If you’ve ever mailed an envelope, then you probably have come across a Forever stamp. Today’s piece discusses all you need to know about forever stamps. But before then, let’s have an overview of the history of USPS stamps.
We’ll answer all your questions here and even more! So dive in, let’s start!
Table of Contents
History of Stamps
Before the arrival of stamps, letters were taken to the post office, and the postmaster noted the postage in the upper right corner. At that time, the postage rate was charged based on the number of sheets in the letter and the distance it would go. Postage can be paid by the writer or the receiver upon delivery or partially paid in advance and completed on delivery.
The history of United States stamps dates back to 1st February 1842, when Alexander M. Greig’s City Dispatch Post issued the first adhesive stamps, a Private Mail Carrier in New York City. The post office department bought the idea and started using adhesive stamps to prepay postage.
After the US postage rates were simplified in 1845, Robert Morris, a New York Postmaster, and others provided special stamps to indicate prepayment of postage. These are now referred to as Postmasters Provisionals.
In 1847, the United States postage stamps were authorized by Congress. The first stamps were sold on 1st July 1847 in New York City.
Clerks used scissors to cut the first stamps made on pre-gummed perforated sheets. Initially, there were two types of stamps, one depicting Benjamin Franklin was priced at five cents, and the other depicting George Washington was sold at ten cents.
Until 1st January 1856, when the government made stamps obligatory, other payment methods were accepted. Later that year, a five-cent stamp picturing Thomas Jefferson was introduced in 1863, and the two-cent stamp featuring Andrew Jackson was made.
In 1893, the first US commemorative stamps were issued to honor the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It features the picture of Columbus’s Voyages to the New World. Unfortunately, standard-sized stamps were too small for engraved reproductions of paintings depicting events connected to Columbus’s voyages. For this, the size of the stamps was increased to 7/8 inches high by 1-11/32 inches wide, almost twice that of standard stamps.
Over the years, commemorative stamps of different sizes and shapes were made, with the first triangular stamp in 1997 and the first circular stamp issued in 2000.
On April 16, 1900, the first stamp booklets were first issued, which contained the 12, 24, or 48 two-cent stamps. Later, on 14th October 1975, the first non-denominated stamps were issued – stamps without printed values.
Self-adhesive stamps were introduced nationwide in 1992 and quickly became very popular among customers. By 2002, nearly all commemorative stamps were self-adhesive.
History of Forever Stamps
Forever Stamps were first issued on 12th April 2007, by the United States Postal Service (USPS). They’re a non-denominated and non-expiring stamp for customers mailing first class mail. It is sold at the price of a First-Class Stamp, and it’s always valid for the first ounce of First-Class Postage. At first, forever stamps were issued to ease the transition during stamp price changes.
From 2007 to 2010, the Liberty Bell Forever Stamp was the only design issued. However, as their popularity rose in 2010, two more designs were added – the Holiday Evergreens Forever stamps, issued on 21st October, and the Lady Liberty and U.S. Flag Forever stamp on 1st December.
Since 2011, all new commemorative stamps for the one-ounce rate of first-class mail have been forever stamps. By 2014, all stamps for first class mail one-ounce rates were Forever Stamps.
In 2013, USPS introduced the Global Forever Stamp, offering a single price for any First-Class Mail international one-ounce letter going to any country worldwide. By 2015, these types of stamps were issued for postcards and letters needing additional postage.
Read More about Why Is My Package Still in Transit at USPS?
What are Forever Stamps?
Forever Stamps, as explained above, are special non-denominated stamps that were created to save customers time and money, especially as the price of First-Class Mail isn’t constant. When you buy a Forever Stamp, it represents the price of one ounce of First-Class Mail postage.
Today, USPS issues commemorative stamps featuring athletes, artists, natural wonders, and historical milestones, such as Forever Stamps.
If you purchase one Forever Stamp today, it will cost you the same price as that of a First-Class mail stamp; however, if the price of the latter increases, you’ve saved some pennies.
Here’s what we are saying – if you buy a Forever Stamp at $0.60 per stamp and the first-class postage rate rises to $0.65 per stamp, you save $0.05 over the price of buying a first-class stamp for each letter you want to mail. In addition, the change from first-class stamps with a specific denomination to Forever Stamps is advantageous for people who enter mail-in sweepstakes and send many entry forms over time.
How Much are Forever Stamps Worth In 2022?
Forever Stamps are a form of ‘non-denominated’ postage. This means it doesn’t hold a monetary value or denomination printed on the stamp to tell you its worth. Let’s break this down; If you look at any issued First-Class Stamp, you’ll see the words ‘Forever’ written on it, but there’s no dollar value.
This is because a Forever Stamp isn’t fixed; it changes as the cost of First-Class postage changes. So, let’s put it this way – your forever stamp will be worth the current value of first-class postage.
As of September 2022, the rate of First-Class Mail Forever Stamps is $0.60 for 1 ounce. For packages up to 13 ounces, the price starts at $4.50. To find the latest rate, check the USPS official website for the current first-class postage rate.
The previous price of Forever Stamps in 2021 was 58 cents. Thus, there has been an increase of about 3.4%. One Stamp covers the costs of mailing a 1-ounce letter. Therefore, an additional ounce is now priced at 24 cents, not 20 cents as before.
Apart from increasing the Price of Forever Stamps, the United States Postal Service has also made other postage increases which became effective on 10th July 2022:
- Metered Letters Postage rose from 53 to 57 cents.
- Domestic Postcards increased from 40 to 44 cents.
- Outbound International letters rose from $1.30 to $1.40.
If you buy a Forever Stamp today at $0.60, you can send a letter or a sweepstakes entry with the stamp today, tomorrow, next month, next year, or even three years from now, no matter the price of First-Class Postage at that time.
Where to Buy Forever Stamps 2022?
The U.S Forever Stamps can be purchased from any United States Postal Service Local Post office in your area. You can also contact USPS via telephone or online to purchase the stamps.
Other grocery stores, convenience stores, and gift shops also sell Forever Stamps. You can also get it from some retail e-commerce like Amazon and eBay.
For people that live in other European nations, most postal services offer similar products; for example, the Canadian Post offers a Permanent Stamp. You can contact your local post office for details on the types of stamps offered in your location.
How do U.S. Postal Service Stamp Rates work?
The United States Postal Service doesn’t set the price of stamps anyhow. They lost a lawsuit in 2019 over a rate hike.
Roughly, the stamp rates are tied to inflation. When there’s a rise in inflation, the USPS can request an increase in the stamp rates from the postal regulatory commission, which will forward it to Congress.
This is why the price of stamps increases by a few cents every couple of years. As long as there’s a rise in inflation, postage stamps will get pricier.
Does that mean you should buy hundreds of stamps and stock them in case there’s a price hike? Well, that isn’t necessary. The United States Postal Service usually announces hikes rates before they go into effect.
What Are Forever Stamps Worth?
Forever Stamps don’t have a fixed dollar rate printed on them. Instead, they’re worth whatever first-class postage rate for a one-ounce letter is on that day. So, for example, if you bought a Forever Stamp at a rate of $0.55 and want to use it to mail an envelope today, and the cost of first class is now $0.60, that means the worth of your Forever Stamp has also increased to $0.60.
How to Save Money on Forever Stamps?
If you’re good enough with bargains, you can easily save some cents when buying forever stamps. You can start by searching for stamp sales on e-commerce like eBay. Just be wary of the sites you search for to avoid buying counterfeit.
You can also save more by using cashback deals from your credit card – these deals can be found on online stores like eBay Bucks and Bates. In some cases, club stores like Costo also offer flash sales of Forever stamps.
Another way to enjoy discounts is by winning a gift card to stores that sell Forever stamps.
This way, you can save some pennies if you want to enter mail-in sweepstakes or if you mail envelopes frequently.
Why is Forever Crossed Out on Forever Stamps?
If you’ve visited the official USPS website or any e-commerce site to buy a forever stamp, you must have noticed that the word ‘Forever’ is crossed out.
Many people rumored that the cross-out indicates Forever stamps aren’t ‘forever.’ Well, that’s simply a myth.
The USPS said the word ‘Forever’ is crossed out on the online image to prevent counterfeiting.
Also, when you buy the physical card, you’ll notice that the word forever isn’t crossed out. The postal service crossed out the word only in preview images to prevent rotten eggs from stealing a copy of the card, printing fake stamps, and possibly selling it to customers.
So, don’t fret; your Forever stamps will be valid forever.
How do you check if a stamp is real?
A good way to know whether a stamp is real or fake is to check it under UV – Real Stamps use ink that glows under UV, while fake ones don’t.
Also, fake stamps are mostly sold in bulk with a 20% to 50% discount. One of the most counterfeited stamps is the First-Class Forever Flag Stamp, that’s used for a 1-ounce envelope and costs $0.60.
Well, the best way to avoid fake stamps is by purchasing directly from USPS or an approved retailer rather than buying it from an anonymous online seller offering a 20% discount.
While you can get real stamps on Amazon, you must be cautious of who you buy from. So, isn’t it surprising that an international seller is selling Forever stamps to U.S citizens at a very lower price than they could have bought them?
What are the Benefits of Forever Stamps?
The most significant benefit of Forever Stamps is they save customers money. You might think it’s just a few cents, but if you send many letters to Sorrento mail sweepstakes, those amounts can add up over time.
When they were first launched in April 2007, each stamp cost 41 cents. By January 2019, the cost of a single stamp had risen to 55 cents. As of 2022, the cost to send a one-ounce first class mail is 60 cents.
That means if you’ve bought a Forever Stamp in 2019 and want to use it now, you will save 5 cents – now, how much will that be if you’ve bought hundreds of the stamps? Postage prices are continually increasing with rising inflation, so your levels of savings will be higher with time.
Another benefit of using forever stamps is convenience if you’re not after saving. The coming of these non-denominated stamps has saved us the hassle of going to the post office for a two-cent stamp or trying to know the current rates and whether there’s the same amount in standard stamps.
Manage Your Mail Digitally
The world has gone digital, and your mail shouldn’t be left behind. A Virtual Mailbox is a modern way of handling Mail that allows you to receive and manage your postal mail online.
It’s very easy to get started! First, choose a Physical address at your preferred location, and your mail will arrive at our secured mailing facility; the envelope will be scanned and uploaded to the virtual mailbox from where you can view it using any internet-enabled device.
Virtual Mailbox makes mailing more convenient and easier for individuals, businesses, ex-pats, Rvers, travelers, and home business owners. What more? PostScan Mail offers this service at a very budget-friendly price, starting from $10 per month.
Still not convinced whether it’s worth it? Here are the features you’ll enjoy when you sign up with Post scan mail
- There are over 400+ locations in the United States to choose a physical street address and some international locations. This address can be used for driving licenses and creating bank accounts.
- Mail scanning on demand.
- 24/7 management of mail and packages anywhere with the internet.
- Domestic and international mail forwarding at a low price.
- Mail and package consolidation to lower shipping fees and save time.
- Physical mail and package storage for a stipulated time.
- Top customer service – feel free to contact us anytime!
- All mail carriers are accepted (USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.).
How does a virtual mailbox work? It’s very easy – down below is a breakdown!
- Choose a plan: We offer starter, business, and premium plans. Choose the one that best suits your needs and budget. You’ll also pick a mailing address in your preferred location. Move on to fill out the USPS Form 1583 and get it notarized, then send it to us with two forms of ID, and all your mail will be redirected to our secured facility.
- Log into your mailbox: Your mail and packages are scanned, and the exterior part is uploaded to your mailbox. Mail notification is sent to you, and once you log in to your mailbox using your phone, computer, or tablet, you can decide how you want your mail to be handled.
- Handle your mail: Choose what you want with your mail with a single click – you can request to open and scan, forward, shred and recycle, delete, or archive. Once you’ve sent a request, it will be taken care of immediately.
Please contact us for all the information about our company and how we can help your needs.