1981 ‘A’ stamp used on mail this April

Collector Manny Brautigam, of Abbotsford, B.C., recently received a cover that he says “should never have gone through the mail.”

Franked with a 1981 “A” stamp (Scott #908), the cover arrived with his mail on April 27. The stamp – from the “Maple Leaf” series – was issued by Canada Post on Dec. 29, 1981, with an “A” in place of the denomination so domestic mail could be sent using the updated postal rate.

The domestic rate was 17 cents from April 1, 1979, until Jan. 1, 1982, when it was upped to 30 cents.

“Because of the time required for production, the interval between the date of final approval of a new denomination stamp and the desired date of its issue would be too short to allow the stamp design with the correct numerical value to be printed, distributed, and ready for sale as soon as needed,” explains a press release issued with the stamp nearly 40 years ago.

“Canada Post only intended them to be $0.30 in perpetuity,” says Brautigam, who adds the “A” stamp differs from Canada Post’s Permanent stamps, which were launched in 2006 and “will go up in value over the years and still cover the cost of sending a domestic letter at the lowest rate. The sender was able to send this letter to me at $0.30 instead of $0.92.”

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