February 12, 2012

My Stamp Collection Blog


Letters have been part of my life since I was a child. It started in my family where my parents and my Auntie Merriam, who lived with us, regularly received mails from relatives. In those days, the old familiar traditional postal service and the old-fashioned telegram service were the only means of communication exchange and flow between people who lived far from each other.

The most common mass media known then were magazines and wireless radio with no rampant advertisement like today that floods even the least mainstream of communication channel.

At the age of 9, I was enrolled in Grade 3 under a teacher by the name of Mrs Gloria Regis Alagar in Karomatan Central Elementary School. Under her guidance, she taught us how to write letters as part of our English class. And this is where my interest in stamp collecting was conceptualized along with my growing interest in letter writing that soon became a hobby.

Until I reached high school and having had been associated with an American Peace Corp by the name of Miss Constance Parker Reimerof Cleveland, Ohio, whom we fondly called "Connie", the real stamp collecting began. That was in 1963 in a place called Baroy, Lanao del Norte. Connie was our neighbour. She lived across the street where we were and she was our Summer English Teacher on request.

It is through this blog that I want to get reconnected to Connie if she is still alive. The last news I heard about her through my high school friends and neighbours was that she was married to a certain Tom with a family name that starts in letter F. I unfortunately did not remember after some years of losing contact with Connie due to our constant moving having lived a pretty nomadic life.

The last year I received communication from Connie was in 1966-1967. I was in my Junior High School Year in Marawi City.

Letter writing days... where are those days gone by? 

Days may have gone but not the friendship I fostered through letter writing. I've been saving these letters for years! Over two decades since my arrival in this country I now called Home!

September 23, 2011

Glossary compiled by Joe Blaza

As compiled by Joe Blaza at Facebook: Postcrossing Enthusiast Group
(por permisso?)

Glossary of Terms

Philately - The collection AND study of postage stamps, postal stationery and postal history. (Greek root philo, meaning an attraction or affinity for something, and ateleia, meaning "exempt from duties and taxes"). The introduction of postage stamps meant that the receipt of letters was now free of charge; before stamps it was normal for postal charges to be paid by the recipient of a letter.

Aerophilately -  The branch of philately that specializes in the study of airmail, including but not limited to, airmail postage stamps, airmail etiquettes, postal markings related to air transport, mail recovered from aircraft accidents,  first flights and other "special" flights, and postal documents transmitted by air.

Backstamp - A postmark applied to mail by the receiving post office or by a post office handling the piece while it is in transit. Backstamps are usually on the back of a cover, but they can be on the front.

Block - A unit of four or more unsevered stamps, including at least two stamps both vertically and horizontally. Most commonly a block refers to a block of four, or a block of stamps two high and two wide.

Cachet - On a cover, the cachet is an added design or text, often corresponding to the design of the postage stamp, the mailed journey of the cover, or some type of special event. Cachets appear on modern first-day covers, first-flight covers and special-event covers.

Cancellation - A mark placed on a stamp by a postal authority to show that it has been used.

Coils - A stamp prepared in rolls for sale and use in stamp-vending and affixing machines. Coils are often imperforate on two parallel sides and bear distinctive perforations.

Commemorative - A stamp issued to note a special event or anniversary. A limited quantity of these stamps is available at the post office for a limited period.

Cover - An envelope or piece of postal stationery, usually one that has been mailed. A cover also refers to folded letters that were addressed and mailed without an envelope. (cf. First Day Cover)

Crash Cover - An envelope or package that has been recovered from a fixed wing aircraft, airship or airplane crash, train wreck, shipwreck or other accident.

Definitive - Regular issues of postage stamps, usually sold over long periods of time. They tend to be fairly small and printed in large quantities often more than once.

Etiquette - A gummed label manufactured for application to postal material to designate a specific mail service (e.g. registered mail, priority mail, air mail).

First Day Cover ((FDC) - A cover bearing a stamp tied by a cancellation showing the date of the first day of issue of that stamp.

Gum - The substance applied to the reverse of stamps to help them adhere to a mailing item. Usually is water-activated.

Mini-sheet - A smaller-than-normal pane of stamps issued only in that form or in addition to full panes. A miniature sheet is usually without marginal markings or text saying that the sheet was issued in conjuction with or to commemorate some event.

Mint - A stamp in the same condition as when it was issued and purchased at the post office. Original gum is on the reverse and the stamp has never been hinged.

Pair - Two unseparated stamps.

Perforations - Lines of small holes or cuts between rows of stamps that make them easy to separate.

Postmark - An official postal marking usually giving the date and origin or a piece of mail and is often part of the cancellation.

Se-tenant - Two or more unseparated stamps of different designs, colors, denominations or types, usually containing all the available designs for that series.

Souvenir Sheet - A small sheet of stamps, usually including one value or a complete set of stamps. A souvenir sheet usually has a wide margin and a commemorative inscription on the margin
Strip- Three or more unseparated stamps in a row, vertically or horizontally.

Deltiology - a type of philately concerned with the study and collection of postcards. (Greek  deltos, "writing tablet, letter"; and  l√≥gos, "word", "knowledge".)

Artist signed - A postcard carrying a print of the signature of the artist or a postcard on which the publisher clearly identifies the artist's name.

Maximum card (Maxicard) - A postcard with a postage stamp placed on the picture side of the card where the stamp and card match or are in concordance. The cancel is also related to the image on the front of the card and the stamp.

Maximaphily - The study of Maximum Cards.

Mint Condition – A postcard that has no writing and is not posted.

Postcard – A card printed by private company where the stamp has to be affixed.

Postal Card - Cards issued by the postal authority with a printed stamp.

Size of Postcards:
   v  Standard Size - Approximately 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches
   v  Court Size - Approximately 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches
   v  Continental Size - Approximately 4 x 6 inches, common size for modern cards.
   v  Jumbo or Over Sized - Larger than Continenta
   v  Bookmark Cards - Long and narrow approximately 2 1/2 x 5 or 6 inches.
   v  Miniature Size - Approximately 1/2 size of Standard.

Undivided Back (UDB) - A postcard back without a dividing line to separate the message from the address. It carried the recipient’s address and postage stamp on one side and the message was written on the “picture” side.

Source: Facebook Postcrossing Enthusiasts Group

May 30, 2010

Stamp Terms

Annual Collection - complete collection of Australian gummed stamps for the year with background information about each issue

block - collecting configuration of at least four stamps

booklet - folder of gummed or self-adhesive stamps

cinderella - looking like a stamp, but not issued by a postal authority and not valid for postage.

collector pack - a packet of stamps, with self-adhesive stamps extracted from rolls of 100 and 200

colonial stamps - stamps issued by Australian colonies before 1901 (Stamps issued between 1901 and 1912 are termed State stamps)

Commonwealth stamps - stamps issued by Australia after 1913

commemorative stamps - stamps issued to commemorate specific events or anniversaries

counter printed stamps - stamps dispensed from PostShop counter machines in denominations selected at the time of purchase

decimal stamps - Australian stamps issued since the introduction of decimal currency in 1966

definitive stamps - stamps produced to meet ongoing postal requirements, usually on sale for several years

denomination - the price expressed on a stamp

designer - person responsible for preparing a stamp design

domestic stamps - ordinary Australian stamps issued since 2000 for use on mail delivered to Australian addresses (see "international stamps")

first day cover - a pictorial envelope with associated stamps affixed and postmarked on their first day of issue

Frama stamps - stamps in use between 1984 and 2003 and dispensed from vending machines in denominations selected at the time of purchase

gummed stamps - traditional stamps produced in sheet format

gutter stamps - collecting configuration involving stamps on either side of the blank space (the "gutter") separating the two halves of a sheet

instant stamps - stamps produced within one or two days of an event occurring (e.g for Australian Olympic Gold Medallists)

intaglio (or recess) stamps - printing by a line-engraved process used for Australian stamps issued from the late 1920s to the mid 1970s

international stamps - special Australian stamps, distinguished by a blue strip along one side, issued since 2000 for use on mail delivered to international addresses

IPPE - international postage paid envelope

joint issue - stamps of the same theme (and usually design) issued jointly by two or more countries

koala count - symbols printed on the edges of stamp sheets to indicate the number of reprints for particular stamps 9e.g. 1 koala =forst reprint)

lettercard - postcard folded to seal correnspondence

lithography - printing method used for most Australian stamps issued since 1980

luminiscence - a substance impregnated in the stamp paper to activate mail sorting and cancelling machinery

maximum card (or maxicard) - postage prepraid postcard with associated stamp affixed and postmarked on its first day of issue

miniature sheet (or minisheet) - one or more stamps incorporated in a small sheet

mini stamp - unuesed stamp

mint unhinged - unused stamp not previously mounted to a page by a stamp hinge

national first day of issue postmark - postmark used at a related location to stamps issued for the first time

OS ("On Service") stamps - stamps overprinted or punctured with the initials "O S" were provided for use by government departments until the mid-1930s

overprint - text, numerals or design elements added to an existing stamp, miniature sheet or product

pair - collecting configuration of two stamps

pane - any number of joined stamps in a continuous format (e.g. sheet of 50 stamps might comprise two panes of 25)

perforations - holes which separate stamps, measured by the number of holes across two centimetres (e.g. perforated 13.9 x 14.6 means the stamp has 13.9 holes per 2 cm across the horizontal edges and 14.6 holes per 2 cm along the vertical edges)

Personalised StampsTM - stamps with an attached tab that have been personalised with a photograph or design

philately (pronounced "fil-at-e-ly") - the hobby of stamp collecting and the study of stamps

philtatelist (pronounced "fil-at-e-list") - a collector who studies stamps

philatelic (pronounced "fil-a-tellic") - (adjective) relating to stamp collecting

photogravure - printing method used for most Australian stamps issued during the 1960s and 1970s

postage due stamps - stamps in use until 1963 as a receipt for payment of postage owing on underpaid mail

postage paid envelope (PPE) - envelope with a printed image in the stamp area produced for vaious domestic postal uses

postcard - usually prepaid, postcards produced by Australia Post

postmark - cancels stamps and records the date and location where articles are processed

pre-decimal stamps - Australian stamps issued prior to 1966 when pounds, shillings and pence currency was in use

pre-stamped envelope (PSE) - envelope with a printed image and the denomination in the stamp area

self-adhesive stamps - stamps generally sold in rolls or sheetlets, which adhere to mail without licking

selvedge - area of a stamp sheet outside the perforated stamps

se-tenant (pronounced "see-ten-ant") - two or more adjoining stamps of different designs in a sheet

sheet - generally 50 stamps printed in a sheet format

sheetlet - generally up to 20 stamps printed in a sheet format

souvenir cover - a pictorial envelope produced for a special occasion

special issue - short term stamps not tied to any specific event or anniversary

Special Event Souvenir (SES) sheet - sheet incorporating Personalised Stamps TM issued to honour a special occasion.

specimen stamps - high denomination stamps overprinted "SPECIMEN" were invalid for postage and sold under face value to collectors

stamp and coin cover - a souvenir envelope or first day cover bearing stamps and a coin related to the same subject

Stamp Bulletin - Australia Post magazine available for collectors Stamp Explorer - Australia Post magazine available for children

stamp pack - presentation folder containing the gummed stamps of a particular issue

strip - collecting configurations of three or more stamps in a single row

tab - the area next to a stamp (certain issues only) that is available for personalisation (see Personalised StampsTM)

Territories Collection - full collection of every Australian Antarctic Territory, Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands stamp issued for the year with information about each issue

tete-beche (pronounced "tet-besh" or tate-bay-sh") - adjoining stamps printed in a head-to-toe format

thematics - collecting stamps that relate to a particular topic or theme, such as birds or trains

watermark - security image impregnated in stamp paper

Source: Collecting Australian Stamps, a beginner's guide by Richard Breckon
Produced byAustralia Post Philatelic Group

March 20, 2010

The world through stamps

Collector's Stamp Album

Gift from John Hart of Ipswich UK, 1983
Gen Luna St., Ermita, Manila

March 10, 2010

Australian Pages

Great Britain

First Day Cover Album

17 February 2009

New Stamp Stock Book

Cats Series 2
17 December 2009

Steps in Collecting Stamps

Old and New

The White and Brown Leather Bound Albums
17 December 2009


Where it all began
17 February 2009

Cats Collection

Australian White Stamp Book

My First Australian Stamp Book

The Origin of an Old Hobby

My Philippine Stamp Scrap Book (1987)

Australia Post: Selected Issues 1990

Sports with Bits

Governor Macquarie

Great Australian Railway Journeys


Australian Trains like The Ghan and the Indian Pacific cross the continent from south to norht and east to west respectively, covering great distances, often over isolated and difficult terrain.

Other routes, such as the West Coast Wilderness Railway on the west coast of Tasmania and Kuranda Scenic Railway in northern Queensland traverse much smaller distances in rugged and precipitous mountainous country.

These railways were once the primary means of linking isolated Australian settlements with more populous cities. Today tourists include these routes among the great railway journeys of Australia.

Source: Post Australia, Martin Place-George Sts, Sydney CBD.
28 May 2010

Australia Post Bicentennial Issue

200th Birthday Concert Envelope

The Australia Post 200th birthday was celebrated by a free public concert and historical display that were held at Darling Harbour on June 27 and 28 (2009). The public exhibition featured historic vehicles, uniforms, photos and other archival materials.

The building in the picture is Sydney General Post Office 1952 taken from the National Archives of Australia.

Source: Post Australia, Martin Place-George Streets, Sydney CBD
28 May 2010

March 08, 2010

Marine Life

C5 Envelope

High-crown Seahorse Hippocampus procerus.

Seahorses live in weedy habitats in the shallows, and among sponges when in deep water. They rely on a prehensile tail and mastery of camouflage, including the ability to change colour, to avoid predators. The High-crown Seahorse is found from Moreton Bay to Fraser Island in Queensland.

Source: Post Australia, Westpoint Shop, Blacktown

World Stamps

Australia Post: Collector's Choice 

Cover Book Collaborative Page 1


Cover Book Collaborative Page 2 - Sports

Cover Book Collaborative Page 3

Cover Book Collaborative Page 4