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2012 USPS New Issues Calendar

This list is in approximate chronological order, although in most cases dates and places of issue have not been decided. More stamp issues will be added here as they are announced.

As they are announced, we also will provide first day request addresses and deadlines as part of our First Day Covers information page
Spectrum Eagle Stamp 2012

Spectrum Eagle [Click to see the full Spectrum]
— January 3, 2012 | Liberty, MO 64068  |  Non-denominated (25¢ assigned value) Spectrum Eagle PSA coils of 3,000 and 10,000 

The new “Spectrum Eagle” Presorted First-Class Mail non-denominated stamp comes in six color varieties. The eagle’s profile is depicted in white, set against a sequence of six varying shades of reds, yellows, greens, and blues. Each color blends with the one following, resulting in a gradual spectrum from left to right across the six stamps. The stamps are used by bulk mailers because mail with a postage stamp on the envelope has a better chance of being opened than mail with a printed indicia. The issue was designed by Ethel Kessler, who also was the Art Director and Typographer. 

New Mexico Statehood 2012 U.S. Postage Stamp

New Mexico Statehood
— January 6, 2012  |  Santa Fe, NM 87501

With this stamp, the U.S. Postal Service honors the 100 years that have passed since January 6, 1912, when New Mexico became the 47th state in the Union. The stamp art shows a landscape in northern New Mexico, about 65 miles northwest of Albuquerque. In this sweeping view of the high desert, junipers and piñon pines grow in the foreground. In the middle distance, the Rio Puerco courses through an arroyo, while in the background, two peaks known as Cerro de Santa Clara and Cerro de Guadalupe are silhouetted against a vast sky. Today, New Mexico is the fifth-largest state in the U.S., known for its rich history, vibrant cultures, and stunning geographic diversity.

Aloha Shirt 2012 U. S. Postage Stamps

Aloha Shirts [Click to see 5 designs]
— January 19, 2012  |  Honolulu, HI 96820

The Aloha Shirts set of five stamps will be issued in the post card rate, now 32¢. Two of the shirts depict surfers and their boards; one shows fossil fish, shells, and sea stars; another shows a tropical flower known as the bird of paradise; and one shows Kilauea, a volcano on the Big Island of Hawai‘i.

Glacier National Park stamp, 85 cent Canada, Mexico rate stamp

Glacier National Park, Montana
— January 19, 2012  |  Kalispell, MT 59901  |  85¢ Canada, Mexico Rate Stamp

This international rate stamp celebrates Montana’s Glacier National Park. Often described as one of the most stunning national parks in the U.S., Glacier was established on May 11, 1910. The stamp image shows Logan Pass, the highest point on the park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road. Peaks of the Northern Rocky Mountains fill the photo’s background. Named for the glaciers that sculpted the landscape more than 10,000 years ago and for the Little Ice Age glaciers there today, the park preserves more than a million acres of peaks and valleys, meadows, lakes and forest. It is a haven for wildlife with 277 species of birds and 67 species of mammals.

Wedding Cake stamp

Wedding Cake
— January 20, 2012  |  Alexandria, VA 22314

This Weddings stamp uses the same design as the 2011 64¢ Wedding Cake stamp, and is part of an ongoing series of issues that can be used to mail Wedding invitations. The 65¢ stamp can be used on the outer envelope, which contains the Wedding invitation, an RSVP card, and an RSVP envelope on which last year’s Wedding Roses Forever First Class rate stamp can be used. Pastry chef Peter Brett created and designed the cake. Art Director Ethel Kessler incorporated it into her stamp design.

Weather Vane stamps

Weather Vanes [Click to see 5 designs]
— January 20, 2012  |  Shelburne, VT 05482

The Weather Vanes coil stamps picture five weather vanes that were made in the United States during the 19th century. Unlike most new U.S. issues, they will be denominated in the First Class Letter Mail rate instead of as Forever issues.

Before 1850, most American weather vanes were created by individual craftsmen. During the second half of the 19th century—in what collectors consider the “golden age” of American weather vanes—factories around Boston and New York City began mass-producing weather vanes. The five weather vanes, reproducing a cow, and eagle, a centaur and two roosters, all are part of the collection of the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont.

Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly

Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly
— January 20, 2012  |  Baltimore, MD 21233  |  65¢ Stamp for use on large greeting card envelopes

The official insect of the state of Maryland, the black and orange Baltimore checkerspot butterfly graces the second butterfly stamp for use on large greeting card envelopes. In addition to being issued as a stamp, envelopes for many large cards requiring the additional postage will feature a preprinted silhouette of a butterfly to suggest the use of this stamp. Like the Baltimore oriole, this colorful butterfly is named after George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, who helped found the colony of Maryland. The butterfly’s colors resemble those on Calvert’s coat of arms. 

85 cent Birds of Prey stamps pay the First Class three-ounce rate

Birds of Prey [Click to see 5 designs]
— January 20, 2012  |  Washington, DC 20066   |  85¢ pay the First Class three-ounce rate

The five birds of prey on these stamps are the northern goshawk, peregrine falcon, golden eagle, osprey, and northern harrier.

Birds of prey, also known as raptors, thrive in diverse habitats and live on every continent except Antarctica. The roughly 500 species of birds of prey, also known as raptors,  include birds that hunt by day, such as falcons, eagles, and harriers, and birds that hunt by night — the owls. They are carnivorous, use their powerful talons to capture prey, and their exceptionally keen eyesight allows them to see small objects in detail, even from a great distance. The 85¢ Birds of Prey stamps pay the First Class three-ounce rate.

Dogs at Work, 65 cent stamps pay the First Class two-ounce rate

Dogs at Work [Click to see 4 designs]
— January 20, 2012  |  Merrifield, VA 22081  |  65¢ Stamps pay the First Class two-ounce rate

While the earliest dogs helped human hunters bring home prey, today’s dogs excel at a variety of jobs. The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the enduring partnership between dogs and people with this set of four stamps, which depict four hard-working canines: a guide dog assisting a woman who is blind, a tracking dog on the trail of a scent, a therapy dog visiting an elderly woman in her home, and a search and rescue dog standing in a field, ready to tackle the next assignment. The 65¢ stamps pay the First Class two-ounce rate.

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania - International rate stamp of $1.05

Lancaster County, Pa., Amish Country
— January 20, 2012  |  Lancaster, PA 17601  |  $1.05 International Rate Stamp

Designed to draw attention to the wonders of the United States, this $1.05 International rate stamp shows the glories of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with one of its beautiful, iconic farmsteads set amid gently rolling hills. Known for its breathtaking rural scenery, agricultural bounty, and small towns with evocative names like Bird-in-Hand and Paradise, Lancaster County is perhaps most famous as part of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country. The Amish, with their horse-drawn buggies, one-room schoolhouses, and traditional lifestyle, give the county a traditional, Old World charm.

Sailboat Forever Stamped Card 2012, 29 cents

Sailboat Stamped Post Card
— January 22, 2012  |  Oyster Bay, NY 11771  |  Forever stamped card

The Postal Service highlights America’s scenic beauty with this stamped card. Whether racing along the coast or simply bobbing in harbors, sailboats add to the allure of any water view. This impressionistic image of a moored sailboat was created by Burton Silverman, who painted the scene in oil on a gesso surface board. The sailboat, a one-masted sloop, rests with its sails furled while a single sailor stands on deck. Silverman based the painting on a photograph he took during a summer sailing trip to Long Island Sound. The card was designed by art director Derry Noyes.

Year of the Dragon 2012  U.S. Postage Stamp

Celebrating Lunar New Year: Year of the Dragon
— January 23, 2012  |  San Francisco, CA 94188

Fifth in the series of designs by artist Kim Mak, celebrating Lunar New Year, which in 2012 is Jan. 23, a bit earlier than usual.

Bonsai 2012 U. S. Postage Stamps

Bonsai [Click to see 5 designs]
— January 23, 2012  |  Sacramento, CA 95813

This set of five stamps pictures bonsai plants. Bonsai is Japanese for “plant in a pot,” but the plants are typically trees that have been trained or miniaturized, and can live for decades.

Purple Martin Stamped Envelope
— January 23, 2012  |  Mulberry, FL 33860  |  Forever stamped envelope

Two purple martins—the largest swallow in North America—are seen on the Purple Martin Stamped Envelope. In the eastern U.S., purple martins live almost exclusively in backyard birdhouses. Native Americans were the first to build houses for these acrobatic fliers, hanging up hollow gourds for them to nest in. Purple martins make excellent neighbors, as they devour many insects that people find annoying, such as flies, wasps, and stink bugs. This is a Forever stamped envelope, so the value of the postage is always equal to the value of the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.

John Johnson 2012 U. S. Postage Stamp

John H. Johnson
— January 31, 2012  |  Chicago, IL 60607

The 35th release in the Black Heritage series celebrates one of the most influential Black publishers, founder of Ebony and Jet magazines, and an important leader in the Civil Rights movement. The design is based on a photo by David McCann. It will probably be issued in February in Chicago, Johnson’s hometown.

Heart Health 2012 U. S. Postage Stamp

Heart Health
— February 9, 2012   |   Washington, DC 20090

The 2012 social awareness issue raises public awareness about the importance of maintaining a healthy heart. The stamp art focuses on the feelings of wellness and vitality that come from physical exercise, a key element in controlling and preventing coronary heart disease.

The illustration by Nicholas Wilton shows a bright yellow sun disc, a leafy green tree icon, a blue swirl of a sky, and a striding figure with a full red heart. At the figure’s feet, a large red apple represents a well-balanced diet, another essential factor in maintaining a healthy heart.

Because heart disease can develop over decades without symptoms, many people do not know they have it. Most people can lower their risk of developing chronic heart disease by making just a few lifestyle changes. Exercising and eating a heart-healthy diet are critical factors. Quitting smoking, managing stress, and getting enough sleep are equally important, and regular medical checkups make early detection and treatment possible.

Love Ribbons 2012 U.S. Postage Stamp

Love Ribbons
— February 14, 2012  |  Colorado Springs, CO 80903

New York graphic designer Louise Fili’s impression of Love is a swirl of pink-tinged white satin ribbons on a red background, almost extending off the edge of the stamp.

Arizona Statehood Stamp 2012

Arizona Statehood
— February 14, 2012  |  Phoenix, AZ 85026

Arizona was part of Mexico until 1848, when the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the U.S.-Mexican War, resulted in the United States’ acquiring most of the land that makes up the present-day state. One of America’s last frontiers, Arizona became the 48th state in the Union on February 14, 1912. The stamp art celebrates this beauty with an original painting of Cathedral Rock, one of the colorful and much admired sandstone rock formations of Sedona, Arizona.

Danny Thomas Forever Stamp 2012

Danny Thomas
— February 16, 2012  |  Memphis, TN 38101
[Click to see sheet, Click to see FDC]

Entertainer Danny Thomas left as his greatest legacy the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which he started in gratitude for a prayer of his own having been answered. The Memphis, Tennessee facility specializes in treating children for catastrophic diseases regardless of race, religion or a family's ability to pay. In Danny Thomas' own words, “No child should die in the dawn of life.”

The Forever First Class rate stamp shows a smiling Danny Thomas in the foreground with the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in the background. It was designed by Greg Breeding using the artwork of Tim O'Brien.

Click for article Danny Thomas, St. Jude

Four Flags [Click to see block of 4]
— February 22, 2012  |  Washington, DC 20090  |  Block of 4 Forever Stamps

In addition to the Flags of Our Nation and the currently available Liberty/Flag stamps, in 2012 the USPS also will be issuing a Four Flags set. A single word—Freedom, Liberty, Equality, Justice—appears on each of the four stamps. The typeface is meant to recall the look of Colonial-era printing. The flag illustration by the late Arnold Holeywell is based on a photograph taken by art director Howard Paine.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge Stamp 2012

Sunshine Skyway Bridge
— February 28, 2012  |  St. Petersburg, FL 33730  |   $5.15 Priority Mail

The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Florida with this Priority Mail stamp. The bridge was one of the first major concrete-and-steel, cable-stayed bridges in the United States. Completed in 1987, the main bridge and approach spans stretch more than four miles across Tampa Bay and link the Gulf Coast communities surrounding St. Petersburg and Bradenton.

Carmel Mission Stamp 2012

Carmel Mission
— February 28, 2012  |  Carmel, CA 93923  |  $18.95 Express Mail Stamp

Often described as one of the most beautiful mission churches in the state of California, Carmel Mission is known for its dome-shaped bell tower and elaborate star-shaped window. Formally known as Mission San Carlos Borroméo del Río Carmelo, Carmel Mission was founded on June 3, 1770. It was the second in what would become a chain of 21 Spanish missions along the coast of California, each positioned about one day’s ride on horseback from the next. Designed by Art Director Phil Jordan, the stamp features an illustration created by artist Dan Cosgrove.

Cherry Blossoms 2012 U. S. Postage Stamp

Cherry Blossom Centennial [Click to see larger version]
— March 24, 2012  |  Washington, DC 20066

In 1912 Japan gave 3,000 cherry trees to the United States, which were planted round the Tidal Basin in the nation’s capital. In artist Paul Rogers’s design for the se-tenent stamps, blossoming trees arch over a family on a stroll with two girls dressed in bright kimonos, the Washington Monument in the background. In the stamp on the right, the Jefferson Memorial is the backdrop for sightseers under a canopy of pink blooms. Although this seems like an ideal subject for a joint issue with Japan, no such arrangements have been made to date.
Click for 2015 Gifts of Friendship Joint Issue with Japan Forever Stamps

Click to see additional coverage and other stamp images.

William H. Johnson 2012  U. S. Postage Stamp

William H. Johnson
— April 11, 2012  |  Baltimore, MD 21233  |  45¢ Forever Stamp

An entry in the American Treasures art series celebrates the work of the influential African-American artist, who has become somewhat of an icon in the art world. Upon his death in 1970 he donated his entire collection to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where a gallery is devoted to his works.

Twentieth-Century Poets 2012 U. S. Postage Stamps

Twentieth-Century Poets [Click to see 10 designs]
— April 21, 2012  |  Los Angeles, CA 90001

The ten great Twentieth-Century Poets on these Forever stamps honor Elizabeth Bishop, Joseph Brodsky, Gwendolyn Brooks, E. E. Cummings, Robert Hayden, Denise Levertov, Sylvia Plath, Theodore Roethke, Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams—a group that include winners of numerous Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Awards, and honorary degrees. The reverse of the pane of 20 stamps includes an excerpt from one poem by each of the ten poets. Most of the honorees are American born, one exception being Joseph Brodsky, an exile from the Soviet Union who became the first foreign-born poet to be appointed Poet Laureate of the United States.

Civil War War: 1862: A Nation Touched with Fire 2012 U. S. Postage Stamps

Civil War. “1862: A Nation Touched with Fire” [Click to see 2 designs]
— April 24, 2012  |  New Orleans, LA 70113 | Forever (45¢ each) pair of stamps

The second set in this annual series highlights the Battle of New Orleans, which lasted from April 24 to May 1, 1862, and the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862.

The Battle of New Orleans stamp is based on a reproduction of an 1862 Currier and Ives colored lithograph titled The Splendid Naval Triumph on the Mississippi, April 24th, 1862. The Battle of Antietam use a reproduction of an 1887 painting that was part of a series produced in the 1880s to commemorate the Civil War. The souvenir sheet containing one each of the stamps also has a background illustration from a Currier and Ives print.

Jose Ferrer Forever Stamp 2012

José Ferrer
— April 26, 2012  |  New York, NY 10199 | Forever 45¢ Stamp

One of America's most versatile and honored actors, Jose Ferrer is the 14th person honored in the U.S. Postal Service's Distinguished Americans series. The stamp shows Ferrer at the height of his fame, his elegant and timeless look captured in an oil-on-canvas portrait by Daniel Adel.

In addition to being a highly acclaimed actor, Ferrer also was a director, writer, musician, and producer. During his long career he earned several Tony Awards for his achievements on the stage as well as an Academy Award for his performance as Cyrano de Bergerac.

Louisiana Statehood Forever Stamp 2012

Louisiana Statehood
— April 30, 2012  |  Baton Rouge, LA 70826 | Forever 45¢ Stamp

Known for its vibrant music, authentic cuisine, and dynamic mingling of cultures, the Pelican State became the 18th state in the Union on April 30, 1812. The stamp features a photograph of Flat Lake, the largest contiguous river swamp in the U.S., with a setting sun in the distance.

Louisiana was acquired in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase while Thomas Jefferson was President. In 1804 Congress created the Territory of Orleans, with boundaries that approximate those of the state of Louisiana. Art Director Phil Jordan incorporated into his stamp design a photo by C. C. Lockwood of Louisiana.

Great Film Directors 2012 U. S. Postage Stamps
Great Film Directors [Click to see 4 designs]
— May 2012  |  Silver Spring, MD 20910

Fans of Hollywood will probably debate endlessly both which directors were better than others, and which films deserve more recognition than others. The selections for this block of four are John Ford, Frank Capra, Billy Wilder and John Huston. Just a list of their great films would probably fill a couple of pages.

Click to see additional coverage of Great Film Directors

Bicycling 2012 U. S. Postage Stamp

Bicycling [Click to see 4 designs]
— May 2012  |  Minneapolis, MN 55401

Another strip of four: a young child just learning to ride with training wheels; a commuter pedaling to work; a road racer; and an airborne BMX rider.

Send A Smile 2012 U. S. Postage Stamps

Mail a Smile [Click for 5 designs] 
— May 31, 2012  |  Orlando, FL 32862

Another collaboration with the Disney Studios’ Pixar series of motion pictures, following this year’s “Send Hello” set. The designs show characters from A Bug’s Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003) and The Incredibles (2004). The stamps will be issued August 19 at the Disney convention
in California.

Click to see additional coverage of Mail a Smile stamps

Bobcat 1 cent stamp

Bobcat
— June 1, 2012  |  San Marcos, TX 78666  |  1¢ Bobcat in PSA coils of 3,000.

The bobcat traces back to around 1.8 million years ago. It ranges from southern Canada to northern Mexico, including most of the continental U.S. Adaptable to many environments, it is often sighted in unexpected areas—or mistaken for other members of the Lynx genus. About twice as large as the domestic cat, it has distinctive black bars on its forelegs and a black-tipped, stubby tail, from which it derives its name.

Though the bobcat prefers rabbits and hares, it will hunt anything from insects and small rodents to deer. Despite being hunted extensively by humans, bobcats have proven resilient. They typically live six to eight years, with a few reaching beyond ten.

The bobcat hunts by stalking its prey and then ambushing it with a short chase or pounce. It has been pictured previously on U.S. stamps: in 1987 on a 22¢ North American Wildlife issue and in 1990 on a $2 Flora and Fauna definitives issue. Nancy Stahl worked with art director Carl T. Herrman on this latest, highly stylized, design.

Four Flags Stamp

Four Flags [Click to see block of 4]
— June 1, 2012  |  McLean, VA   |  Block of 4 Forever Stamps

The Four Flags stamps that were issued February 22 in pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) booklets of 20 and PSA coils of 100 will be issued in a new format, PSA booklets of 10, at the National Philatelic Exhibition in McLean, Va.

Aloha Shirt 2012 U. S. Postage Stamps

Aloha Shirts [Click to see 5 designs]
— June 2, 2012  |  McLean VA  |  Five 32¢ Postcard rate stamps

The Aloha Shirts stamps that were issued January 19 in pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) panes of 20 and PSA coils of 100 will be issued in a new format, PSA booklets of 10, at the National Philatelic Exhibition in McLean, Va.

Celebrate Scouting 2012 U. S. Postage Stamp

Celebrate Scouting
— June 9, 2012  |  Washington, DC 20066

March 12th marked the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts, and the U.S. Postal Service is issuing its “Celebrate Scouting” Forever stamp on June 9. Exemplifying the difference between yesterday's scouting movement and today's, instead of being issued on March 12—the anniversary date—the stamp is being issued as part of the Girl Scouts' “Rock the Mall” celebration at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. 

The stamp features a large silhouette of a Girl Scout with binoculars looking into the distance. The scene within the silhouette shows another Girl Scout on a hike. Some of the first scouting experiences provided opportunities to hike, camp, study first aid and learn to tell time by the stars. While Girl Scouts still enjoy those activities, today they benefit from the latest advances in science and technology, with opportunities to study ecology and discover new ways to protect the planet. 

Click to see additional coverage of "Celebrate Scouting"

Edith Piaf and Miles Davis Forever Stamp

Edith Piaf and Miles Davis
— June 12, 2012  |  New York, New York 10199   |  Forever 45¢ Stamps in PSA pane of 20

Symbolizing the musical ties between the United States and France, the stamps honoring Edith Piaf and Miles Davis are being issued together as a se-tenant pair. Edith Piaf is one of the few French popular singers to become a household name in the U.S., while American jazz trumpeter Miles Davis is beloved in France, where he performed frequently and was made a Chevalier in the Legion of Honor.
The stamp art captures Piaf in a dramatic pose, typical of her emotional performances that moved audiences to tears with her soulful delivery. Americans may know Edith Piaf best for her cheerful song “La Vie en Rose” (“Life in Pink”), about the experience of falling in love and seeing life through rose-colored glasses. She was given the name “Piaf”, Parisian slang for sparrow, because of her slight size. She toured the U.S. ten times.

Miles Davis epitomized “cool” style and was one of the most important musicians of his era. The stamp art depicts him in a performance pose. He was a leading jazz musician for decades, setting trends and exploring musical styles from bebop through cool jazz, fusion, and funk. He was also a great bandleader, and many important musicians rose to prominence in his bands.

Duck Stamp
— June 29, 2012  |  $15 (not a postage stamp)

The 2012-2013 Duck stamp features Joseph Hautman s acrylic painting of a single wood duck. The $15 stamp comes in a water- activated gum (WAG) pane of 20; and a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 1 as well as ancillary collectible formats.

Duck stamps are not postage stamps. The Fish and Wildlife Service produces the Federal Duck Stamp, which sells for $15 and raises about$25 million each year to provide critical funds for conserving wetlands for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of people. The new stamp is valid from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013.

Click to see additional coverage of the new "Duck Stamps".

Junior Duck Stamp
— June 29, 2012  | $5 (not a postage stamp)

The Junior Duck stamp pictures 17-year-old Christine Clayton's painting of a northern pintail. The Junior Duck stamp is not a postage stamp or a license. The Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program is a dynamic, art and science program designed to teach wetlands habitat and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school and help reconnect youth with the outdoors.

Major League Baseball All-Stars 2012 U. S. Postage Stamps

Major League Baseball All-Stars [Click to see 4 designs]
— July 20, 2012  |  Cooperstown, NY 13326

The four subjects are Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Larry Doby (first Black player in the American League) and Willie Stargell. Here’s one issue where the first day date and city have already been decided. They will be introduced at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown during the annual induction ceremonies.

Innovative Choreographers 2012 U. S. Postage Stamps
Innovative Choreographers [Click to see 4 designs]
— July 28, 2012  |  Los Angeles, CA 90052

Fans of classical and theatrical dance will enjoy seeing portraits of Isadora Duncan, Jose Limon, Katherine Dunham and Bob Fosse, illustrated by theater poster artist James McMullan.

Click to see additional coverage of "Innovative Choreographers"

Flags of Our Nation 2012 U. S. Postage Stamps

Flags of our Nation [Click to see 10 designs]
— August 16, 2012  |  Sacramento, CA 95813

This series has reached the end of the alphabet, with the states of Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and another U.S. flag. The format once again is two strips of five stamps in coils.

Edgar Rice Burroughs 2012 U. S. Postage Stamp

Edgar Rice Burroughs
— August 17, 2012  |  Tarzana, CA 91356

Best known as the creator of Tarzan and other denizens of the jungle, Burroughs wrote a number of other novels that are still widely read. A Disney film based on his “John Carter on Mars” series will be released next March, but the stamp will be issued during the Burroughs convention in California in August. The stamp, designed by artist Sterling Hundley, shows a view of Tarzan clinging to a tree, combined with a profile of Burroughs based on a 1934 photo.

War of 1812, USS Constitution 2012 U. S. Postage Stamp
The War of 1812: USS Constitution

— August 18, 2012  |  Boston, MA 02205

The bicentennial of the start of this war with Britain is commemorated with a stamp picturing the conflict’s most famous ship, the USS Constitution, more popularly known as Old Ironsides. The stamp reproduces a very early painting of the ship by Michel Fellice Corne, now in the USS Constitution Museum in Boston. This is the first in a multi-year series.

Click to see additional coverage of "The War of 1812: Two Perspectives" and "The Patriotic War of 1812"

Purple Heart Forever stamp
Purple Heart

— September 4  |  Washington, DC 20066  |  Forever Purple Heart PSA Pane of 20

The 2012 Purple Heart stamp uses a design by Jennifer Arnold of Washington, D.C. Arnold reworked the 2011 Purple Heart Forever stamp design by slightly enlarging the medal and placing it on a pure white background. Except for the year date change from 2011 to 2012, the typography on the stamp did not change. The design features the Purple Heart awarded during World War II to 1st Lieutenant Arthur J. Rubin (1917–1978). The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to members of the U.S. military who have been wounded or killed in action. It was established by General George Washington during the Revolutionary War and shows a profile bust of George Washington beneath his family coat of arms.

O. Henry 2012 U. S. Postage Stamp

O. Henry
— September 11, 2012  |  Greensboro, NC 27420

The 28th stamp in the Literary Arts series will picture this perennially popular writer, whose real name was William Sydney Porter. His adventurous personal life was almost more exciting than his short stories, which are famous for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization and clever twist endings.

Click to see additional coverage of "O.Henry added to Literary Arts Series"

Four Flags Stamp

Four Flags [Click to see block of 4]
— September 14, 2012  |   Humble, TX 77338   |  Block of 4 Forever Stamps

This version of the Four Flags stamps is an ATM booklet of 18 PSA stamps. The stamps were issued earlier this year as PSA Booklet of 20 and PSA Coil of 100 on February 22 and PSA Booklet of 10 on June 1, 2012.

Earthscapes: Urban, Agricultural, Natural 2012 U. S. Postage Stamps

Earthscapes [Click to see 15 designs]
— October 1, 2012  |  Greenbelt, MD 20771

Fifteen different views based on aerial or satellite photographs of a wide variety of scenes all across the country. There are five stamps in three groups: Natural: Glacier and Icebergs, Volcanic Crater, Geothermal Spring, Butte in Early Morning Fog, Inland Marsh;  Agricultural: Salt Evaporation Ponds, Long Rafts on Way to Sawmill, Center Pivot Irrigation, Cherry Orchard, Cranberry Harvest; and Urban: Residential Subdivision, Barge Fleeting, Railroad Roundhouse, Skyscraper Apartments, and Highway Interchange.

Click here to learn about the Mysterious Earthscapes Invert!

Holy Family Stamp 2012

Christmas Traditional: Holy Family
— October 10, 2012  |   Washington, DC 20090 (at the National Cathedral)

A departure from the Madonna & Child designs the USPS usually selects, the Holy Family stamp celebrates Christmas with a scene from the Nativity story. Art director William J. Gicker, designer Greg Breeding, and artist Nancy Stahl created a design that shows Joseph leading a donkey that carries Mary and Jesus, guided by a star shining in the twilight of a desert sky.

Santa and Sleigh 2012 U. S. Postage Stamps

Santa and Sleigh [Click to see 4 designs]
— October 13, 2012  |  New York, NY 10199

The Santa and Sleigh block of four was the work of California artist Paul Rogers. Following what seems to have become a long-standing custom, the stamps will be issued at the ASDA National Postage Stamp Show in New York in October. No plans were announced for new traditional (religious) Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa stamps.

Lady Bird Johnson [Click to see 5 designs, Click to see sheet]
— November 30, 2012   |  Austin, TX 78710

This souvenir sheet with five Forever stamps honors the former First Lady, wife of Lyndon B. Johnson, and her Beautification efforts. One stamp reproduces her official White House portrait and the other five are adaptations of 1960s stamps, Scott 1318 and 1365-68. U.S.P.S. to Honor Lady Bird Johnson Article,
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Waves [Click to see 4 designs]
— December 1  |  Orlando, FL 32862  |  $1, $2, $5 and $10

These $1, $2, $5 and $10 stamps are described by the USPS as “four sheets of elegant stamps…   Designed as a customer convenience and to lend a contemporary appearance to packages, large envelopes, and other mailings.…

“Each stamp shows variously colored undulating lines against a white background. A portion of one side of each stamp provides white space to display the numeral. The stamp also includes its denomination written out. In order to suggest its status as a high denomination issue, the stamps benefit from a highly detailed printing process that creates dense, abstract patterns similar to an engraved bank currency.… As the denominations increase, the stamp sizes grow larger.” (We illustrate them all at approximately the same size here.)