USA Forever Stamp - Confirmation

Hi all,

Strange question maybe, but a friend of mine received a postcard which is apparently from the USA.
However, he just cannot determine the stamp (see below).

Is here anyone how can help us to find out more details about it? Where to buy and what’s the worth?




It would be useful to see the printing just cut off on the left hand side.

I’ll wait for some US folks to chime in, but in just doing some searches now, I suspect this may be a counterfeit stamp - there were apparently many done of the 2017 USPS Flag stamp.

I’ll be curious to see what people say.

And btw, if people don’t know, counterfeit stamps are multi-billion dollar a year business & cost post offices those billions which they then pass on the costs to us, the users of stamps. That’s why post offices machine or hand cancel stamps.

And most counterfeits are very good & not obviously forgeries to the average person who thinks they’re buying real stamps.


Thank you for your reply!
There’s a QR code (or sort of) with numbers on the left. Not sure whether I can share them without giving up my friends privacy. But I’ll give it a try.

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Depending on what the entire stamp looks like, it could potentially be a self-serve kiosk stamp. Some of them still print images on the stamps, some are just the codes.

EDIT: Based on the image below, looks like a kiosk stamp.


Here’s a (quick and dirty) Photoshop:


Most of our stamps above 10¢ have not shown a monetary (number) amount for several years. Instead, they state ‘Forever’; thus, they can be used for the current domestic first class rate, no matter when they were purchased. Other rates, such as Postcard (domestic), extra weight, etc. are marked for that on the stamp. For example, the extra ounce (roughly 30g) stamp currently costs 20¢, but can be used as 24¢ postage when that rate increases next month.

If the stamp in your photo has the word Forever on it, the current value is 58¢, going to 60¢ next month.

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See the stamp issued in 2017 had the word FOREVER right on the stamp which makes me wonder about yours. That’s what I’ve normally seen for US stamps. We’ll see what the experts say.

this is a stamp from an automated postal center kiosk (apc). some kiosks will print the us flag image + barcode and some will just print barcodes that you can affix to the letter (where one would normally affix a stamp)


These were exactly my thoughts…

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Well mystery solved!

Thank you for sharing Sarah!

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I had one which I wasn’t sure of. Bought a roll online for cheap but it didn’t look quite like any other stamps I’d seen. Took it to my post office and asked them directly. They said it was good and so I mailed the envelope. Have included it on several more since and none have been returned to me. So go ask the authorities; the rest of us here on Postcrossing are just giving you our educated guesses. Which is worth something, most of the time, but we’re not the audience that you need to weigh in.

Thank you for your advice!
Just wondering whether the QR code might help solve the puzzle.
It has a code at the right side, but I can’t confirm it with the USPS tracking website. Do you have an idea what it is and whether I can check it somewhere?

Just to add to this, it’s often extremely difficult to tell legit stamps from modern counterfeits, even for postal workers. The podcast “Conversations with Philatelists” goes into more detail in episode 90 recently posted to YouTube. The quality of the fakes is crazy!

I’d be extremely skeptical of any rolls or sheets of Forever stamps being sold below face value. If it’s a well-known stamp collector on eBay or something, that’s one thing, but be careful of websites posting ads to Facebook or Instagram for sure.


each code/serial is unique to the stamp is recorded as used (cancelled) when it goes the the usps system: once the usps system “reads” the stamp cannot be used again. if a code is scanned once used, it will come back as postage due.

more information on ibi-based postage:

i agree with other users that stamps can be counterfeited very easily. the usps helpdesk may be able to assist in internally tracking down the origin of the stamps if you are concerned :blush: but i am not sure if there is a public-facing portal for secruity/anti-counterfeiting reasons

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The words USA Forever are printed on the bottom white stripe of the flag in white letters therefore you can not see it in the picture. You can see it under a microscope.

The stamp is a self service kiosk flag stamp. A bar code and the word “Forever” and a number are missing in your photo. You can just see part of the last “r” in “Forever.” Here’s a full image:


Yes, it looks like a self service kiosk flag stamp for sure.


I can only tell you that you would have to order them from a United States post office. Here’s a link: Stamps |