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