Albino: A stamp, overprint or surcharged value which, due to lack of ink or printing press malfunction, shows as a colourless impression only.
All-over watermark: A watermark which can be seen on the back of all stamps printed from the same sheet.
Bisect: Stamps are those that are vertically, horizontally or diagonally cut in half under Government authority, for use at half the face value of the original stamps, in times of a shortage of stamps of the lower denomination.
Block: is an unsevered set of four or more stamps, two vertically and two horizontally.
Booklet: stamps of different denomination are sold by post offices in countries like Sweden and the USA in small booklets.
Centered: refers to stamps having uniform margins on all sides.
Certified mail: A security post which gives the sender a receipt of posting, and may carry an insurance cover to a certain value, should the postal item be lost or damaged.
Coils: are stamps issued in rolls, as in the United States and Sweden, for easy handling and machine vending. These usually differ in perforations from like stamps issued in booklets and sheets.
Combination covers: are those that have been pre-paid with stamps of two or more countries, a practice necessitated in early days when stamps of any country were valid only within its own borders.
Composite stamps: are those which together make a design, setenant but usually in the form of a block.
Cut-outs: are impressed stamps cut out from envelopes, postcard or other printed postal stationery for use as ordinary stamps, or for collecting purposes. In many countries such use is postally not allowed.
Cut square: refers to the shape of cut out and imperforate stamps of irregular shape (round, hexagonal etc)
Cut-to-shape: are stamps or irregular form trimmed close to the margin. These are worthless relatively. The value is highest when stamps are cut square with good margins.
Demonetised: Stamps withdrawn from sale, and deprived of any further postal validity.
Discount postage: Stamp sold at below face value, usually in bulk quantities to encourage use of postal service.
Dry print: The design image, surcharge or overprint, which has poor imprint due to an inking deficiency in the printing process.
Entire: refers to envelopes or other postal stationery preserved in complete condition and not as cut-outs.
Fiscal: is a stamp used for revenue purposes other than as prepayment for postal transmission. Fiscal cancellations are different from postmarks.
Grille: A security device in the form of a small square dots embossed on the stamp. As the paper fibres are broken, this allows the ink of the postmark to penetrate the paper so as to make it impossible to clean a stamp for reuse.
Gutters: refer to the space between two stamps for perforation/margin.
Hologram: A coloured photographic pattern that gives a three-dimensional image or images when specially illuminated. May be used as a security device.
Imperforate: stamps are those without perforation roulettes.
Inverted: stamps are invariably valuable and occur when stamps are printed in two or more colours involving a second feeding into the printing machine, when the partly-printed sheet is wrongly fed the second time. This usually results in an inverted centre, but inverted surcharges and watermarks are also known.
Margins: represent the space between the perforation and design’s border or frame in a stamp. It also refers to the borders of stamp sheets, on which register marks, pointers, numbers, dates, codes of colours used etc. are indicated.
Official stamps: stamps are those to be used only by Government Offices.
Omnibus: An issue of stamps with the same theme or commemoration used by a number of countries.
Overprint: includes everything added to the original design of the stamp.
Pair: refers to two stamps that have not been separated.
Pane blocks: are very popular in the USA as a block of four or more stamps with tab carrying information.
Peel and stick stamps: Stamps which are affixed to paper at the time of manufacture, and when removed do not require the addition of moisture to affix.
Perforations: are characteristic of almost all modern stamps. They are an indispensable aid to separation of stamps from a sheet. This is formed by punching out tiny discs from sheets.
Phosphor: lines or bars are common on British and some other stamps of recent years, meant to help in mechanical sorting and cancellation.
Printer’s waste: refers to paper used in stamp printing works, where trials are made for testing colours, designs etc. All this is supposed to be destroyed completely but in many places material is known to leak out and enter the Philatelic market. This does not have major interest or value.
Roulette, Rouletting: is a process with the same object as perforations, with the difference that instead of punching out holes, the rouletting pins only pierce the papers.
Salvage mail: is mail under postal transmission recovered from a plane, ship or train (or bus) involved in an accident.
Seebecks: refer to stamps designed and produced by N F Seebeck of the Hamilton Banknote Company of New York under an agreement to print stamps free of cost for several South and Central American countries, subject to the condition that at the end of one year all the stamps remaining unsold would be invalidated and turned over to seebeck. He should also be permitted to reprint any of the stamps he had supplied, for sale to the Philatelic trade. This was the beginning of a long history of undesirable stamp issues.
Semi-postal: is a stamp that carries a premium or donation for some cause of National importance. Such stamps will have the value as ‘15+5’ or ‘25+10’ etc, where the second numeral is the surcharge.
Se-tenant: refers to two or more stamps of different designs, which are unseparated pair or strip. Quite frequently, the strip makes the complete design, each individual stamp depicting a part of the motif.
Strip: refers to three or more unsevered stamps in a single horizontal row or vertical column.
Surcharge: is a printed additional to a completed stamp (i.e. an overprint) but also refers to an overprint altering the face value. In a semi-postal, it is that part of the price which has no postal value.
Tabs: are like an appendix to stamps. They carry information related to the stamp design and whenever possible stamps should be collected with tabs.
Tete-beche: refers to a pair, strip or block of stamps with one or more inverted in relation to the others.
Thinned: stamps are those that have a part of the reverse paper missing, due to careless removal from backing paper or envelope.
Traffic lights: are small stars or dots on the margin in a sheet of stamps, indicating the colours used in printing the stamps.
Triptych: A strip of three stamps with different designs, but the whole forming one design.
Un-used: stamps are those that have not been postally used but they have lost the original gum.
Used abroad: in many countries, before their own postage stamps were issued, stamps from nearby or related countries were used. These are known as ‘Used Abroad’.
Watermark: refers to indistinct marks appearing in some stamps, which come out clearly when the stamp is floated in benzine or water. This is usually introduced as a security measure.
Wing margin: A stamp having wider margin on one side than the other.