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May 29, 2014
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Valley of Fire featured on Sesquicentennial stamp

Nevada’s official sesquicentennial stamp features a Southern Nevada landscape by a Northern Nevada artist.

The U.S. Postal Service celebrated Nevada statehood on Thursday by dedicating a Forever Stamp to commemorate the state’s 150th anniversary. Known by several nicknames — the Silver State, the Battle Born State, the Sagebrush State — Nevada became the 36th state Oct. 31, 1864.

“Nevada is truly one of our nation’s most beautiful treasures,” said former Nevada Congressman and current U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Vice Chairman James Bilbray. “With so much to choose from, it was difficult to decide on an image the size of a postage stamp to adequately depict Nevada’s revered beauty and history. We chose to feature the Fire Canyon in Nevada’s first state park, the Valley of Fire. The canyon’s natural sandstone formations are just one of the state’s breathtaking landscapes.”

The Nevada Statehood Forever Stamp is available at Post Offices, online at, at the Postal Store on eBay at, and by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724).

Bilbray said Reno artist Ron Spears created his first sketches for the stamp on-site in Fire Canyon.

“Spears has a deep appreciation for the area, which he visits often, and he was especially keen to paint the scene in the morning light,” explained Bilbray. “He created his painting in the fall when the light was low and strong. Facing south, Spears captured the scene at dawn when the sandstone glows in shades of brilliant reds and yellows — a result of various quantities of iron in the rock — highlighted by deep purple and blue shadows. The colors contrast dramatically with the whiteness of the silica formation in the foreground.”

“I wanted to be at Fire Canyon when the sun broke over the horizon,” said Spears. “It only lasts for a few moments, but seeing the rocks come to life as the morning sun hits them is definitely worth getting up early for.”

Spears’ original sketches were oils on canvas. The final painting, in oil, measures approximately 15 x 12 inches.

Customers may view many of this year’s other stamps on Facebook, Twitter @USPSstamps, Pinterest, Instagram or on

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail.

hey may purchase new stamps at local Post Offices, at or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:

Nevada Statehood

USPS Customer Relations Coordinator

1001 East Sunset Road, Rm. 1030

Las Vegas, NV 89199-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, there is a 5-cent charge per postmark. All orders must be postmarked by July 28, 2014.

The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog online at or by calling 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724). Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:

U.S. Postal Service

Catalog Request

PO Box 219014

Kansas City, MO 64121-9014

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The Record Courier Updated May 30, 2014 04:36PM Published May 31, 2014 10:57AM Copyright 2014 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.