- Covered the Nonprofit rate
- Issue produced by three printers
- Also issued as self-adhesive
Category of Stamp: Definitive
Set: American Scene
Value: 5¢, Nonprofit Rate
First Day of Issue: March 16, 1996
First Day City: San Jose, California
Quantity Issued: 150,000,000
Printed by: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method/Format: Photogravure, Coils of 10,000 from printing cylinders of 616 (22 across, 28 down)
Reason the stamp was issued: The Mountain stamp was issued for use on bulk mailings from Nonprofit organizations.
About the stamp design: This stamp was one of a series that picture nature scenes from four regions of the US. The mountain image was painted by Tom Engeman, who also painted the Buttes pictured on a bulk rate stamp issued in 1995. The contrast in colors made by the sunlight is a trademark of this artist’s stamp artwork.
Special design details: This stamp, produced by Stamp Venturers, has some features that set it apart form the stamp produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing with the same design. The sky is a darker blue and the shadows on the mountain are dark blue rather than purple. In addition, the year date is larger on the Stamp Venturer stamp.
About the printing process: The stamp was produced using water-activated gum. Coils of 500 and 3,000 with the same design were produced by BEP. Self-adhesive stamps with the same design were produced later in the year.
First Day City: The First Day of sale took place at the Filatelic Fiesta stamp show in San Jose, California. Mountain stamps by both printers were issued during the ceremony.
About the American Scenes Series: The American Scenes definitives were introduced in 1995. They feature landscapes representing four areas of the US and were painted by Tom Engeman. The stamps were issued for use on bulk rate nonprofit mail. They supplemented supplies of the 5¢ Canoe and 5¢ Old Glory non-profit coil stamps, to offer customers more design variety.
The first stamps in the series were issued by March 10 1995, along with the American Transportation series. These two series, as well as the American Culture Series, were created for 1995 as part of the USPS process of converting its service-inscribed stamps for discounted bulk mail to non-denominational postage. Bulk mailers could buy the appropriate stamps at a fixed price, affix them to their mail, and then pay the difference between the cost of the stamps and current postage when they mailed them out. This was done so that new stamps wouldn’t need to be created when rates changed.
According to the USPS, the American Scenes Series would “highlight features of scenes and not the sweeping scenes [as seen] on the scenic America and America the Beautiful Postcard Series.”