Philatelic and Postal History Primer
Types of Collections - Plate Blocks
Introduction//Stamp Types//Collection Types//Getting Started//Associations

Types of Collections - Plate Blocks

Another type of specialty collection is a Plate Block Collection.

A Plate Number Block is a block of stamps with the attached portion of the sheet margin bearing the plate number. A plate number is an index number that is engraved in a plate from which the stamps are printed and is used to keep track of the plates. It is usually found on one of the corner margins. Until quite recently Plate Blocks usually consisted of either 4 or 6 stamps as shown in the first example to the right.
A few years ago, the USPS Changed the Rules.  Now, some issues have a set of different plate numbers all across the margin and there are Color Blocks, Zip Blocks and confusion as to what constitutes a Plate Block today.

The second Block of Stamps to the right is an example of a combined Plate Number, Color Block and Zip Block.  This block had to be purchased in a block of 20 stamps in order to obtain all of the markings present on the pane.

The block of stamps below is an example of a Plate Block with 6 different plate numbers across the top. A Block of 12 stamps is required in order to obtain all 6 numbers. (The first number is in yellow and does not show up very well.)


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