Insect and Butterfly Postal Stamps
Butterfly postage stamps aren't just for mailing. Postage stamps can represent an idea, culture, art, and history, and can hold a special meaning to you. Butterfly postage collecting allows you to further enjoy the aesthetics of these delicate, beautiful insects and the feeling they stir within.What is a mint never-hinged stamp?
Mint never-hinged, or MNH, refers to the condition of the gum. A MNH is a stamp that has never been used, is in its original, undisturbed gum and that has accrued no damage done by hinging. The gum is the sticky stuff on the back of the stamp that allows it to adhere to surfaces like envelopes or paper.
Any postage in MNH condition are considered premium postage stamps. Mints can be in old condition but considered mint as long as they haven't been used.
Other types of postage stamps include:
- Original (OG): This means these postage stamps are original but have been degenerated with age.
- Regummed (RG): New gum has been put on the stamp.
- No gum (NG): This means the gum has been washed off.
- Lightly Hinted (LH): These are mint-condition postage that have been only lightly disturbed by hinging.
- Heavily Hinged (HH): These are mint-condition but have been damaged by hinging.
- Error, Freak, Oddity (EFO): These generally imply production errors or unusual issuance that set the postage apart from the rest of its kind. EFO postal is rare and is a sought-after variety to some collectors.
In older postage stamps, an older butterfly postage may have a matte finish if it's been exposed to sunlight or chemicals, or it may be tagged. Tagged postage is virtually unseen by the naked eye. To detect a taggant on your butterfly postage stamps, shine an ultraviolet light on them. If it's a taggant, the tagging will show up as bright yellow green fluorescent.How can you certify a rare butterfly stamp's authenticity?
The easiest way to verify any butterfly type or other rare stamp is to find a reputable philatelist dealer, collector, or auctioneer. International philatelist authorities have worldwide specialist auctions with experts who can also help verify. The Philatelic Foundation can help verify any rare stamp.Can vintage butterfly postal stamps be used for postage?
Postage stamps do not expire and can be used indefinitely; however, depending on what's being mailed, additional postage stamps may be required.