Day delivery service in 1983. This bold and beautiful $9.35 Bald Eagle stamp would deliver a package up to 2 pounds overnight and was, at the time, the highest face value stamp ever issued.
The U.S. $9.35 express mail stamp was issued at the Kennedy Space Center on August 12, 1983.

The most expensive stamp ever issued in 1985. It covered the postage for Express Mail Next Day Service, and allowed users to drop Express Mail packages in collection boxes or give them to route carriers.

In an effort to compete with independent, overnight-delivery companies, the USPS lowered its rate from $10.75 for an 8 oz. letter to $8.75. As with previous Express Mail issues, the new stamp featured an eagle's head against a full moon. And like the design, the format was also the same.
Postal officials, who had admired the quality of the Migratory Bird hunting stamps, asked the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to use the same intaglio off-set printing technique. Even the size, shape, and perforations were copied! Rather than being printed in sheets of thirty, however, it was printed in mini-sheets of twenty.

Featuring a fierce-looking eagle, this stamp replaced the $2.40 stamp (Moon Landing - 20th Anniv..coming up in subsequent parts to this post) issued in 1989 to meet the then-current Priority Mail rate.

Issued to prepay postage for overnight Express Mail, this denomination covered the rate for an eight-ounce package. Like its predecessors, this stamp featured a bald eagle, but it also carried something new - the Olympic logo.

Do feel free to add your thoughts, comments or suggestions
NOTE: Please click on the images for a larger view / closer look.

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