The U.S. Postal Service is just bursting with love - love stamps, that is.

Just recently, the USPS issued a 25-cent Love stamp featuring a pink rose. Now Cupid's arrow strikes again as we see a new 45-cent Love stamp arriving on the philatelic scene. This stamp depicts an arrangement of red and yellow roses in a bed of deep green foliage.Of course, the word, "Love," looms large on the top of the stamp. In the lower left corner is "USA 45" in two lines of type.

This new Love stamp was created to pay for the postage on large wedding invitations and greeting cards. Since wedding invitations include at least two envelopes, in addition to the invitation and possibly an R.S.V.P. card, the new issue provides the correct 2-ounce, first-class postage rate with a single stamp.

The deadline for ordering first-day cancellations of the 45-cent Love stamp is Sept. 9.

If you prefer to affix your own stamps, you may purchase them at your local post office and send to: Customer-Affixed Envelopes, Love Stamp, Postmaster, Shreveport, LA 71102-9991. No remittance is required. Your request must be postmarked by Sept. 9. (The American Rose Center is located in Shreveport. The USPS says the center is the world's largest rose garden.)

For collectors who want the USPS to do the job, enclose a money order or personal check for 45 cents per stamp and send to: Love Stamp, Postmaster, Shreveport, LA 71102-9992. The deadline is Sept. 9.

The new "1988 Love Folder" is the first philatelic item devoted exclusively to the Love issues, among the most popular and well-known of all U.S. postage stamps. The first Love stamp was issued in 1973. Since that time, more than 36 billion Love stamps have been produced. It is obviously true that love does have a way.

The "1988 Love Folder," priced at $4.50, contains a block of four of both the 25-cent and the 45-cent Love stamps. The design for the 6- by 9-inch folder is based on verse by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

The folder is available by mail order and at philatelic centers across the country. To order by mail, send a check or money order for $4.50 per folder, plus 50 cents for handling per total order, to: The Philatelic Sales Division, Washington, DC 20265-9997. The minimum order (which may include other philatelic items) is $10. The "1988 Love Folder" item number is 0803.


Israel's 40th anniversary of its independence is being celebrated this year with many new events and the issuance of stamps honoring the occasion.

One set is a souvenir sheet of eight stamps dedicated to the "40th Year Exhibition" held at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds. The theme of the exhibition called attention to the achievements, problems and future plans of Israel.

Featured on the stamps are symbolic illustrations noting the following: the settling, industry, agriculture, absorption, construction, welfare, health, and education. The denomination of each stamp is 20-AG.

A second set, "Nature Reserves in the Negev," includes the following: the 40-AG depicts a scene at El-Zin Nature Reserve; the 60-AG shows the Shezev Nature Reserve, and the 70-AG pictures the Ramon Reserve.

A third issue of a single 70-AG pays tribute to the centennial of B'nai B'rith in Jerusalem. B'nai B'rith is a Jewish service organization with chapters in more than 40 countries, including the United States. Depicted on the new stamp is a view of the Jerusalem Lodge.

Collectors may obtain these new stamps from the Israel Stamp Collectors Society, Box 854, Van Nuys, CA 91408. The cost for all the new mint stamps described above with tabs and souvenir sheet is $7.95. First-day covers are available for $17.95


Many countries are now issuing stamps honoring their participation in the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea.

The Maldives, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, has issued the following: the 15-lauras depicts a male athlete preparing to toss the discus; the 2-rufiyas shows two men racing in the 100-meter dash; the 4-rufiyas illustrates two men in gymnastics competition; the 12-rufiyas features two equestrian competitors.

A 20-rufiyas souvenir sheet in this set depicts a tennis player in action. The Maldives stamps are available at your local dealer.