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USA 1974 "Mineral Heritage"

issue Date 13.06.1974
ID Michel: 1145-1148 Scott: 1538-1541 Stanley Gibbons: 1536-1539 Yvert: 1026-1029 UPU: N/A Category: pF
Author Leonard E. Buckley
Stamps in set 4
Size (width x height)
Layout 192 stamps per sheet - 4 x 48
Products FDC x
Perforation 11x11
Print Technique Lithographed and engraved, multicolor
Printed by Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Quantity 167,212,800
Issuing Authority U.S. Postal Service
Mineral Heritage of USA 1974
The 1974 "Mineral Heritage" se-tenant included the first stamps designed in a diamond shape in the U.S. postal history.Issued to commemorate the importance and abundance of mineral resources to the country, the four stamps were attached to also form a diamond-shaped se-tenant sheet. The stamps pictured petrified wood, tourmaline, amethyst, and rhodochrosite.
"Petrified wood"
Petrified wood on stamp of USA 1974
Mineral emplacement in which dissolved minerals are carried by ground water into the porous parts of buried wood, results in petrifaction. We see it in petrified wood, although it is known in shells or bones. Petrified wood made up principally of Araucarioxylon arizonicum may be seen in the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. Other sites where petrified wood may be observed is Yellowstone National Park, which is not a single forest but a vertical succession of 27 individual forests preserved in more than 2,000 feet (600 m) of volcanic debris. Not only have the tree trunks been preserved, but the impressions include leaves, twigs, needles, and cones.
Araucarioxylon arizonicum fossil of Arizona

Araucarioxylon arizonicum is an extinct species of conifer that is the state fossil of Arizona. The species is known from massive tree trunks that weather out of the Chinle Formation in desert badlands of northern Arizona and adjacent New Mexico, most notably in the 378.51 square kilometres (93,530 acres) Petrified Forest National Park. There, these trunks are locally so abundant that they have been used as building materials.
In the Triassic period (around 250 to 200 million years ago), Arizona was a flat tropical expanse in the northwest corner of the supercontinent Pangaea. There, a forest grew in which Araucarioxylon arizonicum towered as high as 60 metres (200 ft) and measured more than 60 centimetres (2.0 ft) in diameter. Fossils frequently show boreholes of insect larvae, possibly beetles similar to members of the modern family Anobiidae.

Other stamps of the set

Amethyst on stamp of USA 1974

This stamp pictures an Amethyst, which is a type of quartz that typically appears violet due to exposure to natural low amounts of radiation. If also exposed to heat, they can be colored yellow or bright green.

A violet, crystalline variety of quartz, amethyst is the birthstone for February. When of good color and transparency, it is valued as a semiprecious gem. Such stones normally are step-cut or intaglio-carved. It occurs in cavities in many rock types and is found in the Ural Mountains, Brazil, Sri Lanka, and the United States. Ancient Greeks attributed various powers to amethyst, particularly that of protecting against drunkenness and passion.

Rhodochrosite on stamp of USA 1974

Rhodochrosite, a mineral colored rose red. The color is due to the presence of manganese, a natural metal element that has important industrial uses. Rhodochrosite is often mined so that the manganese may be extracted.

Rhodochrosite, a manganese carbonate mineral, is a minor ore of manganese used principally as a decorative stone and gemstone. It normally has shiny, rose-red, intricately banded surfaces. Rhodochrosite occurs in moderate- to low-temperature hydrothermal ore veins, particularly of silver, lead, zinc, and copper, as well as in high-temperature metamorphic deposits.

Tourmaline on stamp of USA 1974

A Tourmaline, a mineral classified as a "semi-precious gemstone". It can be found in a wide variety of colors.

Complex boron and aluminum silicate minerals, tourmalines form slender, three-, six-, or nine-sided prismatic crystals in parallel or radiating groups. Tourmalines develop an electrical charge when heated or deformed, and slabs cut perpendicular to the long axis can polarize light. The best-developed tourmaline crystals are most commonly found in pegmatite. Crystals also are found in limestone altered by granitic intrusions. Tourmaline is the birthstone for October.


Minerals and petrified wood on FDC of USA 1974 Minerals and petrified wood on FDC of USA 1974
Souvenir Sheet
Minerals and petrified wood on Souvenir Sheet of USA 1974

References: mysticstamp usstampgalery usa postage stamps Wikipedia


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