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

Scott 1876, 1877, 1878, 1879, from 18 Roses block of 4 (Scott 1879a), plate number 111111

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

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 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 error, pair from booklet pane imperforate vertically, plate number 1 over right stamp

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 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 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, 18 Edna St. Vincent Millay, plate number pair showing severe shift of engraved black to right, with engraved plate number 4 falling in the margin

Scott 1926a, 18¢ Edna St. Vincent Millay error, black (engraved) omitted, pair with plate number 111111-(0)

Scott 1927, 18 Alcoholism, plate number 1

Scott 1928, 18¢ NYU Library from Architecture block of 4 (Scott 1931a), plate number 5

Scott 1929, 18¢ Biltmore, plate number 6

Scott 1930, 18¢ Palace of Arts, plate number 1

Scott 1931, 18 Owatonna Bank, plate number 6

Scott 1929 var, 18¢ Biltmore, black shift, plate number 4

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 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 1937a var, 18 Battle of Yorktown and Virginia Capes, engraved black shifted up, nearly omitted on LR stamp, plate number 212122-3

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

Scott 1938b, 18 Chesapeake Capes, black (text and denomination) omitted, 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 period 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 1936 var, 20¢ James Hoban, tan shift, plate number (1)11112



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This page last updated March 29, 2018.