StampNews.com encourages our readers to celebrate the fun and beauty of seashells with four new postcard stamps introduced to collectors’ attention by the U.S. Postal Service®. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps. Sergio Baradat created the stamp art.
The word “POSTCARD” on the stamps indicates their usage value. Like a Forever® stamp, these stamps will always be valid for the rate printed on them.
Whimsical and lighthearted, the stamp art features stylized depictions of four seashells: the alphabet cone, the zebra nerite, the Pacific calico scallop, and the Queen conch, frequently called the pink conch. The horizontal swaths of white and blue in the background suggest waves washing the shells onto a beach.
The hard, protective external skeletons of marine mollusks, seashells are composed largely of calcium carbonate secreted by the mollusks, mantle. Frequently ornamented with arrangements of ribs, spines, cords, scales, and grooves, the shells provide protection against predators, aid in burrowing into the sand, and give support to the soft-bodied animals.
Seashells have served many purposes throughout history—as jewelry, decoration, cooking vessels, lamps, even currency—but they were also highly collectible as objects of beauty and scientific study, as they are today. Around the world, clubs and shows attract enthusiasts, who continue to collect shells for their elegance, beautiful colors, and rich variety of shapes.