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1981 18-Cent Commemorative issues

Including rate change stamps and other regular issues from the same 18 period.

The 18 rate was in effect for less than a year, the shortest period for any regular postage rate. During a period of high inflation, at least by U.S. standards, the Postal Service had requested a rate hike from 15 to 20, but the Postal Rate Commission allowed the increase to only 18. The Postal Service immediately appealed the decision, and the 20 rate was approved for later in the year.

Scott 1818, (18) "B" Eagle, plate number 36471

The "B" rate change stamps were printed at a time when the 5-digit plate numbers were still standard. They were then stored in vaults (the famous Kansas City underground caves) until needed for the new rate change. By the time they were needed in 1981, the conversion to representative plate numbers was complete.

Scott 1818 var, (18¢) "B" Eagle, misperfed horizontally to bottom, plate number 36470

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1818 var, (18¢) "B" Eagle, misperfed horizontally to top, plate number 36470

Image courtesy of eBay / mike2001

Scott 1818 var, misperfed vertically and horizontally, captured plate number 36471

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1820, (18¢) "B" Eagle coil, partial plate number 36569

    

    

Rose (Scott 1876); Camellia (Scott 1877); Dahlia (Scott 1878); and Lily (Scott 1879)
from 18 Roses block of 4 (Scott 1879a), plate number 111111

Scott 1876 var, 18¢ Rose, misperfed horizontally, plate number 111111

Image couresy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1876 var, 18¢ Rose, misperfed due to paper fold, plate number 111111

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1877 var, 18¢ Camellia, misperfed vertically, plate number 111111

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1878 var, 18¢ Dahlia, misperfed due to paper fold, plate number 111111

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1879 var, 18¢ Lily, misperfed vertically, plate number 111111

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1880, 18 Bighorn Sheep from Wildlife booklet (Scott 1889), plate number 1.

The same Bighorn Sheep design was used for a 20 booklet stamp a year later.

Scott 1880 var and 1881 var, imperforate between vertically, error, photographically cropped from one of only two known imperforate between booklets (Scott 1889a var).

Scott 1880 var and 1881 var, misperfed, photographically cropped from complete booklet (Scott 1889a var).

Scott 1890, 18 Flag Over Grain, plate number 1

Scott 1890e, 18¢ Flag Over Grain, imperforate error, plate number 1

Image courtesy of eBay / mike2001

Scott 1891, 18 Flag Over Sea Shore coil, plate number 1

Scott 1891a, 18 Flag Over Sea Shore coil, imperforate error, PNS with plate number 5 photographically cropped from a larger strip

Scott 1891a var, 18 Flag Over Sea Shore coil, imperforate error, and miscut, pair with plate number 5

Scott 1893, 6 Stars, pair with Scott 1892, 18 Purple Mountain Majesties, from booklet pane, plate number 1

Scott 1893b, 6 Stars, imperforate between error, plate number 1

Scott 1893 var, 6¢ Stars, misperfed vertically, plate number 1

Scott 1909, $9.35 Express Mail, plate number 1111

Scott 1910, 18 Nursing, plate number 111111

Scott 1910 var, 18¢ Nursing, misregistered, plate number 111111

Scott 1911, 18¢ Savings and Loans, plate number 111111

Scott 1911 var, 18¢ Savings and Loans, miscut, plate number 111111

              

Scott 1912 Exploring the Moon, 1915 Understanding the Sun, 1916 Probing the Planets, and 1919 Comprehending the Universe, from 18¢ Space block 8 (Scott 1919a), plate number 222222

Scott 1912 var, 18¢ Exploring the Moon, misperfed horizontally, plate number 111111

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1915 var, 18¢ Understanding the Sun, misperfed vertically, plate number 111111

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1916 var, 18¢ Probing the Planets, misperfed horizontally and vertically, plate number 111111

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1919 var, 18¢ Comprehending, misperfed horizontally and vertically, plate number 111111

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1912 var, 18¢ Exploring the Moon, tagging omitted error (from Scott 1919d), plate number 111111

Image courtesy of The Philatelic Foundation

Scott 1920, 18 Joseph Wharton, Professional Management, plate number 11

              

Scott 1921 Wetlands, 1922 Grassland, 1923 Mountain Habitats, and 1924 Woodlands, from Wildlife Habitat issue (Scott 1924a), plate number 11111

Scott 1925, 18 Disabled, plate number 111111

Scott 1925a, 18 Disabled, imperforate error, plate number 111111

Scott 1926, 18 Edna St. Vincent Millay, plate number 111111

Scott 1926 var, all colors shifted resulting in blurred vignette, plate number 111111

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1926 var, 18 Edna St. Vincent Millay, engraved black shifted right, engraved plate number 6 falling in the margin

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1926a, black (engraved) omitted error, plate number 111111

Image courtesy of William L. Langs

Scott 1927, 18 Alcoholism, plate number 1

    

    

NYU Library (Scott 1928) with plate number 5; Biltmore (Scott 1929) with plate number 6;
Palace of Arts (Scott 1930) with plate number 1; Owatonna Bank (Scott 1931) with plate number 6;
from 18¢ Architecture block of 4 (Scott 1931a)

Scott 1929 var, 18¢ Biltmore, misperfed horizontally, plate number 4

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1930 var, 18¢ Palace of Arts, misperfed horizontally, plate number 8

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1931 var, 18¢ Owatonna Bank, misperfed horizontally, plate number 6

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1932, 18 Babe Zaharias, plate number 2

Scott 1933, 18 Bobby Jones, plate number 1

Scott 1934, 18 Frederic Remington, plate number 2

Scott 1934 var, 18¢ Remington, brown shifted down, plate number 11

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1934 var, 18¢ Remington, imperf at top, plate number 11

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1934b, 18 Remington, brown omitted error, plate number 1-2

    

Scott 1937, 18 Battle of Yorktown, and Scott 1938, 18 Battle of Virginia Capes, plate number 211111

Scott 1937 var, 18¢ Yorktown, black (engraved) shifted up, plate number 212112

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1938 var, 18 Virginia Capes, engraved black shifted up, nearly omitted, plate number 3

Scott 1938 var, 18¢ Virginia Capes, misperfed horizontally, plate number 111111

Scott 1938 var, 18¢ Virginia Capes, misperfed vertically, plate number 211111

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1938 var, 18 Virginia Capes, black (text and denomination) omitted (from Scott 1938b), plate number 211111

    

Scott 1935, 18 James Hoban, plate number 111111

Scott 1936, 20 James Hoban, plate number 111112

The 18 value, Scott 1935, was valid for such a short time at the end of the 18 rate period that the Postal Service immediately reissued the same stamp with a 20 denomination so that a stamp honoring the Irish architect of the White House could continue to be used under the new postal rates. This was unusual; the fact that the James Hoban stamp was a joint issue with Ireland may have had something to do with it.

Since the final digit of the plate number (engraved black #1) printed the original "USA 18" denomination, the plates for the original portrait and design were re-used, and a new plate #2 was created to print the new "USA 20" denomination.

Scott 1935 var, 18¢ James Hoban, misperfed horizontally, plate number 111111

Image courtesy of Stuart Katz

Scott 1936 var, 20¢ James Hoban, tan shifted up, plate number (1)11112
The very light tan (1) can be seen in the selvage.

Related links:

15 Cent Commemoratives

The Great Americans series

The Transportation Coils series

20 Cent Commemoratives

 

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This page last updated September 11, 2019.