WASHINGTON (AP) – With postal rates going up in May, the Post Office is readying new stamps to cover the new prices.

The price of a first-class stamp will go up by 2 cents to 44 cents on May 11, and several other rates will also go up.

The Forever stamp will continue to cover the price of a first-class letter, but it will also rise in price when the rates go up.

The post office is adding a new personalized Forever envelope to available postage with the new rates.

The special envelopes will be preprinted with a Forever stamp, the sender’s name and return address and can include personal or business message.

Starting May 11 the envelopes can be ordered in boxes of 50 at 1-800-STAMP-24. Prices will vary by type of envelope.

Other new issues include:

Post card: 28 cents: Polar bear stamp; koi fish preprinted card.

First class, one ounce, 44 cents: Purple Heart, wedding rings, king and queen of hearts, and a stamped envelope featuring the racehorse Seabiscuit.

First class, two ounces, 61 cents: Author Richard Wright, wedding cake.

Among stamps coming later in the year at the new rates will be:

Philanthropist Mary Lasker, 78 cents (first class, three ounces); U.S. flag, 44 cents; Celebrate! happy occasions, 44 cents; dolphin, 64 cents (odd sized envelopes); Grand Teton National Park, 98 cents, international air mail; Zion National Park, 79 cents, international mail to Mexico; Edward Hopper painting, 44 cents.

On the Net:

U.S. Postal Service: http://www.usps.com

AP-ES-02-27-09 1341EST

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