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The US Postal Service Celebrates Cactus Flowers

Posted by Staff of goGardenNow on

Cactus Flower - Photo by Adrianna Calvo from Pexels
The US Postal Service celebrates cactus flowers. We realize that doesn't sound much like news that gardeners can use, but for those of us who are captivated by the flamboyant beauty of cactus flowers, and collect stamps, it's good news indeed.

The event

The USPS introduces each collectible series with a public event amid much fanfare.  The U.S. Postal Service celebrated the beauty of cactus flowers with 10 new stamp designs. The first-day-of-issue event for the Cactus Flowers Forever stamps took place Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 at the AmeriStamp Expo in Mesa, Arizona. It was free and open to the public. Those unable to attend could watch the event via live-stream at the USPS Facebook Page.

Why did they do it?

The USPS did it for the money. It needs it, too. According to the USPS fiscal report released in November, 2018, the postal service finished the year nearly $4 billion in the red. The USPS receives no tax subsidies, either. It has to rely on sales of products and services.
There are many more stamp collectors in the U.S. than you might think. There might be as many as 5 million. Whether they are serious about the hobby is unknown. The American Philatelic Society boasts over 27,000 members in the U.S. There are more members worldwide. (To become an official member of anything signifies some degree of seriousness.) So, these folks are in the market for stamps to add to their collections.
Add to their numbers those who love to grow cacti. Cacti and succulents are among the most popular house plants. According to Curbed by Vox Media, "growers have seen increased interest [in cacti] from young adults—37 percent of millennials grow plants indoors, as opposed to 28 percent of baby boomers—and sales have been booming. Altman Plants, the country’s largest grower of succulents and cactuses, has for the last decade posted double-digits gains each year. A recent Garden Center magazine survey of independent retailers found that cactus and succulent sales had risen 64 percent since 2012." Some of them might even buy stamps, if they're pretty or interesting.
In total, that makes for a sizable market, and there is no potential for capital without a market.

The Cactus Flower Collectibles

Without going into full detail, I'll mention a few of their offerings.
  • There's the Keepsake set which contains 20 Forever Stamps and one 1st Day of Issue Cover.
  • There are 5x7 prints featuring cactus artwork with the appropriate stamp affixed.
  • They have a set of all 10 stamps in an attractive frame.
  • There are 1st Day of Issue covers, Event Programs, memento sets, and cactus stamp notecards.  
Find the complete collection of Cactus Stamp collectibles on the USPS website.

Will Cactus Stamps Increase In Value?

Will the USPS Cactus Stamps increase in value? Of course they will, unless you deface them. Right now they're worth at least the price of a First Class postage stamp. Sooner or later the cost of a stamp will go up again, and they'll be worth that much.
As far as collectible value is concerned, who knows? They'll be worth whatever someone is willing to pay, and it could turn out in two hundred years or less to be a tidy sum. But, realistically, stamp collecting is not so much for speculative value, but simply for the fun of it. If you like to grow cacti, and you think you might like to collect stamps, buy these.

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