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Classic Beauty Engraved

"Sweden Post called on master engraver Czeslaw Slania to incise a likeness of Greta Garbo from a black-and-white image made by portrait photographer Clarence Sinclair Bull during the filming of As You Desire Me (1932), an adaptation of a play by Luigi Pirandello," said the USPS in a statement. "Bull considered Garbo's face '...the most inspirational [he] ever photographed.'

"In celebration of its joint stamp issuance with Sweden Post, the U.S. Postal Service is using Slania's engraving of Bull's image on this 2005 postage stamp."

At the press briefing in August, reporters were told that the U.S. stamp would not be engraved, but rather a photographic reproduction

But in December, USPS spokesman Mark Saunders confirmed to The Virtual Stamp Club that this stamp will be hand-engraved by Piotr Naszarkowski of Sweden Post.

He also confirm speculation that producing an engraved stamp will cost more a regular flat-printed one, although the USPS will not reveal how much the difference is because that infomration is "proprietary and competitive."

USPS spokeswoman Rita Peer did say that the difference in cost is "considerable."

Shown here is the preliminary design; you can click on it for a larger version.

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Hear a audio editorial here.

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