Dictionary of Philatelic Terms (OLD)

  • Aerogram - An Aerogram or Air Letter, also called an aérogramme, is a thin lightweight piece of foldable and gummed paper for writing a letter for transit via airmail, in which the letter and Envelope are one and the same.  Most postal
  • Aerophilately - Aerophilately is the branch of Philately that specializes in the study of airmail.  Philatelists have observed the development of mail transport by air from its beginning, and all aspects of airmail service have been extensively studied and documented by specialists.
  • Astrophilately - Astrophilately is the area of Philately connected with astronomy and efforts to reach outer space, both manned and unmanned.  Topics of interest include postage stamps, Cancellations, and Covers connected to various projects.  Examples include rocket mail, dating from as early
  • Auxiliary Markings - Markings applied to cards/Covers/Entires by the post office to explain a delay or facilitate delivery. Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • Backstamp - Postmark applied to reverse that represents receiving post office or a transit post office. Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • Barred Numeral - A type of Cancellation used in Victoria from 1856 until early 20th century. Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • Cachet - Printed or stamped design on an Envelope. Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • Cancellation - A cancellation (or cancel for short) is a postal marking applied to a postage stamp or postal Stationery indicating that the item has been used.  Modern Cancellations are often applied simultaneously with a postmark, for efficiency, and commonly the terms
  • Cancellations - 1] double circle: inner circle being 2 open arcs;2] above: with slotted inner circle;3] above: inner being 2 closed arcs aka Italian or Guller cancel known from Italy, Peru and Spain;4] above: with ⅔rds inner circle with upper crossbar used
  • Cinderellas - Cinderellas are local stamps, telegraph stamps, railway stamps, Revenues/fiscals, forgeries, bogus and phantom issues.  Christmas, Red Cross, TB and other charity seals, registration labels, advertisement and exhibition labels and many other items. Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • Cover - In Philately, a Cover is an Envelope or package, typically with stamps that have been cancelled. The term originates from the practice of covering a letter by folding a separate sheet about it to physically protect and prevent infringement of
  • Duplex Cancel - Cancel made up of 2 parts: postmark that contains name of post office and date of mailing; plus another cancel that prevents reuse of stamp or card. Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • Entire - An Entire is a folded piece of paper that is folded in upon itself so enabling a seal to be affixed on reverse – predecessor to Envelopes. Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • Envelope - An envelope is a packaging product, usually made of flat, planar material such as paper or cardboard, and designed to contain a flat object, which in a postal-service context is usually a letter, card or bills.  The traditional type is
  • Ephemera - Ephemera is transitory written and printed matter, not intended to be retained or preserved.  The word derives from the Greek, meaning things lasting no more than a day.  Some collectible ephemera are advertising trade cards, airsickness bags, baseball cards, bookmarks,
  • First Day Cover - A first day Cover (FDC) is an Envelope where the postage stamps have been cancelled on their First Day of Issue (FDI).  Depending on the policy of the nation issuing the stamp, official first day Postmarks may sometimes be applied
  • Franked - An Envelope with stamps to a specific rate OR with a machine produced label OR cancelled by a post office machine. Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • History - History or Postal History is the study of postal markings, rates and routes, or anything to do with the history of the posts. Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • Hobby - Things we like to do in our leisure time. Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • Imperforate - Not separated by rows of perforations.  Separation is the means by which individual stamps are made easily detachable from each other. In the early years, from 1840 to the 1850s, all stamps were imperforate, and had to be cut from
  • Marcophily - Marcophily, occasionally written as Marcophilately, is the specialised study and collection of Postmarks, Cancellations and postal markings applied by hand or machine on mail that passes through a postal system and applied by the postal authority through whose domain they
  • Maximaphily - Maximaphily is concerned with Maximum Card collecting. A Maximum Card is a picture postcard, a cancel, and a stamp presenting maximum concordance.  The stamp is usually affixed to the picture side of the card and is tied by the cancel. 
  • Military - A military stamp, is a postage stamp used by a military organisation, in time of war, or while ensuring a peace keeping operation.  Often the letters will be transported by the army itself until they reach the country of destination. 
  • P.P.O.P. - Per Post Office Packet Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • P.T.P.O. - Printed To Private Order Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • Perfin - Perforated initials. Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • Philatelic - The collection and study of postage stamps, Postmarks, and related materials; stamp collecting. Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • Philately - Philately is the study of revenue and postage stamps.  This includes the design, production and uses of stamps after they are authorized for issue, usually by government authorities, the most common one being postal authorities.  Although many equate it with
  • Postal History - Postal History is the study of postal systems and how they operate and, or, the collecting of Covers and associated material illustrating historical episodes of postal systems.   Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • Postal Stationery - Such include postal cards, wrappers, pre-stamped Envelopes, lettersheets, aerogrammes, plus other types of officially imprinted Stationery sold by post offices. Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • Postcard - A Postcard or post card is a rectangular piece of thick paper or thin cardboard intended for writing and mailing without an Envelope and at a lower rate than a letter.  Stamp collectors distinguish between postcards (which require a stamp)
  • Postmarks - A Postmark is a postal marking made on a letter, package, Postcard or the like indicating the (more or less precise) date and time that the item was delivered into the care of the postal service.  Modern postmarks are often
  • Revenues - Revenues are stamps representing the prepayment or payment of various taxes.  Revenues are affixed to official documents and to merchandise.  Some stamps, including many issues of the British Commonwealth, are inscribed “Postage and Revenue” and were available for either use. 
  • Stationery - Stationery or Postal Stationery is stationery bearing imprinted stamps, as opposed to adhesive stamps.  Postal Stationery includes postal cards, lettercards, stamped Envelopes, wrappers, Aerograms, telegraph cards, postal savings forms and similar government-produced items.  The cost to the mailer is often
  • Thematics - Thematics is concerned with the collection of stamps or Covers relating to a specific topic.  The topic is expanded by careful inquiry and is presented as a logical story. Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • Transit Markings - Post mark applied by an intermediate post office between the place of origin and destination. Last updated on: 18th March, 2015
  • Watermark - A Watermark is a recognizable image or pattern in paper that appears lighter when viewed by transmitted light (or darker when viewed by reflected light, atop a dark background).  A watermark is very useful in the examination of paper because