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Grand Island Ice Caves

Grand Island Ice Caves

Priority Mail Express Stamp

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Issue Date: 1/18/2020

With this Priority Mail Express® stamp, the U.S. Postal Service travels to the icy north to celebrate one of nature’s amazing winter spectacles. Located near Munising on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Grand Island is a hub for outdoor activities in warm weather and in the cold months, the area has an arresting beauty of another kind.

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  • With this Priority Mail Express® stamp, the U.S. Postal Service travels to the icy north to celebrate one of nature’s amazing winter spectacles.

    During the winter, parts of the Great Lakes become a wonderland of ice. One area of particularly impressive ice formations is Grand Island in Lake Superior. The stamp art features an illustration of how one of these ever-changing ice caves might appear from the inside looking out toward the west at sunset. With the shoreline of the mainland visible on the horizon, the sun’s rays are reflected in the pink-hued ice along the floor of the cave’s entrance. The ice formations that resemble stalactites are rendered in various shades of blue, green, and white. Artist Dan Cosgrove created an initial pencil sketch and finished the stamp art digitally.

    Formed by advancing and retreating ice sheets in the last ice age, Grand Island is marked by massive sandstone bluffs. Impressive in any season, they are especially dramatic in winter when lake water seeps into the crevices and caverns, forming magnificent ice curtains and icicles that hang like stalactites from ceilings.

    If lake conditions are just right in the winter, it is possible to cross to the island. There are adventure tour companies that offer professional guides to lead visitors. However, even during the coldest winter season, there is no guarantee that it is safe to cross to the island. It is never safe to cross the ice at the east channel and never safe at any point by foot. It is always best to check conditions with the Forest Service, the Munising Visitors Bureau, and the Munising Sheriff’s Office. From the shoreline on the mainland north of Munising, the island’s east-shore ice is visible.

    The Grand Island Ice Caves stamp is being issued in a pane of four stamps.

    Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp with art by Dan Cosgrove.

    Made in the USA

    SKUs featured on this page: 129104

  • Issue:Grand Island Ice Caves Stamp
    Item Number:129100
    Denomination &Type of Issue:$26.35 Priority Mail Express Rate
    Format:Pane of 4 (1 design)
    Series:N/A
    Issue Date & City:January 18, 2020, Munising, MI 49862
    Art Director:Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA
    Designer:Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA
    Typographer:Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA
    Artist:Dan Cosgrove, Chicago, IL
    Modeler:Joseph Sheeran
    Manufacturing Process:Offset, Microprint
    Printer:Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
    Press Type:Stevens Vari-Size Security Press
    Stamps per Pane:4
    Print Quantity:1,260,000 stamps
    Paper Type:Nonphosphored Type III, Block Tag
    Adhesive Type:Pressure-sensitive
    Processed at:Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
    Colors:Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow
    Stamp Orientation:Horizontal
    Image Area (w x h):1.42 x 1.085 in/36.068 x 27.559 mm
    Overall Size (w x h):1.56 x 1.225 in/39.624 x 31.115 mm
    Full Pane Size (w x h):4.12 x 3.45 in/104.648 x 87.63 mm
    Plate Size:100 stamps per revolution
    Plate Numbers:“P” followed by four (4) single digits
    Marginal Markings:
    Front:Plate number in two corners of pane
    Back:©2019 USPS • USPS logo • Four barcodes (129100) • Plate position diagram (5) • Promotional text

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