Most people appreciated when the United States Postal Service started marketing the “priceless” Forever Stamp in 1997. This was a great “do the right thing” moment, tacitly acknowledging that if you don’t use a stamp for a year or five, the Postal Service has still had the use of your money for that time and shouldn’t charge you extra to use it. It seems only fair that a First Class stamp should always cover the postage for a First Class letter.
The compromise was that the Forever stamp was usually pretty generic, such as the flag stamp. If you wanted a commemorative stamp (such as a Christmas stamp, or one that featured someone important to American culture, such as Rosa Parks), it was going to depreciate like any other stamp.
When is a Forever Stamp not a Forever Stamp?
What Is A Forever Stamp?” states that “some first-class stamps now have the word Forever written on them and then crossed out. These are regular stamps, not forever stamps. They have the year they were released printed on them and when postage rates increase, you will have to refer back to the postage rate for that year, calculate the difference yourself, and start licking those one cent stamps.”
These new slash-Forever stamps sounded like a step backward in that the face value isn’t even on the face (the front of the stamp). Arguably these would be a new type of online postage because you need to go online just to figure out what they’re worth!