Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New High Value USA stamps continue American Landmarks Series

On 17 Jan 2016 postal rates in the USA will rise, though not for first class mail. That will remain at US$0.49 for the first ounce.  However, increases in Priority and Express Mail rates (rather steep ones, Priority rises to US$6.45 from US$5.60, and Express rises to US$22.95 from US$19.99!) mean that there will be two new additions to one of my absolute favorite series of contemporary USA postage stamps, the American Landmarks series begun in 2008.

The additions for 2016 are these beauties

For Priority Mail, La Cueva del Indio in Puerto Rico

For Express Mail, The Columbia River Gorge on the Washington-Oregon border

These two values join the following stamps in the series that have been issued over the years since 2008 as rates for Priority Mail and Express Mail have risen

2008 Priority Mail, Mount Rushmore in South Dakota

2008 Express Mail, Hoover Dam on the Nevada-Arizona border

2009 Priority Mail, Redwood Forest in California

2009 Express Mail, Old Faithful in Wyoming

2010 Priority Mail, Mackinac Bridge in Michigan

2010 Express Mail, Bixby Creek Bridge in California

2011 Priority Mail (no Express Mail rate change), New River Gorge Bridge, West Virginia

2012 Priority Mail, Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Florida

2012 Express Mail, Carmel Mission, California

2013 Priority Mail, Arlington Green Bridge, Vermont

2013 Express Mail, Grand Central Station Main Terminal, New York

2014 Priority Mail, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, New York

2014 Express Mail, USS Arizona Memorial, Hawaii

As there were no rate increases in 2015, no new hi-value stamps were issued last year, much to the relief of many a collector's wallet.  The series is artistically GORGEOUS, but the price even for a set of singles is not exactly pocket change. The fifteen stamps in the series (including the two new values for 2016) have a face value of US$176.79 (!).  But these, combined with the similarly gorgeous (and now alas completed) American Landscape Airmail series are some of my absolute favorite USA postage stamps of the past two decades.  If only we could get similarly-designed lower-value definitives for first class use, rather than the ubiquitous -Flag over...- series that has been the workhorse definitive series for most of the past quarter century.

My only beef with this series, nothing from Ohio! Why not the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for a future Landmark issue???

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