Some things I find interesting.
 Hope you also do....

Modern Postal History 

As you can tell, I am fascinated by modern US postal history and stamps.  I love the discovery of the new information, the new stamps and the new examples of the postal usages which are happening now.

If you share these interests, drop me an e-mail or point me to your web site.  Hopefully we can share the joy of discovering new information and the FUN of collecting modern US. 

The Scarcest G Stamp Usage?

G stamps were issued by the USPS to meet the 32¢ First Class rate which became effective on January 1, 1995.  Millions of these non-denominated G stamps were printed in advance at a time when the specifics of the new rates were still unknown. 

The first ounce First Class domestic rate G stamps were printed with self-adhesive and water activated gum.  They were processed into pane, booklet and coil formats and were produced by three different suppliers, each using a different color ink to print the letter G. 

Three non-First Class stamps were also available.  A yellow backgrounded stamp was issued in two versions to pay the new (20¢) post card rate.  Additionally two stamps were issued for bulk (now called  standard class) mailings.  The regular presort bulk mail stamp had a 25¢ value and was printed with a light blue background.  The non-profit presort bulk mail stamp had a green background and a 5¢ value.

Shown here are examples of only SOME of the possible varieties. 

What a challenge... to find mint, used and proper usage examples of all these variations.

The unneeded G stamp....

While all other G stamps were issued with a new cost/value, only the non-profit G stamp retained the same value as its predecessor.  Why was it necessary to issue the 5¢ green background non-profit stamp when there already existed a 5¢ non-profit stamp? 

Most non-profit mailers seemed to ignore the newly issued G non-profit stamp in favor of using what they had previously used, the Canoe or the more distinctive non-profit Butte stamp issued March 10, 1995.  In addition, the USPS did not make the new G non-profit stamp easily available to non-profit organizations; rather providing the Canoe or Butte issues when non-profit stamps were ordered for mailings.

While over 780,000,000 of these stamps were printed, few seem to have been used during the G rate period from Jan 1, 1995 through Jan 9, 1999.  Large numbers of these stamps must be in USPS inventory.  Because all non-profit standard class mail is now false franked (the user paying the difference between the stamp value and the actual rate), these green G  stamps could be used anytime in the future.

The American Philatelic Society (APS) used some of the green background non-profit G stamps on its mailings. 

Other than those usages by a philatelic organization, I have not been able to find/learn of usages other than those by the American Lung Association of Michigan in a spring 1995 mailing.  The cover below was returned with an address correction and  demonstrates the 1995 usage by the handstamp applied by USPS. (The addressee name has been covered with a yellow post-it since this is a recent cover)

The cover is a large 8.75"  x 11.5"" and was returned in a USPS poly bag.

A close-up (300%) shows the stamp and cancel.

An example of another returned piece from the same mailing. This example has a bonus... a Plate Number Coil (PNC) used for franking.

A closer look more clearly shows the plate number to be A21111

Are these the scarcest usages from the G stamp series? the scarcest usages in the last five years?  I think they just might be.  What do you think?