SAN FRANCISCO — Commemorating the Lunar New Year, the United States Postal Service today issued a new Forever Stamp featuring a dragon, the fifth of 12 animals associated with the Chinese lunar calendar.
This colorful stamp is the latest collectible in the Postal Service’s Celebrating Lunar New Year series, which began in 2008 with the Year of the Rat. The Year of the Dragon begins today and ends Feb. 9, 2013. The stamp goes on sale today at Post Offices nationwide, online at usps.com and by phone at 800-782-6724.
“The Postal Service is proud to celebrate the Lunar New Year with the issuance of this magnificent Forever Stamp,” said USPS Vice President of Sales Cliff Rucker, who dedicated the stamp. “Dragons are regarded as magical or divine, welcome symbols of renewed hope for the future. With this new stamp, we hope that the year will bring the best to all of us, no matter what sign we were born under.”
As one of the most diverse employers in America, “the Postal Service is extremely proud of our inclusive environment, an environment that respects the uniqueness of every individual and encourages the contributions of people from different cultures, backgrounds, experiences and perspectives,” said Rucker. Nearly 40 percent of the Postal Service’s employees are minorities, and of those, nearly 9 percent are Asian American or Pacific Islander.
“Diversity is one of our greatest strengths as an employer, and that diversity embraces a wide range of traditions, including celebrations like Lunar New Year,” said Rucker.
Among the distinguished guest speakers joining Rucker to dedicate the stamp were San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee; Organization of Chinese Americans President Clifford Yee; Board of Supervisors President David Chiu; and Organization of Chinese Americans Past President Claudine Cheng. Other key participants were Tony Fong, president, Chinese Chamber of Commerce; Thomas Ng, presiding president, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association; and Geoffrey Palermo, managing director, Hilton Financial District.
Customers may view the Year of the Dragon Forever Stamp as well as many of this year’s other stamps on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, through Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2012-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for background on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.
Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce rate.
How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark, Year of the Dragon Forever Stamp
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at a local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others) and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:
Lunar New Year: Year of the Dragon Stamp
180 Steuart Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-9992
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes by mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by March 23, 2012.
How to Order First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-STAMP-24 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
P.O. Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
There are 10 philatelic products available for this stamp issue:
576961, First-Day Cover, $.89.
576962, First-Day Cover Full Pane, $7.90.
576964, Cancelled Full Pane, $7.90.
576965, Digital Color Postmark, $1.60.
576984, Uncut Press Sheet, $48.60.
576991, Ceremony Program, $6.95.
576992, Stamp Deck Card, $.92.
576993, Stamp Deck Card w/Digital Color Postmark, $1.95.
576994, Notecards, $15.95.
576999, Cancellation Keepsake (DCP w/2 Panes), $12.95.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.