- Covered the Nonprofit rate
- Issued as self-adhesive in 1996
Category of Stamp: Definitive
Set: American Scene
Value: 5¢, Nonprofit Rate
First Day of Issue: March 10, 1995
First Day City: State College, Pennsylvania
Quantity Issued: 850,000,000
Printed by: J.W. Fergusson & Sons for Stamp Venturers
Printing Method/Format: Photogravure, Coils of 3,000 and 10,000 from printing cylinders of 616 (22 across, 28 down)
Reason the stamp was issued: The Butte stamp was issued for use on bulk mailings from Nonprofit organizations.
About the stamp design: This stamp was one of a series picturing Western nature scenes. The buttes were painted by Tom Engeman, who used the East Mitten and West Mitten buttes in Arizona’s Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park as his inspiration. The coloration is reminiscent of how the buttes look at sunrise.
Special design details: The issuing year at the bottom left reads “1995,” while the version issued the following year has “1996.”
About the printing process: The stamp was produced using water-activated gum. Self-adhesive stamps with the same design were produced in 1996.
First Day City: The First Day of sale took place at the Scopex stamp show in State College, Pennsylvania. The Butte stamp was one of four bulk rate stamps issued at the same time.
About the American Scenes Series: The American Scenes definitives were introduced in 1995. They feature landscapes representing four areas of the US and were painted by Tom Engeman. The stamps were issued for use on bulk rate nonprofit mail. The stamp was issued to supplement supplies of the 5¢ Canoe and 5¢ Old Glory non-profit coil stamps and to offer customers more design variety.
The first stamps in the series were issued by March 10 1995, along with the American Transportation series. These two series, as well as the American Culture Series, were created for 1995 as part of the USPS process of converting its service-inscribed stamps for discounted bulk mail to non-denominational postage. Bulk mailers could buy the appropriate stamps at a fixed price, affix them to their mail, and then pay the difference between the cost of the stamps and current postage when they mailed them out. This was done so that new stamps wouldn’t need to be created when rates changed.
According to the USPS, the American Scenes Series would “highlight features of scenes and not the sweeping scenes [as seen] on the scenic America and America the Beautiful Postcard Series.”
History the stamp represents: East and West Mitten Buttes, the inspiration for this stamp, are found in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona. When observed from the south, these buttes look like giant mittens. Each one is over 6,000 feet in height.