First Day Covers














Philatelic Terms & Glossary


Aerogramme A simple, lightweight letter sheet sold by the Post Office, pre-stamped for delivery worldwide. Sometimes, aerogrammes spot various commemorative or thematic illustrations.
Airmail A term applied to a cover deemed to be carried via an airplane. Applies also to stamps especially produced for airmail.
Approvals Term used to denote stamps that are sent out on a buy-or-return basis.
Auction Where stamps and collections are offered for sale to the highest bidder. Usually, products are offered with reference to an estimated value, and bidding starts from that value. Some products may have a reserve price, meaning that they cannot be sold for a lower amount.
Block Where four or more stamps are still attached together in their original square or sometimes, rectangular shape. Stamps are usually better preserved in blocks, especially older stamps. However, there is no extra special value in new blocks unless there are extraordinary markings or variety present.
Bogus Stamps Stamps that are forged not representing any country. Usually produced to fool or trick collectors.
Booklet Stamp booklets are produced and sold sometimes for convenience. Usually, stamps of similar value are printed side by side. Earlier booklets may feature stitched or stapled spines, but modern examples are usually fixed to one side of a folded cover by its margin.
Booklet Pane A special sheet containing only a small number of stamps made for a stamp booklet.
Cachet Handstamped inscription applied to a cover detailing special event(s).
Catalog A philatelic price list and/or guide. A Stamp catalog lists all issued stamps with values - for both used and unused issues.
Charity Stamp Sometimes, countries produce stamps with an extra value on them, used to donate to various charities. Some countries, like New Zealand and Switzerland, issues regular charity stamps.
Cinderellas Term reserved for non-official Government issued postage stamps that are not listed in standard catalogues. Usually found in specialist catalogues, these include, among others, revenue stamps, telegraph stamps and railway stamps.
Circular Date Stamp (CDS) A circular postmark that denotes the name of town or city on the outside and has a date (and time, sometimes) in the middle. Some collectibles feature the popular double ring cds.
Color Changeling Term used for a discolored stamp, which has its color changed by being soaked in water or by long exposure to sunlight. Most dramatic with green hues, which can turn to a delicate shade of blue.
Cover A loose term that applies to the outer cover of any item sent by post. Applies to envelops and wrappers as well.
Essay Artwork for a proposed stamp design. Usually, it is the painted design which is submitted.
First Day Cover A cover bearing a stamp (or set of stamps) posted on the day of issue. It is a very popular collectible among philately buffs. First Day Covers usually have an illustration depicting an aspect of a subject of the issue and often include a card or info sheet which gives more details about the subject.
Miniture Sheet A special mini-sheet, or sheetlet that is sometimes produced especially for collectors, featuring a stamp or a number of stamps on a larger sheet with more detail and information.
Mint A term usually applied to the condition of a stamp as when first sold at post office. Sometimes, however, can be used to describe unused stamps. Technically, the former definition is the correct one.
Perforations These are the holes punched around the borders of the stamps to allow easy and convenient removal.
Philatelic Covers Covers which are posted by collectors. However, it is far better to collect or own covers which have not been specially posted.
Philately The science or study of all things related to mail and postal services.
Philatelist Usually used for a Stamp or First Day Cover collector. May also apply to someone who studies Philately.
Tied A stamp is said to be tied to a cover when a postmark covers both the stamp and the cover, proving that the stamp belongs to the cover.
Watermark An impressed pattern made in the paper during its manufacture. Can usually be seen as a slight thinning of the paper in a regular pattern.

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