Stamp Of The Week

This week we feature the Traditional Christmas: Peace on Earth Christmas issue from 1974. It was designed by Don Hedin and Robert Geissman and printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The die cut printing method was used.

This was the first stamp the U.S. Postal service issued that had a self adhesive backing. Self adhesive stamps would not supplant gummed stamps until the mid 1990’s.

Since it is the first of it’s kind, a break with one hundred and ninety seven years of U. S. Postal tradition, directions on how to use the stamps were printed on the right margin of the pane above the plate block numbers.

The plate block numbers and the ‘reminders’ on how to be a good postal office user, are little through threads that keep this new design with in postal tradition.

This holiday stamp brings up an interesting situation.

Over time , the adhesive in this issue has caused the background color to fade away. As of 2020, not all the stamps have been effected. It is odd that the 2017 Scott’s catalog does not refer to the effected stamps as an error. No separate price is given. As far as I can tell, sellers are following the lead of the Scott’s catalog.

(I would consult the 2019 catalog but the library on the archipelago is still closed. If one could participate in social distancing it would be at our libraries.)

Since the choice of the problematic adhesive, or ink, was that of the designer, would it not be an error for the effected stamps?

Any comments on this are welcome.

Happy collecting !

2 thoughts on “Stamp Of The Week

  1. I am not a fan of self adhesive stamps. I think most collectors prefer “traditional” format on sheets. I suppose the current epidemic will mean that understandably more self adhesive stamps will be issued.


    1. I agree with your comments.
      Great point about postal issues changing in the post pandemic world.
      Self adhesives have also cut down on a number of collecting points, such as type of gum, variations in perforation and most forms of reverse side printing errors.
      One positive, there are plenty of traditional stamps still to collect !
      Thanks John.


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