LAS VEGAS — The U.S. Postal Service celebrated Nevada statehood today by dedicating a Forever Stamp to commemorate its 150th anniversary. Known by several nicknames — the Silver State, the Battle Born State, the Sagebrush State — Nevada became the 36th state Oct. 31, 1864.
“Nevada is truly one of our nation’s most beautiful treasures,” said former Nevada Congressman and current U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Vice Chairman James Bilbray. “With so much to choose from, it was difficult to decide on an image the size of a postage stamp to adequately depict Nevada’s revered beauty and history. We chose to feature the Fire Canyon in Nevada’s first state park, the Valley of Fire. The canyon’s natural sandstone formations are just one of the state’s breathtaking landscapes.”
The First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony took place at the Smith Center for Performing Arts in Las Vegas where Bilbray was joined by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval; Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV); Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV); Nevada Sesquicentennial Honorary Poet Waddie Mitchell; Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe; College of Southern Nevada Professor of Social Sciences Dr. Michael Green and Nevada Statehood stamp artist Ron Spears in dedicating the stamp. Also participating was The Smith Center President and CEO Myron Martin.
The Nevada Statehood Forever Stamp is available at Post Offices, online at usps.com/stamps, at the Postal Store on eBay at ebay.com/stamps, and by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724).
The Story Behind the Stamp
Bilbray said artist Ron Spears, of Reno, NV, created his first sketches for the stamp on-site in Fire Canyon.
“Spears has a deep appreciation for the area, which he visits often, and he was especially keen to paint the scene in the morning light,” explained Bilbray. “He created his painting in the fall when the light was low and strong. Facing south, Spears captured the scene at dawn when the sandstone glows in shades of brilliant reds and yellows — a result of various quantities of iron in the rock — highlighted by deep purple and blue shadows. The colors contrast dramatically with the whiteness of the silica formation in the foreground.”
“I wanted to be at Fire Canyon when the sun broke over the horizon,” said Spears. “It only lasts for a few moments, but seeing the rocks come to life as the morning sun hits them is definitely worth getting up early for.”
Spears’ original sketches were oils on canvas. The final painting, in oil, measures approximately 15 x 12 inches.
Customers may view many of this year’s other stamps on Facebook facebook.com/USPSStamps, Twitter@USPSstamps, Pinterest pinterest.com/uspsstamps, Instagraminstagram.com/uspostalservice or on uspsstamps.com, the Postal Service’s online site for information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.
Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at local Post Offices, at usps.com/stampsor by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:
USPS Customer Relations Coordinator
1001 East Sunset Road, Rm. 1030
Las Vegas, NV 89199-9998
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, there is a 5-cent charge per postmark. All orders must be postmarked by July 28, 2014.
Ordering First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724). Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
There are nine philatelic products for this stamp issue.
472224, Framed Art, $39.95.
472206, Press Sheet w/Die cut, $117.60 (print quantity 2,500).
472208, Press Sheet w/o Die cut, $117.60 (print quantity 2,500).
472210, Keepsake w/Digital Color Postmark, $11.95.
472216, First-Day Cover, $0.93.
472221, Digital Color Postmark, $1.64.
472230, Ceremony Program, $6.95.
472231, Stamp Deck Card, $0.95.
472232, Stamp Deck Card w/Digital Color Postmark, $1.99.