U.S. # 4859a
2014 70¢ Great Spangled Fritillary Imperforate
This stamp fulfilled the one-ounce non-machinable first-class and two-ounce rates. It’s the fourth stamp in the Butterfly series.
Although the great spangled fritillary is generally non-migratory, traveling only about 125 miles over each summer, its habitat and range are vast. This butterfly prefers open prairies, meadows, and woody clearings near the temperate forests of North America. It can be found across much of the central and northern portions of the United States and throughout most of Canada.
This fritillary begins its life on or near any of a variety of violets, a favorite food source. Laid singly and haphazardly in late summer as the female fritillary flitters by, the eggs hatch two to three weeks later. However, the larvae remain dormant near the host plant over the winter. In the spring, the tiny, velvety, black and orange caterpillars will feed on the host violet’s leaves at night, and rest during the day while hidden on the underside of leaves or on the ground.
Unlike the usual five molts of most butterflies, the great spangled fritillary molts a total of six times during its larval stage, growing more with each cycle. These unusually large caterpillars become equally large butterflies. Eventually possessing a wingspan up to four inches, the great spangled fritillary is the largest of all the fritillary butterflies.
Value: 70¢ Two-ounce rate
Issue: February 10, 2014
City: Kansas City, MO (No First Day ceremony)
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed By: CCL Label Inc.
Printing Method: Photogravure printed in sheets of 200 with 10 panes of 20 per sheet
Butterfly stamps were developed in partnership between the U.S. Postal Service and the Greeting Card Association. The series began in an effort to make it easier to mail irregular-shaped envelopes like those used on greeting cards. The first Butterfly stamp was issued in 2010. Many greeting card companies now print an image of a butterfly on envelopes requiring extra postage.
Scarce Modern Imperforates
The modern imperforate stamps are one of the hottest stories around. In 2012, the U.S. Postal Service released some issues as press sheets. The sheets with die cut perforations were issued in limited quantities.
To the surprise of many collectors, officials then issued a small number of press sheets without perforations. The uncut sheets were only available in Kansas City, Missouri, yet most sold out immediately. In an instant, the imperforate stamp sheets became modern rarities. For example, only 75,000 Baseball All-Star se-tenant sheets were issued compared to 118,000 Bugs Bunny sheets with the 10th stamp imperforate.
In a controversial move, the editors of Scott Catalogue announced they would not list or give numbers to these stamps because they did not fit Scott guidelines. This decision was strongly debated since the imperforate stamps are valid for postage. They eventually decided to give the stamps minor numbers and have continued issuing imperforates in the years since.
Because they were issued in such limited quantities, these scarce modern imperforates can be difficult to find. Luckily Mystic purchased a small number of each imperforate stamp issued so you can add these modern rarities to your collection. Be one of the lucky few – order today.