An envelope or package of stamps, offered for
sale by a dealer. A packet generally refers to a package with no
A special postmark applied to mail carried
on a ship chartered or owned by a government or post office.
Two unseparated stamps. Can be either a vertical or horizontal pair.
of usually four or six groupings of stamps which go to make up a
full sheet. Commonly referred to, (in
error) as a sheet.
A class of postal services reserved for the sending of packages or
parcels no longer in use in the United States.
Covers on which patriotic pictures and/or slogans appear. They were
very common during "The American
Holes punched in a stamp to form letters of a
design, used to advertise or to prevent theft.
Perforation Size: The
number of perforated holes in a space 2 centimeters long as
determined by use of a perforation gauge.
A license to use a registered permit number,
given to the sender of bulk mailings to speed up the mailing
Any bureau or central point maintained by a government for selling
current issues of stamps in quantity to dealers and in some cases to
method for printing stamps, in which a photograph of the stamp
design is etched into a metal plate, usually for use on a rotary
Stamps bearing pictures of landscapes, animals, flowers, etc. as
differentiated from those with portraits and/or symbols.
Plate Number: A
file or index number engraved in a plate from which stamps are
printed used to keep track of the plates. Usually found in one of
the corner margins.
Plate Number Block:
A block of stamps with the attached portion of the sheet margin
bearing the plate number.
Plate Number Coil:
(PNC) A strip of three or
five coil stamps containing the plate number below the center stamp.
A block of four or more stamps with markings indicating a position
on the sheet such as arrow blocks.
Postage and Revenue:
An inscription on a stamp indicating that they can be used for
either postage or revenue purposes.
Postage Due Stamps:
Special stamps affixed to mail to indicate that the postage was
underpaid by the sender. the amount indicated by the Postage Due
stamp is collected from the addressee. Postage Due stamps are no
longer in use.
Envelopes, postcards, wrappers, etc., with stamps officially printed
or embossed on them.
Used to indicate a stamp which was actually
used as postage as distinguished from a stamp that was
"Canceled To Order"
or used for other non-mail purposes.
A stamp issued by individual postmasters in various towns and cities
used locally before general postal issues were made available. Used
in the United States during 1846 and again by Confederate
Postmasters during 1861.
Paper containing intersecting vertical and horizontal lines forming
small squares or rectangles.
A stamp design that retains all the main
characteristics and essential elements of its type, but contains
Mail for which the sender is given a
numbered receipt by the post office, assigning a specific monetary
value to the item being mailed for the purpose of compensation for
in case of a loss.
A stamp which has been withdrawn from
circulation and reprinted and reissued at a later date by postal
A stamp printed from the original plates,
usually after an issues has become obsolete, and not intended for
Revenue Stamps: Stamps
affixed to documents, spirits, stock certificates, playing cards,
tobacco, etc. to show that the required government tax has been
A printing method using curved plates. Stamps
that have been printed on this type of press are slightly higher or
wider than those printed on a flat-bed press.
method of stamp separation in which slits or pin holes of various
sizes and shapes are made between the rows and columns of stamps
without removing any paper as is done with perforations.
A special paper used to make it more difficult to produce
fraudulent stamps or alterations.
A term applied to two or more unseparated
stamps having different designs and/or values. The stamps are
usually part of a set of commemorative stamps.
Microscopic or hidden marks placed in a stamp
design by the engraver for identification purposes.
Stamps that have been surcharged,
overprinted or inscribed with an extra charge in addition to the
postage fee in order to obtain funs for various charities.
the denominations of stamps belonging to a certain issue, as in the
A group of stamps from a particular issue or
series minus the high values of the set.
The process of immersing a stamp in water to
remove any attached bits of paper.
Souvenir Sheet: A
of one or more stamps specifically printed by a government for a
specific event or purpose. The Margins usually contain an
inscription describing the purpose of the issue.
Space filler: An
inferior copy of a stamp used to fill an album space until a better
copy can be obtained.
Special Delivery Stamp: A
stamp used to indicate that the postal item is to be delivered by
special messenger to the addressee upon its arrival at the Post
A collector who restricts his stamp collecting
to a special field or area. Examples of a specialist collection
could be United States Revenues, Confederate Issues, Ships on
Stamps, Stampless covers, Duck Stamps, etc.
Envelopes or sheets folded into envelopes with the written message
on the inside. which were posted prior to the use of postage stamps.
The covers usually bear postal markings indicating the date the item
was mailed and its Postal Origin. In addition, other markings such
as Paid, Ship, Steamboat, Way, etc. may be found on both stampless
and stamped covers. These additional markings greatly enhance the
value of the cover.
A stamp with one or two adjacent sides without
perforations, caused by cutting the sheet into panes.
An overprinted revaluation of a stamp, which can also include
blocking out the original denomination.
The projections between perforation holes on a
Stamps used to pay telegraph charges or
A pair of unseparated stamps arranged so that
one is printed upside-down in relation to the other. Triangle stamps
are usually printed in this manner.
Indicates the stamp has been affixed to an envelope card or wrapper
with a postmark extending over the stamp and onto the cover
authenticating that the stamp and cover belong together.
The practice of collecting only stamps
relating to a single subject or theme, such as, Ships, Seashells,
Birds or Trains.
The most common type of postmark giving the name of the post office
were the item was mailed from and usually the date.
A lamp producing strong ultraviolet rays used by experts to check
for tampering, aniline inks or phosphor tagging on postage stamps.
Both Short-wave and Long-wave Ultraviolet lamps are used in Stamp
collecting; depending on the Country of issue and the type of
Universal Postal Union:
An international organization formed in 1874, which virtually all
countries are members of. The purpose of the UPU is to regulate
international postal matters and facilitate cooperation among its
members on such issues as international mail distribution and postal
Not canceled or otherwise defaced, but not in mint condition or with
The term denotes a stamp that has been
postally used rather than canceled to order.
The main portion of a stamp design, usually the portrait or picture
inside the border.
disparaging term used to describe stamps which have little or no
A list of some or all of the stamps a collector is missing from his
collection. A want list is usually presented to a dealer by the
collector, specifying the stamps needed and listing their catalog
number, desired condition and quantity needed. A suggested price
range is also sometimes submitted.
War Tax Stamp:
Stamps issued in wartime for some countries, required to be used on
mail in addition to regular postage, to help defray the expenses of
A design consisting of characters, letters, numbers, words, Or
caused by a plate flaw, impressed into the paper during its
manufacture and visible in part or whole on each stamp printed on
the paper. The design can sometimes be seen by holding the stamp up
to a light. The normal method for detecting watermarks is with the
aid of special watermark detecting fluid and a small plastic tray.
The most commonly used paper for the printing
of stamps. It has a finely netted texture created during the
A sheet of paper, gummed at one end and
printed with a stamp, to be used for wrapping and mailing
Stamps issued for use on the German Airship Graf Zeppelin.
Zip-Code Inscription Block:
A block of U.S. stamps containing the sheet margin inscription,
"Use Zip Code."