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Stamp Glossary For The Stamp Collector

Jul 8, 2008
A glossary of stamp collecting terms enables collectors to get an idea of what type of stamps are on the market and helps introduce new specialty stamps and products. A glossary of these commonly used terms has been compiled to enable you to better understand when dealing with others in the stamp collecting environment.

Stamps that are mailed by dealers to collectors for free examination where the collector selects and pays for only those he/she wants, then sends the remainder back to the dealer are called Approvals. Booklet Panes are small printed sheets of stamps that are sold in booklet form, which usually contain two or three panes. Stamps that have been canceled without having actually been used by the postal service in any way are called Canceled To Order or CTO.

A small sheet of stamps that bears a commemorative inscription is a Commemorative Sheet. Any stamp that has been created for the sole purpose of deception is called a Counterfeit. Stamps where part of all of the design is raised above the surface of the paper is called Embossed. Error is a stamp with the wrong design, color, printing, paper, perforations, or overprinting, which are rare and quite valuable. Fake is a stamp that has been altered in order to raise its value or appeal to a collector. A fraudulent reproduction of a postage stamp is called a Forgery.

A stamp released by a post office department during a certain period of time is known as an Issue. A pair of stamps that show a line of color between them is known as a Line Pair. Stamps in original unused condition and have never been canceled are known as Mint Stamps. Mint Sheet is an entire sheet of stamps in its original condition being unused. A stamp that has original gum and has never been hinged, soiled, stained, creased, marked, or torn it known as Mint Never Hinged. An unseparated group of stamps is called a Multiple.

A block of stamps where a name appears in the margin instead of a number is called a Name Block. New Issue refers to the latest stamps issued by a country. A stamp that is still attached to an a piece of mail is called On Cover. On Paper is a stamp that has been used on mail and is still attached to part of the mail. A package of stamps offered for sale by a dealer is called a Packet. Pair is two unseparated stamps, which can be vertical or horizontal. One of four or six groups of stamps that makes up a full sheet is known as a Pane.

A stamp printed from its original plate then the stamp will cease to be sold is called a Reprint. Reissue is a stamp that has been withdrawn from circulation then reprinted and reissued at a later date. Se-Tenant describes adjoining stamps that have different designs, denominations, or other aspects. A group of stamps from a certain issue or series minus the high values of the set is known as a Short Set. Souvenir Sheet is a sheet of stamps that have been printed by the government for a special even or purpose. Specimen is a stamp or stationery distributed to member countries of the Universal Postal Union.

A pair of attached stamps that are arranged so that one is printed upside down are called Tete-Beche. Tied To indicates a stamp that has been attached to an envelope with the postmark extending over the stamp and onto the cover. A stamp having no cancellation or other sign of use is known as Unused. Used is a stamp that has been canceled.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about rare coins, stamp collections, and rare collectibles. Follow these links to find the best marketplace for: collections, glossary, and collectibles.
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