China Lunar New Year Collection

Introduction: Culture and Tradition

We take great pleasure in introducing this remarkable new stamp ingot collection, "Culture and Tradition: The Lunar New Year Collection." The 12 beautifully engraved ingots represent the fulfillment of a commitment that began in 1988, when the Organization of Chinese-Americans (OCA) proposed the idea of a postage stamp that would commemorate the important contribution of the Chinese people in America. Three years later, with support from members of Congress, nation-wide community groups, and Postmaster General Anthony Frank, the dream began to take form. In 1992, renowned graphic designer Clarence Lee was selected to design one stamp depicting the Chinese lunar symbol for 1993, the "Year of the Rooster," to honor Chinese Americans. The overwhelming demand for the stamp made it one of the most successful issues in the history of the United States Postal Service. It struck a chord not only with Chinese and other Asian Americans, but also with the country as a whole and the world beyond. The result was the creation of a series of 12 stamps, one for each of the animals in the Chinese lunar cycle. Since 1993 one new stamp has been issued every Chinese New Year, taking 12 years to complete the series. Now, for the very first time, all twelve Lunar New Year stamps appears in a double-sided souvenir sheet designed by Clarence Lee and issued by the USPS. To mark this unprecedented event, and in honor of the ancient tradition of the Lunar New Year cycle, all 12 celebrated stamp designs have been re-created as engraved solid silver ingots, layered with 24-karat gold, thus preserving them forever in a magnificent collection that is destined to be handed down from one generation to the next as a treasured and visible symbol of an ancient culture and continuing tradition.

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