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Breast Cancer Awareness--Us Scott B1

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Pillar Of The Community

United States
1364 Posts
Posted 11/21/2011   12:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Trainwreck to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I received this cover the other day franked with a Breast Cancer Awareness stamp (US Scott B1).

It's an unremarkable cover other than the "Return to Sender" sticker plastered across the front (the addresses on the cover have been digitally obscured). But it brought a question to my mind. Scott B1 must have been printed quite a number of times since it was first issued in 1998, so I figure it must have a slew of plate number combinations. However, my 2008 Durland (and 2010 supplement) only list two plate number combinations. How can that be? The stamp has been in production for 13 years now. The Heroes of 2001 stamp (Scott B2) had a more limited production run and it has three plate number combinations. I'd like to hear any explanations SCF members may have.

Cheers, Robert

Edit: Replaced image.
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Edited by Trainwreck - 06/25/2020 8:19 pm

Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 11/21/2011   12:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I can't help with plate numbers but this is quoted from the Scott Specialized Catalog of US Stamps as it relates to the sale dates and suspension of sales and re-sales:


Quote:
Issued July 29, 1998 (32c + 8c surtax). The 8c surtax was for cancer research. After the January 10, 1999, first class postage rate changes, No. B1 became a 33c stamp with a 7c surtax; after January 7, 2001, it became a 34c stamp with a 6c surtax. Effective March 23, 2002, the stamp was sold for 45c, but the face value remained at 34c, until June 30, 2002, at which time the face value rose to 37c. On January 8, 2006, the face value rose to 39c, and on May 14, 2007, the face value rose to 41c and the stamp sold for 55c.

Sales of No. B1 were suspended January 1, 2004, but resumed, February 2, 2004, after Congress extended the sales period through December 31, 2005. Subsequently, the sales period was again extended, with the postage value matching changes in the first class postage rates."


Although this is a bit old now, this 2007 GAO Report on the Breast Cancer Research Stamp (and other US Semipostals), does provide an analysis of costs and funds raised for the causes depicted on the stamps):

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d0845.pdf
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Edited by wt1 - 11/21/2011 12:48 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1364 Posts
Posted 11/21/2011   1:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Trainwreck to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Nov. 28 Linn's Stamp News (on-line now) has a snippet about Congress extending the sales date to Dec. 31, 2015. Current cost is 55 cents, but will go up next year to (I'm guessing) 56 cents. The current cost of 55 cents should not change when the first class rate goes up next year, if my understanding of the law (United States Code, title 39, section 416) is correct.

Regards, Robert
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Edited by Trainwreck - 12/08/2011 3:32 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
6745 Posts
Posted 12/08/2011   3:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The stamp being available from USPS for the past 13 years is not the same as the stamp being in production for the past 13 years. Print runs are typically 100,000s to 10,000,000s printed at one time, because there are a limited number of printing presses available to cover all the different active stamp issues. The print runs for commemorative stamps in the past 2 decades are now often much smaller because of lower demand.

I don't have the exact print run numbers for that stamp and I haven't read the report shown in the link, but I would venture to guess the stamp hasn't been printed in the past 10 years and USPS is simply selling old stock.
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United States
5880 Posts
Posted 12/08/2011   3:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add smauggie to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply


They probably printed a whole bunch and are now just keeping them on sale until they are all sold.
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APS Member #: 222539 AAPE, Maplewood Stamp Club (MN), Northern Philatelic Society, US Philatelic Classics Society, Auxiliary Markings Club, Canal Zone Study Group, Minnesota Postal History Society
Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 12/08/2011   4:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
According to my Postal Service Guide to US Stamps (37th edition), the quantity of B1 stamps printed was 618,000,000 ... that's 618 MILLION STAMPS! Considering the 2011 US Population was 311 million people, that's almost 2 stamps for every man, woman and child living in the US. Seems as though there is much more quantity than demand, even with the noble cause of the cancer support donation made with each stamp purchase.

I have not been keeping up with this stamp issue, but I do note that USA Philatelic refers to the stamp having been "REPRINTED" 08/2000. Does that mean there is a variety there (i.e. a 2000 date instead of a 1998 date in the lower left hand corner?)
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Edited by wt1 - 12/08/2011 4:25 pm
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Posted 12/08/2011   4:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Trainwreck to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I keep looking for a new date, but no luck. BTW, Wikipedia reports that the USPS has sold 903 million Breast Cancer Awareness stamps through November 2010 (source of data not noted).

Robert
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Edited by Trainwreck - 12/08/2011 4:32 pm
Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 12/08/2011   4:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'd have to do more research to check, but if the 903 million number is accurate, I suspect it relates to the 08/2000 reprint. I'm placing an order for some items from the cave soon, maybe I'll order some of their Breast Cancer Research stamps, too, to see if the new date is present.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
6745 Posts
Posted 12/08/2011   7:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Actually, many hundreds of millions are pretty typical. Just take a look at the Quantities Issued section in the Scott US Specialized catalog. Even this past decade, there are usually still several commemoratives (especially Christmas) which are printed in the billions.

USPS has an enormous overstock of postage, much of which gets destroyed when taken off sale, instead of being sold until stocks are depleted. They've tried to reduce print quantities, and in fact have reduced them significantly. The problem is that demand has fallen off even faster, and every special interest has "their" input/demand regarding how many of "their" pet stamp should be produced.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
6745 Posts
Posted 12/08/2011   7:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I suspect it relates to the 08/2000 reprint. I'm placing an order for some items from the cave soon, maybe I'll order some of their Breast Cancer Research stamps, too, to see if the new date is present.

USPS tends to use the term "reprint" very very loosely. In this case, there is absolutely no change in the stamp between the print runs. There is no date change nor design change. I do not know about the paper, as I no longer maintain a comprehensive collection of US new issues.

Print runs sometimes could be differentiated because of changes in paper or tagging level.
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Learn More...
Australia
33053 Posts
Posted 12/09/2011   01:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

The huge Arena of the Melbourne Cricket Ground
filled with people in pink raincoats.
In aid of breast cancer research.




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Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 12/28/2011   2:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As I indicated in an earlier post, I ordered a block of 4 of these "Reprint" stamps (came as plate block of 4) from SFS. I left the product in its cellophane wrapper which is appropriately marked as the "(REV)" variety as shown:



Sure enough, the "reprint" cannot be told from the original issue. Still uses the 1998 date, too. Although I do not have an earlier issued pane of these stamps, an eBay listing shows an illustration of an earlier pane like this (note it doesn't contain a bar code on the front selvage):



Would this be the only way to distinguish an original printing from the "reprint"?
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Edited by wt1 - 12/28/2011 2:39 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1364 Posts
Posted 01/02/2012   10:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Trainwreck to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
So, it seems the only way to distinguish between original printing and reprint is the presence/absence of the bar code. I noticed both versions use the same plate number (V111111). Durland lists a second plate number, V121111. I wonder how that fits into the scheme. Another reprint? Two presses using two different "plates"? I just don't know what modern U.S. stamp plate numbers signify.

Regards, Robert
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Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 01/02/2012   11:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That may not be entirely accurate. I just don't know when the presence of the bar code began. That in itself could make a variety.

Also, the US Stamp Society web site has a Q&A page that briefly referenced a reader comment about the V121111 plate number. Here's the excerpt ... I have no documentation to prove or deny what was commented here, but it just seems it is yet another variety out there, even though Scott doesn't list it:



By the way, Mr. Blanks is apparently the author of an article that appeared in the USSS publication about varieties of die cuts in this stamp issue also, however, the article does not appear to be on line. I actually posted a couple of examples of die cut varieties in a separate thread, but have no information of what to really look out for. If anyone has a copy of that article or at least a summary of what the different varieties look like, it would be most helpful.

Thanks.

[edit] By the way, here's the link to the other thread asking about the die cut varieties for this issue:

http://goscf.com/t/21221
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Edited by wt1 - 01/02/2012 11:29 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
788 Posts
Posted 02/09/2014   4:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add acanalizo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
New 2014 rates for Breast Cancer stamp old 55 cent new 60 cent
for single stamp; for pane of 20 old $11, new $12.
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719 Posts
Posted 06/24/2020   06:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Glenn Estus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
off topic, but not really off topic:

The design of the stamp has been used by a number of other countries:

Austria 2011, Kosovo 2008: Kenya 2007, Hungary 2005, Slovakia 2013 Macedonia 2009, Belize. Grenada, Gambia, Micronesia. Jordan





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