Stamp Knowledge

Interesting facts about U.S Post Forever Stamps

The first USPS forever stamp

Interesting facts about U.S Post Forever Stamps

One day, as I was observing my USPS Forever Stamps booklet 20 Count (Liberty Bell), I started thinking about a few questions. 

What’s the meaning of the Liberty Bell in the first USPS forever stamps? Why are there many patterns like the US flag, and famous people to choose from, but USPS chose the Liberty bell in preference? Why there are 20 postage stamps per booklet? Is it possible to buy less than 20? 


Honestly, I never thought about buying 18 or 16 postage stamps before. Because generally, either USPS forever stamps booklet of 20 counts or the USPS forever stamps coil of 100 postage stamps (those with the US flag pattern) are sold at the post office or online store.


If you’re as interested in these questions as I am, let’s explore together!

forever stamps usps

Is it possible to buy less than 20 stamps? 

Generally, in the post office or store online we can only select either USPS forever stamps booklet 20 count (you can buy many booklets) or USPS forever stamps coil of 100 postage stamps (100 stamps/roll).

usps stamps forever

If I want to buy 15 or just 5 postage stamps, it is possible?

The answer is yes. First, when you are going to buy stamps at the post office, you can ask if you can buy a certain number of stamps. In most cases, it’s available. If you buy stamps from sellers, just ask them to sell the stamps you want to buy.


Also, there are some stamps sold in less than 20 counts. Take Liberty Bell USPS forever stamps as an example, item number 569900 printed on April 12, 2007, is made up of 18 USPS forever stamps per booklet. Next time when you want to buy postage stamps, you can buy as many stamps as you want, just remember to check with the sellers or post office.

forever stamp usps

Let’s move on to the next interesting question.

The First USPS Forever Stamp – Liberty Bell (April 12th, 2007)

Before we look into why the Liberty Bell became the image for the United States Postal Service’s first permanent stamp, let’s get to know some basic information about this stamp though.


 A nondominated First-Class Mail definitive Liberty Bell USPS forever stamp was issued on April 12th, 2007 by the Postal Service. The designer of this stamp is Carl T. Herrman of Carlsbad, California. The stamps have gone on sale nationwide ever since they were issued.


The value of the Liberty Bell USPS forever stamp can be used on the sent letter within 1 ounce and will always keep its value, without affecting any future rate changes. So why was Liberty Bell chosen among so many important symbols?


The Liberty Bell, also known as the State House Bell or the Old State House Bell, is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The bell was built in 1751 by the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly by a London firm. On the Bell, it writes – “Proclaim LIBERTY Throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants Thereof”.  This refers to the “Jubilee”, or the instruction to Israelites to free the enslaved people and return property every 50 years. The verse is from Bible.


It is said that the speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly Isaac Norris chose this inscription to commemorate the 50th anniversary of William Penn’s 1701 Charter of Privileges which granted the people of Pennsylvania religious liberties and political self-government.

Even though it is the so-called “Liberty Bell” now, it was not until the 1830s, after the Revolutionary War, that the State House Bell begin to become a symbol of liberty. Before that, the bell was used to call lawmakers to their meetings and assemble. The townspeople hear the reading of the news. Just like Benjamin Franklin wrote to Catherine Ray in 1755“ Adieu, the Bell rings, and I must go to the Grave ones and talk Politics.”  


Now we still can’t get the significance of the Liberty Bell and don’t know why it was chosen to be the design for the first USPS forever stamp. It seems it was just an ordinary bell or an engraved antique at most.


The State House Bell became a symbol of liberty in the 19th century. The Bell was first referred to as the liberty bell by an abolitionist publication in 1835. Through George Lippard’s 1847 fictional story “Ring, Grandfather, Ring” people became familiar with the Liberty Bell and the bell began to symbolize pride in the US.


After Civil War when the nation was still recovering from wounds, the Bell reminded people of the time when they fought together for independence, for liberty. The Liberty Bell also contributed its value to the movements from women’s Suffrage to Civil Rights. Suffragists even commissioned a replica of the Liberty Bell and let it travel across Pennsylvania in 1915 to raise support for women’s voting rights legislation. Now it has become a worldwide symbol – Liberty.


Why the Liberty Bell is chosen as the image shown in the first USPS forever stamps? Because of liberty. For the US, liberty, and independence is always the first priority.


USPS Forever stamps maintain their value forever, just like liberty always keeps its value in the heart of every American. Liberty is much more important than a famous person or a beautiful place.


Like the orator, Patrick Henry said – “Give me liberty, or give me death!”.


After all, stamps are never just a simple tool for the prepayment of the postal service. They are also very important tools for public use. People see the stamps and read the content on a stamp over and over again. The stamps, carrying the letters travelling around the world, is delivering the importance of liberty. I think that is why the Liberty bell was chosen for the first USPS forever stamp.

stamps usps forever

What can we learn from these?

Next time when you try to convey your love, maybe try to use a lovely stamp.


[1] Philately

[2] The Liberty Bell

[3] How Many Stamps in a Book?

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