One of the great rarities in the American philatelic world - the 1845 St. Louis Bears Provisional Stamp. In July of 1845, the ' Act of March 3rd 1845 ' was passed into law establishing uniform postage rates throughout the United States. This act did not prohibit local postmasters from issuing their own stamps. This St. Louis stamp is one such example of a provisional issued stamp. The design features two bears holding the Missouri coast of arms. Below the bears a ribbon inscribed with the Missouri state motto ' Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto ' which translates from Latin to ' Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law ' . The original stamp was printed in black, however I have a few variations of the design available.