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Stamp Collecting

Glossary and Terms

Stamp Collecting Album

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Adhesive - The gum or paste on the back of stamps that is used to glue them to envelopes.

Centering - A term often used to refer to the positioning of the stamp within its perforation.

Commemorative Stamps - Stamps that were printed to celebrate a special event. Often they are on sale for a short period of time.

Definitive Stamps - Another name for common postage stamps.

Face Value - The actual denomination that is printed on the stamp.

Gum - See Adhesive.

Hinge - used in stamp albums to attach a stamp to the album page.

Imperforate - Stamps without perforations.

Margin - This the area outside the area of the stamp design. This area should be equal with the design of the stamp centered within the stamp. In most cases, the more equal the margins are, the higher the value of the stamp.

Perforations - The holes or cuts between stamps that make it easier to tear the stamps in a sheet apart.

Philately - The study of stamps.

Postmark - This is the marking that the post office puts on a stamp once it's been used so it can't be used again. Trying to mail an item with a used stamp is against the law.

Reprint - Stamps that are reprinted by the post office with the same design as an earlier stamp.

Stock Book - Or stock page. A place to store your stamps that has a plastic or glassine cover which holds the stamp in place, but also allows you to see the stamps.

Tongs - Tweezers with rounded tips used for handling stamps.

Watermark - a mark or emblem on the stamp that is made by thinning the paper.

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