From its unusual name, you may be wondering what forever postal stamps are and how they came to be.
A forever stamp is a postage stamp that pays the current first class postal rate regardless of when it was purchased and when will it be used. As postage rates rise, the postage stamp prices also increase.
When did forever stamps start?
The forever postage stamp was a proposal submitted by the United States Postal Service in May 2006. A US forever stamp should be based on the current first class postage stamp rate at the time they are purchased. Forever postal stamps are sound investments during stamp price changes.
How much was the first forever stamp?
The first US forever stamp was sold in April 2007 for $ 0.41. Philatelists nicknamed it the Liberty Bell stamp.
The art on the first forever stamp featured a computer-generated image of the Liberty Bell, the most recognizable symbol of American Independence. The stamp design was made by nationally-acclaimed artist Tom Engeman from Maryland.
The Liberty Bell forever stamps were labeled “US FIRST-CLASS FOREVER”. They do not have a denomination since they are USPS no-value indicator stamps or non-denominated postage stamps.
Can you buy forever stamps in advance?
Yes. In fact, to some Americans, forever postage stamps are a form of investment. A forever stamp is valid as domestic first class postage stamp on standard envelopes weighing one ounce or less. This is going to be valid regardless of future postage price adjustments.
Can you use a forever stamp on large envelopes that require extra postage?
Yes, you can use a US forever postal stamp to pay for the first ounce but you have to supplement the remaining ounces with regular definitive stamps.
Likewise, international postage rates are always higher than the comparable domestic rates. Thus, additional postage would have to be affixed on international mail.
What are the benefits of forever stamps?
The greatest advantage of a forever stamp to a consumer is convenience. Once forever postal stamps are purchased, they never expire or decline in stamp value. For example, when the postal rates go up, you no longer have to line up to purchase the new denomination stamps.
Consumers usually stock up on forever postage stamps which they buy at the current rate and use them until supplies last. The USPS saw this as a winning strategy – they receive income for stamps that are yet to be used in the near future.
Another advantage for the postal service is that they do not need to deploy employees to handle consumers scurrying to buy new postage stamps during postal rate increase.
What is the bad side of US forever stamps?
Even if some might think US forever postage stamps are investments, they are not intended for philately. Though hoarding forever stamps is not really a bad thing, however these stamps do not have market value. Forever postal stamps are mainly for consumer use.
Where can I find forever postal stamps?
There are plenty of venues where to buy stamps and most of them sell semi-postals, too. You can find forever stamps in USPS branches, automated postage centers, convenience stores, and sometimes, in stamp-dispensing ATMs. Forever stamp booklets and forever postage stamp sheets are also available.