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My Stamp Collection


Terminology

Stamps Terminology
Section is Stamps;
#TermDefinition
1AdhesiveThe substance on the back of a stamp that allows it to attach to an envelope or postcard.
2Airmail StampA stamp that prepayed the postal rates for air transport.
3AlbumUsed by collectors to store stamps, usually in some ordered format.
4BlockA series of attached stamps at least two high and two wide.
5Booklet PaneTerm ImageA section of stamps from a stamp booklet.  This is a whole section (or page), untorn but unattached to the full booklet.
6CancellationA mark used by the post office to indicate that a stamp has paid for services and cannot be reused.  Some cancellations are blobs or blotches while others can have significant meaning.

Average
FancyPostmarked with some form of decorative design.
First DayA cancellation used on a stamp on it's first day in circulation.
Heavy
Light
Pre-cancelledStamps issued with printed cancellations on them. Many are issued on commemorative envelopes.
7CenteringThe position of the design of a stamp between the edges.  A perfectly centered stamp will have equal spaces between the perforations (or edges) and the border of the design.

SSuperbThe design is very nearly perfectly centered within the perforations.
XFExtremely fineThe design can be slightly off one direction, but still very nicely centered, almost perfect.
VFVery fineThe design can be further off from center, but still well away from the edge and very attractive.
F-VFFine to very fineThe design is closer to the edge, but still well away. This is the most widely collected centering, good enough to be attractive, but not sky high in price.
FFineThe determination of fine is that the design can be very close to the edge, but it cannot be cut by the perforations.
AVGAverageIf the design is cut into by the perforations at all then the stamp is average.
8CoilTerm ImageStamps are sometimes sold in coils.  These stamps usually have two imperforate (straight) edges.  These straight edges are usually on the top and the bottom of the stamp.
9Coil PairA pair of coil stamps still together.  Many collectors like to collect pairs from a coil.
10CommemorativesStamps that are issued for a limited time and are in honor or celebration of specific people or events.
11ConditionThe condition of a stamp is determined by a variety of factors.  It can be cancelled or uncancelled, has adhesive or not, been hinged or not, physical condition of the stamp, centering, etc.
12CoverAn envelope with a postage stamp affixed.
13Curved PlateA cylindrical plate used in rotary style printing presses.  Due to the method of printing, images are slightly distorted.
14DefinitivesThese are usually smaller sized stamps that are printed in large quantities.  They are often a single color and are made available for an indefinite period of time.
15DenominationThe monetary value that a stamp will pay for in delivering a package or letter.  Its face value.
16Face ValueThe amount of money that a stamp costs where purchased new.  The demonination.
17FacingVertical bars read by automated equipment that can identify, orient and separates different classes of mail.
18FIPEXFifth International Philatelic Exhibition.  The Fifth International Philatelic Exhibition was in New York City on April 28 through May 5, 1956.
19First Day CoverA cover (envelope) with a stamp affixed that is cancelled on the first day it was issued.  Many of these have special cancellations related to the stamp.
20Flat PlateA metal plate used in printing presses.
21GumA term for the adhesive on the back of a stamp that attaches the stamp to an envelope or package.
22Gum BreakersBreaks in the gumming on stamps that reduce the amount of curling a sheet has when printed on a rotary press.  There are three kinds of Gum Breakers - Type I the breaks are 5.5mm apart, Type II the breaks are 22mm and on Type III they are 12mm apart.
23Gutter BlockA block of stamps separated by a gutter.
24Gutter MarginGutter margin is a margin dividing a sheet of stamps into separate panes.
25Gutter PairTerm ImageA pair of stamps separated by a gutter.
26HingeA small piece of gummed paper that is used to affix a stamp to a stamp album without using the stamps adhesive to do so.  This allows for stamps to be more easily removed if necessary.  Using hinges on mint stamps does some damage to the gum on the stamp.
27ImperforateTerm ImageA stamp that has no perforations (the small holes between stamps that allow for easy separation of the stamps).
28Line PairA coil pair in which a line is shown through the perforations.  A guide line pair has deliberate lines in the plate and are generally very clear.  A joint line pair is caused from the seam in the cylindrical plate when printing and are less distinct.
29Meta SeriesThis is my term for a stamp series that spans many years and many variations.  More a like a theme than a series, such as Love or Statehood stamps.
30MintA stamp that is in the same condition as it was when first printed.  This means, among other things, that it has never been hinged and has all of it gum.
31OverprintTerm ImagePrinting on a stamp that was not part of the original design.  Overprints may occur when there is not enough time to print new stamps for whatever purpose the stamp is needed.  In these cases existing stamps are overstamped.  Precancelled stamps are also an example of an overprint.
32PaneA full sheet of stamps.
33PerforationsThe small holes punched between stamps that allows them to be separated easily.  Perforations come in styles and in differing widths and may vary even for the same stamp design.
34PhilatelyThe hobby of stamp collecting and the study of stamps.
35Plate BlockTerm ImageA block of stamps that includes a plate number on the selvage which identifies the plate used during printing.
36Postage DueA type of stamp that indicates there was not enough postage to deliver the letter.  The receiver then pays the additional postage shown.
37Postal StationarySome form of letter or postcard that has postage payment pre-marked on it and therefore does not require a stamp.
38PostmarkA mark indicating from where the letter was sent.  Usually used as part of the cancellation.
39PrecancelledPrecancelled letters are primarily used for bulk mailers in order to reduce processing time.
40PrexiesA nickname given to the Presidential defiinitives series issued 1938-1954.
41SelvageThe margin of a pane of stamps.  This may include plate numbers and other markings.  Individual stamps or blocks may have selvage attached also.
42Semi-postalPostage stamps are sold for more than their postage value in order to raise funds for a charity.
43Se-tenantTwo or more stamps that are attached but are of different designs.
44Souvenir SheetSheets of stamps that are issued primarily for collecting purposes.  These will usually have some form of decorative border and additional information included.
45SpecialSpecials are usually similar to definitives but are issued for special occasions or themes.  The Love stamps and the Christmas stamps are examples.
46ThematicStamps that share a similar design and theme such as national parks, animals, space exploration, etc.  These are sometimes issued on the same page or souvenir sheets together.
47TongsTweezers usually with a flat smooth gripping service that are used to handle stamps so that finger grease and prints don't mar them.
48TopicalStamps that share a similar design and theme such as national parks, animals, space exploration, etc.  These are sometimes issued on the same page or souvenir sheets together.
49UV LightA black light that is used to view tagging that has been applied to certain stamps.  Lights with a wavelength 254 nm can be used for tagging on stamps from the United States, Canada, Israel, Great Britain, etc.  Lights with a wavelength of 366nm should be used on stamps of China, France, Mexico, etc.
50VignetteThe area of a stamp on which the main design is located.







Presented: 04-Mar-2024 01:12:11

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