The U.S. Postal Service has issued a Christmas Magi Limited Edition Forever stamps. The first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony took place Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the St. John’s Church in Washington, DC.
The stamp celebrates the biblical story of three visitors from the east who came bearing gifts for Jesus. The stamp art depicts the Magi atop camels near the summit of a small hill. Guiding them is a large, dazzling star. In the west, Three Kings Day is celebrated Jan. 6. In many cultures, this is the day for exchanging gifts, rather than Christmas Day.
The colors in the sky range from rose, near the horizon, darkening to a rich purple at the top, suggesting that the travelers are moving through the desert at dawn. A news release from the postal service said art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp, which was illustrated by Nancy Stahl.
Working together, Breeding, of Charlottesville, VA, and Stahl, of New York City, created an image that illustrates the traditional tale of the Magi. The three figures sit atop bedecked and harnessed camels, guided by a large, dazzling star in the sky. Stahl first sketched her design in pencil on tracing paper. After scanning the sketch, she added color digitally and gave the artwork a softer, airbrushed look.
The Christmas Magi Limited Edition Forever stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.