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