Accessories. Any or all materials supplementing the collecting of stamps, such as albums, tweezers, hinges, watermark
Adhesive. A term applied to ordinary postage stamps intended for sticking on letters and parcels, as compared with envelope
stamps and postcards, where the design is impressed or imprinted onto the envelope or card.
Advertising Tab. A stamp-sized space adjoining a stamp, on which paid-for advertising appears. Examples of this are met
with in certain issues of Belgium.
Affranchi. French for Postage. Another use is Affranchisement, meaning Postage Paid.
Aguinaldo Stamps. A series of adhesives issued by the Revolutionary Government in the Philippines under the leadership
of Aguinaldo in 1898.
Albino. A colorless impression generally found on embossed envelopes. The impressed design can be seen, without the color.
Album. Book issued for the express purpose of housing a stamp collection. There are several types, some bound and others
loose-leaf. The album pages of bound books generally are printed, and in the unbound may be either printed, quadrilled, or
Amharic. The official language of Ethiopia (Abyssinia) used on its stamps.
Analine. A term used in connection with color descriptions, particularly mauve and carmine shades. This type of dye is
quite soluable in water and causes the stamps to have an overall pinkish shade after soaking.
Anchel. Equivalent to our word "Post" and used on the stamps of Travancore and Cochin, Native Indian States.
Anchor. Certain stamps of Great Britain and the Cape of Good Hope use this watermark device. Those without the cable are
known as the "unfouled" type, while those with the cable entwined about the anchor are called the "fouled" style.
A Payer, Te Betalen. This inscription is used on the Belgian postage due stamps, and means, literally, "to pay."
A Percevoir. Used on French postage due stamps, translated to read "to receive" or "to collect."
Approval. A form of stamp dealing in which the dealer undertakes to send a selection of stamps to a collector subject to
his or her approval.
A.P.S. Initials of the American Philatelic Society, largest collectors' organization in the United States.
A.R. Abbreviation of "Acknowledgement of Receipt" as used in Bolivia and other countries.
A Receber. Portuguese for postage due.
Army Frank. A label resembling the 10-cent 1869 U.S. stamp, but without postage value.
Arrow. A v-shaped marking appearing in the sheet margins of stamps, generally at the ends of guide lines, which are used
as a guide for perforating.
Artigas. A stamp design type used by Uruguay, portraying Gen. Artigas.
A.S.D.A. Initials of the American Stamp Dealers' Association.
Athens Print. A distinction used on early Greek stamps to distinguish printings made in Athens, as against Belgium or France.
As Is. Used in descriptions of lots, collections, and even individual stamps, in which the buyer assumes all risks.
At Betale. A postage due inscription of stamps of Norway.
Avis De Paiement. Translated this means "advice of payment"
Aviso De Reception. An acknowledgement of Receipt marking on some Salvadorean stamps.
Avisporto-Maerke. This inscription appears on Danish postage stamps to signify prepayment of postage of newspapers sent
Avo. The value used on most of the stamps of Portuguese Macao and Timor.
Back Stamp. A marking on the reverse of an envelope to denote date and time of arrival at the city of destination.
Baj. A value of the Roman States and Romania, actually a Bajocchio.
Balloon Post. A form of mail service used during the FrancoPrussian war of 1870 in which balloons were released from besieged
Paris carrying letters. After the balloons floated past the enemy lines and landed, the mail was sent on.
Bank Mixtures. Quantities of stamps taken from mail received by banks and usually sold by weight.
Batonne Paper. A "ruled" paper, so-called because the watermark consists of parallel straight lines.
Bayern (Bayr). The name of the Kingdom of Bavaria.
Benzene. A liquid used for watermark detecting. It is inflammable.
Besa. A currency of the Benadir Company.
Bicolored. As the term implies, stamps printed in two colors, and generally requiring two plates.
Bi-Lingual. Stamps having the inscriptions and, sometimes, the value indications in two languages, as practiced by Belgium,
South Africa and Canada.
Bisect. Half of a stamp, either vertically, diagonally or horizontally, to meet another rate where various values are short.
Blind Perforations. Hole punching which did not register, leaving the paper intact, or with slight impress markings.
Blocks. Unsevered units of four or more stamps, arranged at least two by two.
Blue Paper. An experimental paper used in 1909 by the United States which, because of its high rag content, had a bluish
Bogus. Stamps and labels issued by private individuals with intent to defraud.
Boliviano. The value in which stamps are issued by Bolivia; named after Simon Bolivar.
Bollo Postale. An inscription on stamps of San Marino, meaning Postage Stamp.
Booklet Panes. Stamps printed in special layouts for sale to individuals in small booklets.
Brinkerhoff. The name of a manufacturer of stamp vending machines.
Broad Star. A larger variety of the "star" watermark, used on British Colonial stamps.
Bruselles. The French rendition of Brussels.
Buleaga O Togo. An inscription standing for "Government of Tonga.,, Bull's Eyes. The name given the first stamps of Brazil,
because of the similarity of the background to a bull's eye.
Bureau Issues. Stamps engraved and printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, in Washington, D.C.
Bureau Prints. Stamps precancelled in the process of printing at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, in Washington, D.C.
Burelage. A network pattern of colored dots or lines forming part of the groundwork of scme stamp designs.
Cachet. An impression generally applied to the face of an envelope by rubber handstamp or metal to commemorate an event.
Cameo Type. Stamps with the featured subject (portrait) upraised against a dark solid background, just as in the normal
Cancellation. A marking applied to an envelope, usually stamped, to denote mailing and to render the stamp, if any, unfit
for further use.
Cancelled To Order. Stamps sold by governments in cancelled condition, usually with full gum on the reverse, which have
never fulfilled their postal duty.
Cantonnals. Stamps issued by authority of the cantonnal governments of Switzerland.
Capped Numerals. Numerals in a stamp design with colorless lines above them, due to defective transfer rolls.
Caricature. A term applied to the imitations of the Mulready envelope, to subject the originals to ridicule.
Caritas. A Latin word used by Luxembourg and Belgium to denote charity.
Carriers. Locals carrying mail from a post office to an address, where ordinary postage carried letters only from post
office to post office. This was a practice in the early 19th century.
Cartophily. The art of collecting postal cards on a scientific basis. Catalogue. A book, or books, listing stamps of the
world, or a type of stamps, and having a number, description and price of each stamp.
Centering. The evenness of the margins on all four sides of a stamp. Center Line. A line imprinted with the stamps for
use in perforating. This may be horizontal or vertical or both.
Centes, Centesimo, Centime. The first is a contraction of centesimi, used in Austrian Italy; the second is a monetary unit
of the governments of Italy and Uruguay, while the third is a monetary unit of France and its colonies, and of Belgium and
Centimetre. The 100th part of a meter, or .3927 inch, two of which, equaling 20 mm., the generally accepted unit for measuring
Certificado. Spanish for Registered.
Chalky Paper. Paper coated with a glutinous material and white dust which, when dry and polished, has a glazed surface.
Charity Stamps. Stamps with an added tax, which is used for charitable purposes.
Chemins De Fer. A designation (Belgium) for parcel post stamps.
Chiffre Taxe. An inscription appearing on the postage due stamps of France.
Cliche. A single stereotype of a stamp design.
Coils. Stamps sold in rolls for use in stamp vending machines.
Colis Posteaux. Postal packages adhesive; also Colis Postal. Color Changlings. Stamps which may be, or are, changed in
coloring by means of chemicals, sunlight or accident.
Color Chart. A guide identifying stamp colors.
Color Trials. Impressions of a stamp design in different colors before the final selection.
Colored Papers. Papers produced with sufficient coloring mixed with the pulp to give a desired tint.
Combination Cover. An envelope bearing two or more stamps of different value to make up a rate.
Commemoratives. Stamps honoring a specified event or person.
Compound Envelope. An envelope with two or more designs embossed or printed, to make up a rate.
Condominion (Condominium). Designations appearing on stamps showing joint rule by two nations, as in New Hebrides and New
Control Numbers. Numbers stamped in the sheet margins, or on the backs of stamps, for inventory purposes.
Corner Blocks. A unit of four or more stamps from the corner of a sheet.
Corner Letters. In early British stamps letters in alphabetical sequence were used in the lower corners.
Correos. Spanish word signifying postage.
Cote. French equivalent of coast.
Cover. An envelope carried through the mails.
Cracked Plate. Due to accident or mechanical imperfection a crack may appear and show as a line on printed stamps.
Crease. A fold running through a stamp, considered a defect.
Cut Into. Stamps, either cut apart or perforated, in which the separation cuts into the stamp design.
Cut Squares. Because of size, embossed stamps on envelopes are frequently cut out in a square for mounting.
Dandy Roll. A roller used in paper making, under which the partly formed paper passes in an early stage.
Death Mask Stamps. In the 1904 Serbia set, when held upside down, a "death mask" appears.
Demonetized. Stamps made invalid for postage by law. Die. The original engraved piece of metal or other material from which
reproductions are taken to form the plate or stone for stamp printing.
Double Impression. Stamps having the same design printed twice on the same side.
Double Paper. Frequently accidental, but also a patent paper with two layers. A thin surface and heavier backing, as a
safeguard against cleaning for reuse.
Double Strike. A double impression of the die, or transfer roll, whole or in part, onto the plate.
Duty Plate. The plate used in the production of bicolored stamps in which the value appears.
Embossing. A process of raising all or part of a design in relief.
Enameled Paper. A blue safety paper used on the 4d. British stamps of 1855, or the highly glazed paper used on some 1/2d.
stamps of Ceylon.
Encased Postage Stamps. Stamps set into small metal disks with mica facing and used as currency.
Engine Turning. A pattern of fine curved lines in a stamp design produced by a machine known as a Rose Engine.
Engraved. Stamps printed from hand engraved plates, or by transfer from an original die.
Entire. A complete envelope, with stamps or other postal marking.
Error. A stamp bearing a mistake of some sort.
Essay. A proposed design for a stamp which was not accepted in its original form.
Facsimile. A term used to designate reproductions of a stamp design.
Filler. An imperfect stamp mounted temporarily.
Fiscal. A revenue stamp, or postage stamp used as a revenue.
Flat Plate. A form of printing where the plate is flat, in contrast to rotary plate which is curved.
Frank. A marking indicating the right of free postage.
Frame. The border, or outside, portion of a design.
Frame Inverted. A curious error (Spanish) where a part of the frame was inverted.
Fugitive. An ink intended to prevent cleaning of stamp cancels, which runs when in contact with water or other fluid.
G. An initial overprinted on Cape of Good Hope stamps to denote use in Griqualand (1874-1880).
Georgian Stamps. Adhesives issued by Britain during the reigns of King George V and King George VI.
Government Imitations. Reprints or imitations of genuine stamps officially made some time after the original dies or plates
had been destroyed or lost.
Grill. A design impressed into a stamp as a protection against cleaning.
Guide Dots. Small dots made on the plate or transfer roll as a guide in the correct spacing and alignment of stamps.
Guide Line. Lines appearing on sheets of stamps (and coils) intended as a guide in perforating.
Gum. An adhesive applied to the back of a stamp.
Gutter Pair (or Block). Stamps separated by a gutter of varying width, not to be confused with the normal spacing between
stamps (U.S. Farley issue).