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Rate hike with a twist.

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

There are new U-S postal rates, but the price for mailing a letter remains the same. In return for immediate help and a 3-cent hike last year, the Postal Service promised not to raise the letter rate for three years.

And it’s holding to it. But it IS raising other rates, most of the more common ones by a penny.

To meet these new rates, the agency is issuing new stamps, as it often does. But this time there’s a twist: The new stamps don’t have denominations on them, they have the names of the rates they cover.

So the new Coastal Birds postcard-rate stamps don’t say “35 cents,” they say “Postcard.” The Penguins stamp for additional ounces says “additional ounce” and the three different stamps intended for wedding invitation packages say “two ounce.”

The butterfly stamp intended for greeting cards says “non-machineable surcharge — that’s a mouthful!

There’s also a three-ounce stamp, featuring writer Flannery O’Connor. As has become the custom with the three-ounce stamps, it’s part of the Literary Arts series.

All ten of these are actually Forever stamps — they’ll be good even after the next rate hike — but they don’t say “Forever,” to avoid confusion.

I'm Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting,
visit virtual-stamp-club-dot-com.

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