We look back on the history of Star Trek stamps as the United States Postal Service announces a new set

While sharing details on that amazing new Spock figure last week, we discussed the Star Trek 50th Anniversary, which is happening on September 8th, 2016. If you bump around the internet a bit, there’s been a lot of talk about celebrations and events taking shape for this golden anniversary. Personally, I’m already loving the new artwork which was recently unveiled for a series of commemorative postage stamps coming in 2016 from the United States Postal Service.

As detailed by Wired, these stamps were a bit of a challenge for The Heads of State, the design studio responsible for this colorful artwork. The studio was unable to utilize the cast’s exact likenesses or any copyrighted material from the spin-offs in the design due to legal restrictions. The team had to get creative, and that’s exactly what they did by utilizing iconic imagery. The results are already garnering praise and I know I’ll be lining up to get a set.

Over the years there have been several Star Trek stamps released. Here are six of our favorite historical sets which also honored the original series!

Celebrate The Century Initiative Stamp
Released By The United States Postal Service In 1999

This thirty-three cent stamp was unveiled to the public as part of their 1999 “Celebrate the Century” initiative. This release of stamps recognized significant events from each decade of the 20th century. The Star Trek stamp was part of the 1960s series in the Arts and Entertainment category and it was designed by Keith Birdsong. The stamp only took shape after a long campaign by fans and it represents the first time the United States Postal Service honored the series with formal postage.

Space Exploration Commemorative Stamps
Released By The United States Postal Service In 1991

Though that 1999 stamp carries the honor of being the first Star Trek postage, it wasn’t the first time the postal service tipped a hat to the show’s legacy. Back in 1991 they released a commemorative collection honoring the show’s 25th anniversary. This set came as a bonus “sticker set” which were included with a purchase of a book of Space Exploration stamps, which they were promoting at the time. Leonard Nimoy lent his support to the campaign, appearing in ads that read “Stamp Collecting Is Logical”.

Star Trek Of Gene Roddenberry &
Star Trek Captain Kirk Signs The Log
Released By The Federated States Of Micronesia In 2008

We’re tying these two together to honor the Star Trek stamps of Micronesia. Both hit the market in 2008 and share interesting ties to the states. Located in the Caroline Islands in the western Pacific Ocean, Micronesia is an island nation which consist of over 600 islands unified into four states. As part of their special relationship with the United States, the United States Postal Service transports mail between the island states. In fact, Micronesia is even part of the United States ZIP code system and use our postage rates, making it easy for these stamps and US economic ties to manifest there. Besides all that, these stamps are visually amazing and worthy of collector respect.

Live Long And Prosper &
Star Trek Created By Gene Roddenberry
Released By Antigua & Barbuda Postal Services In 2008

At the same time the Federated States of Micronesia was releasing their sets, Antigua & Barbuda were celebrating Star Trek in a very similar fashion down in the “Land of 365 Beaches.” Something tells me Kirk would have done well on an away mission there. In the end, we can’t vouch for how these stamps would fit into the prime directive, but it is fact that they (along the Micronesia stamps) are actual legal postage still honored today.

We could continue this list but we’ve covered the main US stamps and given you a taste of the international ones with a focus on the original series. There have been other efforts honoring the original and subsequent series, but we’ll leave their story for another day. For now, we will simply say, “Live long and go postal” as you join us counting down to the series’ 50th anniversary celebration!

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