The Forever stamp, debuting today, will cost 41 cents but will be good even if the price of stamps increases.

Forever begins today, and postmasters are ready for it.

The release of the new Forever stamp by the U.S. Postal Service has already generated interest at Utah post offices. At the downtown station, supervisor Rana Alexander said that people have been asking about it for weeks, and she expected that the stamp would likely sell better than most new stamp releases.

"With new stamp increases, sales usually decrease," she said. "But with the Forever stamps, sales will probably jump."

In anticipation of that jump, the downtown station has twenty times more Forever stamps — 40,000 stamps, in books of 20 stamps — than new 41-cent stamps, which will be on sale May 14, when stamp prices will rise from their current 39 cents.

The Forever stamp, which sports a picture of the Liberty Bell, will also cost 41 cents but will be good even if the price of stamps increases. Ideally, it will practically eliminate the need for one- cent or two- cent stamps that people are required to use after a rate increase.

Ron Hubrich, customer affairs manager for the Salt Lake District of the postal service, which takes in most of Utah, said that he expects the new stamp to be popular throughout the state. The only ones who may prefer a current rate stamp are collectors and those who like variety in their stamps.

"I think most people will prefer the Forever stamp, unless they want to have different pictures," he said.

Maryann Parker, acting supervisor of the main post office on 2100

South in Salt Lake, said that they have handled quite a few inquiries about the stamp. Although they do not expect a crushing rush to purchase the stamp, she would not be surprised at a slightly bigger crowd when it is released today.

"We've had questions, mainly about what the stamp is and when it will be available," she said. "We will probably be busier, but we are prepared."

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