US Stamps

Butterfly Garden Flowers nonprofit coils arrive Feb. 1

Jan 19, 2022, 8 AM

By Charles Snee

A pair of United States nonprofit-rate coil stamps will be issued Feb. 1 in Pine Mountain, Ga.

An official first-day ceremony is not planned, the U.S. Postal Service said, but the stamps may be ordered from Stamp Fulfillment Services in Kansas City, Mo. Ordering numbers and other details are given in Linn’s 2022 U.S. Stamp Program on page 19 of this issue.

One of the nondenominated (5¢) Butterfly Garden Flowers coil stamps features an illustration of scabiosa, and the other pictures cosmos. When in bloom, both flowers prove irresistible to butterflies.

Berkeley, Calif., artist Rigel Stuhmiller provided the illustrations for the Butterfly Garden Flowers coils. The USPS explains how she created the images on the stamps: “Inspired by block-printed textile and pattern design, [Stuhmiller] hand-carved the images into linoleum blocks. After inking the blocks, she pressed them onto paper, scanned the images and added color digitally.”

An image of the two stamp designs appears at the top of Stuhmiller’s Instagram webpage. As of early January, the image had received 287 likes and 129 comments.

Also called pincushion flowers, scabiosa are rich in nectar and often found in cut flower arrangements because of their distinctive spiky centers and strong stems. These flowers belong to a genus in the honeysuckle family.

According to Yankee Publishing’s website for The Old Farmer’s Almanac www.almanac.com: “Cosmos are annual flowers with colorful, daisy-like flowers that sit atop long, slender stems. … Cosmos produce 3- to 5-inch daisy-like flowers in various colors, including pink, orange, red and yellow, white, and maroon.”

The “NONPROFIT ORG/USA” inscription in the top left corner of each stamp indicates that a permit is required to use them on mail. The stamps are intended for use on bulk mailings by authorized nonprofit organizations.

Collectors can use these and other service-inscribed stamps on regular mail by completing USPS Form 3615, Mailing Permit Application and Customer Profile. When filling out the form, be sure to check the box labeled “Precanceled Stamp Authorization.”

The completed form must be submitted at your local post office. Mail franked with service-inscribed stamps must be presented at the counter for postmarking and processing.

Banknote Corporation of America printed the Butterfly Garden Flowers coil stamps in rolls of 3,000 and 10,000. The print quantities are 60 million and 2.25 billion stamps, respectively.

Plate numbers consisting of the letter B followed by four single digits will appear in the bottom margin on every 24th stamp. Each digit represents one of the four process colors used to print the stamps: cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

The Butterfly Garden Flowers coil stamps will eventually replace the nondenominated (5¢) USA Star nonprofit-rate coil (Scott 5172) issued Feb. 10, 2017, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The first U.S. postal issue to bear a nonprofit inscription is the 1965 1¼¢ Liberty Bell stamped envelope (Scott U547) issued Jan. 6, 1965, in Washington, D.C.

In 1979, the Postal Service issued a 3.1¢ Americana series coil stamp picturing a six-string guitar (Scott 1613). This was the first U.S. adhesive stamp specifically inscribed for use by nonprofit organizations. “Auth[orized] Non-Profit Org” is printed in tiny letters immediately to the right of the denomination.

Collector-submitted envelopes for first-day covers will receive a traditional black four-bar cancel with the words “FIRST DAY OF ISSUE” centered between the bars. A full color pictorial first-day postmark is not being offered, according to the Postal Service.

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