I often print postage labels for small packages from the US Postal Service website and as I was perusing the area where you can purchase stamps, I came upon this very nice-looking souvenir sheet called "Classics Forever". It's a sheet of six stamps commemorating US postage and "in appreciation of stamp collectors and philatelists everywhere". They feature Washington, Franklin and Lincoln in various styles as based on postage from the mid-19th century.
They are very handsome stamps. The mediocre cellphone pics just don't do them justice.
What really strikes me is that they are printed with the intaglio method as with the originals (and as with paper currency). It's a method not often used with your regular run-of-the-press stamps: a metal plate is engraved with an image. It is inked up and then wiped clean. This leaves ink only inside the grooves of the line. Paper is then pressed hard against the plate and the ink from the grooves is transferred to it.
The method produces a fine line and a slightly textured surface as with freshly printed money. The overall effect is elegant. Artistic. They make your letters look particularly classy and old-timey. (Especially when used on C6 envelopes like those made by Clairefontaine.)
You can just about see the raised surfaces on the stamps as the light reflects off of it in the following detail. Interestingly, in the last picture, you can see further evidence of the intaglio method as one peels off the stamps to see the underlying backing. It seems that the whole sheet - stamps, backing and all - were printed in this manner as reflected light reveals the embossed effect.
Despite their premium look and feel, and worthiness of discerning collectors (IMHO), these six stamps are priced at the going rate (US$ 0.49 each as I write this). They are "forever" stamps and can be used as 1st-class postage despite any future fluctuations in rates. One does have to order it from the website and pay for delivery, however. It doesn't seem to be available at Post Offices, very unfortunately.
Was this topic the first ever stamp review on the FPN?
I have no affiliation with the USPS. I have purchased these stamps as would have anyone else. (In fact, I bought two sheets: one to use and one to just keep wrapped up and perhaps frame one day!) Neither was I compensated in any way.
Edited by richofthetower, 15 February 2017 - 15:34.