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2021 USPS Stamp Issues

All are First Class Forever Rate stamps unless indicated.

TBD = To Be Determined;  PSA = Pressure-sensitive Adhesive;  A Forever stamp is always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate when used on a one-ounce envelope. 

Stamp Issues: 2024 Stamps 2023 Stamps 2022 Stamps 2021 Stamps 2020 Stamps 2019 Stamps 2018 Stamps 2017 Stamps 2016 Stamps 2015 Stamps 2014 Stamps 2013 Stamps 2012 Stamps 2011 Stamps 2010 Stamps

Stamp Issues 2021



USPS - Otter in Snow Stamp 2021

Otters in Snow
October 12 | Otter, MT | Double-sided booklet pane of 20
Click to see 4 designs.

The Otters in Snow stamps picture four different scenes of the playful North American river otter reveling in winter‘s white landscape. The original illustrations for the stamps were rendered in pen and ink with watercolor. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamps with artwork from illustrator John Burgoyne.

River otters and sea otters are found throughout the United States. Otter Montana is a small community named for Otter Creek. Although it is unincorporated, it does have a post office, and now, a First Day of Issue ceremony.


USPS - A Visit from St. Nick Stamp, 2021

A Visit From St. Nick
October 7 | Santa Claus, IN | PSA double-sided booklet of 20
Click to see 4 designs.

These four new designs add to the hundreds of Santa stamps that have been issued by postal administrations around the world, including the United States. The stamps tell the story of Santa’s visit on Christmas Eve:

• Santa stands on a snowy rooftop, sack slung across his back, with one leg inside the red-brick chimney;
• Santa descends through the chimney, his legs dangling over the hearth;
• Close-up view of a winking Santa; and
• Santa in his sleigh, with four reindeer visible as they fly across the face of the full moon and into a starlit sky.

Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps with original art by Brad Woodard.


Day of the Dead Forever Stamps
September 30 | El Paso, TX | PSA pane of 20
Click to see 4 designs.

In recent decades, Day of the Dead has caught on in the United States as a festive and increasingly popular celebration for all ages. These new stamps will be the first issued by the U.S. Postal Service to mark this holiday. Luis Fitch designed and illustrated the stamps. Antonio Alcalá was the art director.


Message Monsters Forever Stamps
September 24 | Topeka, KS | PSA pane of 20
Click to see 4 designs.

The four fun designs on this new pane of 20 stamps are supplemented by dozens of self-adhesive accessories in the margin around the stamps. With them, you can surprise recipients with personalized cards, letters and envelopes. Decorations include hearts, hats, voice balloons, flowers and thought bubbles. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the pane with new illustrations by Elise Gravel.


Happy Birthday Forever Stamp
September 9 | Toast, NC | PSA pane of 20
Click to see larger image.

This Happy Birthday stamp conveys exuberant greetings by calling to mind the childhood excitement of a birthday party. Each of the five letters in the word “HAPPY” is inspired by a different party decoration in the midst of a flurry of multicolored ribbons and confetti. This stamp was designed by Lisa Catalone Castro and Rodolfo Castro, featuring a digital illustration by the latter. Ethel Kessler served as art director.


Backyard Games Forever Stamps
August 12 | Rosemont, IL, at APS Show | PSA pane of 20
Click to see 8 designs.

These stamps capture many of the games Americans play for outdoor fun. A pane of 16 stamps features eight unique designs including: badminton, bocce, cornhole, croquet, flying disc, horseshoes, tetherball and a variation on pick-up baseball. Greg Breeding was the art director. Mike Ryan designed the stamps with original artwork by Mick Wiggins.


Missouri Statehood Forever Stamp
August 10 | Jefferson City, MO | PSA pane of 20
Click to see larger image.

This stamp celebrates the bicentennial of Missouri statehood. Missouri became the 24th state in the Union on Aug. 10, 1821. The stamp art is an existing photograph of Bollinger Mill State Historic Site by noted landscape photographer Charles Gurche. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp.


Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses Forever Stamps
August 6 | Highlands, NJ | PSA pane of 20
Click to see 5 designs.

The long-running series celebrating American lighthouses continues with five new stamps. The mid-Atlantic lighthouses featured in this issuance are: Thomas Point Shoal, MD; Montauk Point, NY; Harbor of Refuge, DE; Navesink, NJ; and Erie Harbor Pierhead, PA. The late Howard Koslow was the artist for these stamps as well as previous issuances in the Lighthouse series. Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses were the last stamps he illustrated for the Postal Service. The art director was Greg Breeding.


Raven Story Forever Stamp
July 30 | Juneau, AK | PSA pane of 20
Click to see larger design.

Merging traditional artwork with modern design touches, this stamp depicts one of many stories about Raven, a figure of great significance to the Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast. Among the cultures of the region, Raven plays an essential role in many traditional tales, including stories about the creation of the world. Inspired by the traditional story of Raven setting free the sun, the moon and the stars, Tlingit/Athabascan artist Rico Worl depicts Raven just as he escapes from his human family and begins to transform back into his bird form. Antonio Alcalá served as art director.

Ursula K. Le Guin Three Ounce Rate Stamp
July 27 | Portland, OR  | PSA pane of 20
Click to see larger image.

The 33rd stamp in the Literary Arts series honors Ursula K. Le Guin, who expanded the scope of literature through novels and short stories that increased critical and popular appreciation of science fiction and fantasy. She was best known for her works of speculative fiction, including science fiction works set in her Hainish universe, and the Earthsea fantasy series.

The stamp features a portrait of Le Guin based on a 2006 photograph. The background shows a scene from her landmark 1969 novel “The Left Hand of Darkness,” in which an envoy from Earth named Genly Ai escapes from a prison camp across the wintry planet of Gethen with Estraven, a disgraced Gethenian politician. The artist for this stamp was Donato Giancola. The art director was Antonio Alcalá. The words “three ounce” on this stamp indicate its usage value. Like a Forever stamp, this stamp will always be valid for the value printed on it.


Western Wear Forever Stamps
July 23 | Abilene, TX | PSA pane of 20
Click to see 4 designs.

The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the enduring legacy of Western wear with four fun new Forever stamps in a booklet of 20. The stamp art features four graphic illustrations of Western wear staples — a cowboy hat, a cowboy boot with a spur, a Western shirt, and a belt buckle featuring a longhorn head. Each image is framed by elements common to the American West and iconography of the region, including cacti, snakes, roses and stars. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps with original art by Ryan Feerer.


Mystery Message Forever Stamp
July 14 | Washington, DC | PSA pane of 20
Click for larger image.

The new Mystery Message stamp will put your sleuthing skills to the test. Featuring bright colors and interesting shapes, the stamp design is a visual riddle spelling out a message. Each colorful square contains a letter in an interesting pattern. The patterns, though seemingly random, were carefully placed so that when put all together, the message reads, “MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE!” Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp.

USPS, Tap Dance Forever Stamps

Tap Dance Forever Stamps
July 10 | New York, NY | PSA pane of 20
Click to see 5 designs.

These stamps celebrate tap dancing as a uniquely American contribution to world dance. Its roots were in minstrel shows, it gained prominence in vaudeville, then emerged into an art form and means of expression alongside the evolution of jazz. These five stamps feature photographs of different tap dancers performing against brightly colored backgrounds that highlight their form and movement. However, instead of generic images, the Postal Service could have depicted any number of famous tap dancers, such as Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, John W. Bubbles, Charles “Honi” Coles, Ann Miller, The Nicholas Brothers, Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire,Gregory Hines, and many more. While a few have already been honored on stamps, they would still be fitting on Tap Dance stamps.


Yogi Berra Stamps, USPS 2021

Yogi Berra Forever Stamp
June 24 | Little Falls, NJ  | PSA pane of 20
Click to see larger image.

Honoring Yogi Berra (1925-2015), this stamp salutes one of the best and most celebrated baseball players of his era, winning a record 10 World Series with the New York Yankees. The stamp art is an original digital portrait of Berra dressed in his Yankees cap, pinstripes and catcher's chest protector. Considered the best catcher in the American League in the 1950s, he was also a feared hitter, and in 1972 was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. One of the most beloved of baseball stars, he will always be remembered for his “Yogi-isms,” one of the most oft-quoted being “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Antonio Alcalá was the art director and stamp designer. Charles Chaisson was the artist. The “Yogi Berra” lettering was created by Michael Doret.

USPS, Sun Science Forever Stamps

Sun Science Forever Stamps
June 18 | Greenbelt, MD | PSA pane of 20
Click to see 10 designs.

These 10 new stamps highlight images of the sun that celebrate the science behind the ongoing exploration of our nearest star. The striking colors do not represent the actual colors of the sun as perceived by human eyesight. Instead, each image is colorized by NASA according to different wavelengths that reveal or highlight specific features of the sun’s activity. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamps with digital images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, a spacecraft launched in February 2010 to keep constant watch on the sun from geosynchronous orbit over the craft’s ground station in New Mexico.

USPS, Emilio Sanchez Forever Stamps

Emilio Sanchez Forever Stamps
June 10 | Miami, FL  | PSA pane of 20
Click to see 4 designs and Full Pane

The art of Emilio Sanchez (1921-1999) is celebrated with four new stamps featuring his colorful architectural lithographs and paintings: “Los Toldos” (1973), “Ty’s Place” (1976), “En el Souk” (1972) and Untitled (Ventanita entreabierta) (1981). Sanchez explored the effects of light and shadow to emphasize the abstract geometry of his subjects. His artwork encompasses his Cuban heritage as well as his long life in New York City. Antonio Alcalá served as art director and designer for this pane of 20 stamps.

Beyond the four similar pieces selected by the Postal Service, Sanchez’ explored other themes, from detailed stained glass windows to abstracted storefronts or city skylines. His art can be seen in museums from the Bronx Art Museum to the Smithsonian American Art Museum.


Go for Broke: Japanese American Soldiers of WWII Forever Stamp
June 3 | Los Angeles, CA | PSA pane of 20
Click for larger image.

With this commemorative stamp, the Postal Service recognizes the contributions of
Japanese American soldiers, some 33,000 altogether, who served in the U.S. Army
during World War II. The stamp, printed in the intaglio method, is based on a photograph. “Go for Broke” was the motto of the all-Japanese American 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team and came to represent all Japanese American units formed during World War II. The stamp was designed by art director Antonio Alcalá.

Click for An American Hero on Nisei Soldiers Stamp [PDF Document}

USPS, Mallard Forever Stamped Card

Mallard Forever Stamped Card
June 1 | Fargo, ND  | Forever Stamped Card
Click to see stamped card.

This new stamped card for 2021 features an illustration of a mallard drake. The mallard duck is very adaptable and breeds throughout most of the United States, even in urban areas. The breed is one of the most often seen in “duck” illustrations and makes the quacking sound that is typically associated with ducks.

The card image comes from preexisting artwork by illustrator and designer Dugald Stermer. The full-body, left-facing profile was created in pencil and watercolor. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamped card.


Heritage Breeds Forever Stamps
May 17 | Mount Vernon VA | PSA pane of 20 
Click to see 10 designs.

These stamps pay tribute to heritage breeds, preindustrial farm animals that are enjoying renewed attention for their versatility, adaptability and unique genetic traits. This pane of 20 stamps includes photographs of 10 heritage breeds: the American Mammoth Jackstock donkey, the Narragansett turkey, the Cayuga duck, the San Clemente Island goat, the Mulefoot hog, the Cotton Patch goose, the American Cream draft horse, the Barbados Blackbelly sheep, the Milking Devon cow and the Wyandotte chicken. Zack Bryant designed the stamps with photographs by Aliza Eliazarov. Greg Breeding served as art director.


Star Wars Droids Forever Stamps
May 4  | Virtual Ceremony | PSA pane of 20
Click to see Pane of 10 designs.

The first characters fans meet in the first “Star Wars” film, “Star Wars: A New Hope,” are droids — namely C-3PO and R2-D2 — and droids have continued to play pivotal roles throughout the “Star Wars” galaxy.

With that in mind, the Postal People have announced that on May 4 in a Virtual Ceremony their second Star Wars issue will salute the “beloved droids from the Star Wars galaxy and the imagination that brings these technological marvels to the screen. Representing more than four decades of innovation and storytelling, the droids featured . . . "

Continue reading New Star Wars Sheet Coming This Spring [PDF Document]


Espresso Drinks Forever Stamps
April 9 | Seattle, WA | PSA booklet of 20
Click to see 4 designs.

America’s love of coffee is celebrated with four new stamps in a booklet of 20. Four digital illustrations feature cups of four different drinks: caffe latte, espresso, caffe mocha and cappuccino. The names of the espresso drinks appear in art-deco-inspired lettering above or below each cup. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps with original artwork by Terry Allen.


Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly Non-Machineable Surcharge Stamp
March 9 | Estes Park, CO | PSA pane of 20
Click to see larger image.

The Colorado hairstreak graces the eighth nonmachinable butterfly stamp for use on irregularly sized envelopes, such as square greeting cards, invitations or announcements. The stamp art is a highly stylized, simplified image of a Colorado hairstreak (Hypaurotis crysalus). Artist Tom Engeman created the stamp art. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.


Garden Beauty Forever Stamps
February 23  |  Bloomfield, IN  | PSA booklet of 20
Click to see 10 designs.

Garden Beauty celebrates America's love of flowers and gardens with 10 new stamp designs in a booklet of 20. The stamps include a pink flowering dogwood; a rose-pink and white tulip; an allium, or ornamental onion; a pink and white Asiatic lily; a magenta dahlia; a yellow and pink American lotus; a pink moth orchid with mottled petals; a pink and white sacred lotus; an orange and yellow tulip; and a yellow moth orchid with a pink center. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps with existing photographs by Allen Rokach.


Chien-Shiung Wu Forever Stamp
February 11 | New York, NY | PSA pane of 20
Click for larger image.

Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997) was one of the most influential nuclear physicists of the 20th century. During a career that spanned more than 40 years in a field dominated by men, she established herself as the authority on conducting precise and accurate research to test fundamental theories of physics. Art Director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp with original art by Kam Mak.


Lunar New Year • Year of the Ox Forever Stamp
February 2  |  Chicago, IL  | PSA pane of 20 
Click for larger image.

In 2021, the Postal Service will issue the second of 12 stamps in a new series of Lunar New Year stamps. Calling to mind the elaborately decorated masks used in the dragon or lion dances often performed during Lunar New Year parades, these three-dimensional masks are a contemporary take on the long tradition of paper-cut folk art crafts created during this auspicious time of year. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp with original art by Camille Chew.

Black Heritage, August Wilson Forever Stamp
January 28 | Pittsburgh, PA | PSA pane of 20
Click to see larger image.

On January 28 award-winning playwright August Wilson will be the 44th honoree in the Postal Service’s Black Heritage series. The initial announcement indicates that the Forever rate stamp will be dedicated “on the Postal Service Facebook and Twitter pages,” This is because on-site ceremonies are not being held during the Covid-19 pandemic; however, the site for the First Day of Issue cancellation will be Pittsburgh, Pa.

One of America’s greatest playwrights, Wilson is hailed as a trailblazer for helping to bring nonmusical African American drama to the forefront of American theater. He collected innumerable accolades for his work, including . . .

Continue reading August Wilson a Black Heritage Honoree [PDF Document]


Barns Postcard Rate Stamps
January 24 | Barnesville, GA | PSA Pane of 20 and PSA coil of 100
Click to see 4 designs.

Four new postcard stamps celebrate the beauty and history of American barns. With differing qualities of light and color, each piece reflects one of the four seasons: a round barn surrounded by the hazy light and warm colors of fall, a gambrel-roofed barn in summer, a forebay barn in an early spring countryside, and a Western barn on a winter’s night. Ashley Walton designed the stamps with original artwork by Kim Johnson. Greg Breeding was the art director.


Castillo de San Marcos $7.95 Priority Mail Stamp
January 24 | St. Augustine, FL | PSA pane of 4

The latest Priority Mail stamp celebrates pictures the Castillo de San Marcos, in St. Augustine, Florida. Built by the Spanish in St. Augustine to defend Florida and the Atlantic trade route, it is the oldest masonry fortification in the continental United States. Construction began in 1672, 107 years after the city's founding by the Spanish when Florida was part of the Spanish Empire. The construction of the core of the current fortress was completed in 1695, and has undergone many alterations and renovations over the centuries.

The stamp art features a digital illustration of the fortress based on a contemporary photograph. With a view toward the northeast corner of the fortress, the artwork captures it in the golden glow of sunrise over Matanzas Bay. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp with art created by Dan Cosgrove.


Brush Rabbit Additional Ounce Rate Stamp
January 24 | Sacramento, CA | PSA panes of 20 and PSA coils of 100
Click to see larger image.

The Postal Service features a brush rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani) on this beautiful new additional-ounce stamp, available on a pane of 20 or in a coil of 100. The pencil-and-watercolor illustration is from preexisting artwork by designer and illustrator Dugald Stermer. The brush rabbit is a small brownish cottontail rabbit of the U.S. West Coast and Baja California, Mexico. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp.

Click to read article: Brush Rabbit Details Announced [PDF Document]


Love Forever Stamp
January 14 | Loveland, CO | PSA pane of 20
Click for larger image.

The Postal Service continues its popular Love series with a stamp that features a lighthearted and colorful digital illustration of the word “LOVE” and three large hearts shown in an unconventional palette of color duos. Greg Breeding was art director; Bailey Sullivan created the original art and designed the stamp.

The Loveland First Day of Issue site was particularly appropriate at a time when on-site ceremonies cannot be held. Every year, more than 100,000 valentines, packaged inside larger envelopes, are sent to Loveland, where volunteers handstamp them with a Valentine’s Day verse and send them on to the intended recipients. Thus we have the use of the mails to share feelings with friends and loved ones at a time when we might not be able to be with them in person.

Stamp images provided by the United States Postal Service.
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