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Scott C13, Plate number single 20079R
 

Glossary of stamp collecting terms

Several organizations' web sites include extensive glossaries of philatelic terms.  This site concentrates on terms specific to plate number single collecting.

 

ABNC - American Bank Note Company, independent contract stamp printer.

AP - Ashton-Potter USA, independent contract stamp printer.

APNSS - American Plate Number Single Society.

apnss.org - web site of the American Plate Number Single Society.

APS - American Philatelic Society.

AVR - Avery-Dennison, independent contract stamp printer.

Back number - sequence or counting number printed on the backs of modern coil stamps, to assist in accounting for partial coil rolls and in counting out coil stamps for sale.

Back plate number - plate number used to print text or designs on the back of a small number of U.S. stamps.

BCA - Banknote Corporation of America, independent contract stamp printer.

BEP - Bureau of Engraving and Printing, government printing agency responsible for printing virtually all stamps from 1894 to 1980's, and most coil stamps through 2005.

Copyright single - single stamp with USPS copyright notice printed in the adjacent selvedge.

Die cutting - method of separating individual stamps that have been printed with pressure-sensitive adhesive.  Die cutting can be straight or serpentine to simulate traditional perforations.

Duck stamp - federal hunting permit stamp, so called because most of the designs include ducks or geese.

Durland catalog - catalog which lists U.S. and related plate numbers and prices for plate blocks.  Published by the United States Stamp Society (USSS).

Ghost number - faint impression of a plate number appearing on an adjacent stamp or on the back of a stamp, generally caused by incomplete wiping of ink during the printing process.

Hebert's catalog - catalog and check list for U.S. plate number singles.  Published by the American Plate Number Single Society (APNSS).

"Horse blanket" - large plate blocks with multiple plate numbers in the selvage, common from the 6 through 15 eras, typically requiring blocks of 8, 10, 12 or even 20 stamps for a complete "plate block."

Lick-n-stick - stamp with traditional water activated gum

Line pair - pair of coil stamps with a joint line printed between, at the perforations, indicating where the printing plate was joined.

Marginal marking - plate number, ZIP, copyright notice, pane position, printing aids and other text or markings appearing in the selvedge of a pane or booklet.

Mint - unused stamp with full gum and no defects, as issued by the post office.

MNH - mint, never hinged

NGAI - No Gum As Issued.  The stamp has no gum, but it is important to distinguish this expected and acceptable condition from stamps that are "no gum" because they have been soaked or damaged.  In this case, the stamps were issued without gum.  Common for many U.S. souvenir sheets of the 1930's.

Non-denominated - stamp issued without a denomination printed on its face.  Such stamps are either due to be issued very close to an anticipated rate change, or are prepared in advance to be used at the new rate ("contingency stamps").

PB - plate block.  Traditionally, a block of 4 stamps from the corner of the pane, including the plate number and all adjacent selvedge.  If the plate number does not appear in the corner of the pane, a block of 6 stamps from the center of the pane, including the plate number and all adjacent selvedge.

PB4 - plate block of 4 stamps and all selvedge.  Standard collecting format for blocks of ordinary rotary press stamps.

PB6 - plate block of 6 stamps and all selvedge.  Standard collecting format for blocks of ordinary flat plate stamps.

PB8, 10 or 12 - plate block of 8, 10 or 12 stamps and all selvedge.  Standard collecting format for stamps of the 6 through 15 eras where multiple plate blocks were printed in the selvage for each color.

Plate number - serial number assigned to each printing plate.

Plate Numbers - regular newsletter of the American Plate Number Single Society, published several times a year.

Plate number single:  Single stamp from a sheet, pane, or booklet, including all adjacent selvedge and one or more plate numbers.  Single stamp from a coil or booklet with the plate number printed on the face of the stamp.

PNC - plate number coil

PNS - plate number single

PSA - pressure-sensitive adhesive or "self adhesive" stamp

PS3 - plate number coil strip of 3 stamps, with the stamp with the plate number appearing in the center.  Plate strip of 3 stamps, including the plate number and any other marginal markings.

PS5 - plate number coil strip of 5, with the stamp with the plate number appearing in the center.  Most common format for collecting modern coil multiples.

PS10 - plate strip of 10 stamps, including the plate number and other marginal markings.

PS20 - plate strip of 20 stamps, including the plate number and other marginal markings.

SA - self-adhesive

Self adhesive - stamp issued with a self-sticking backing instead of traditional water activated gum.  Generally printed on a shiny backing paper to allow for peeling.

Selvedge or selvage - paper margins or edges of the stamp sheet, adjacent to a stamp.

SSP - Sennett Security Products, independent contract stamp printer.

State duck - state-issued hunting permit stamp.

SV - Stamp Venturers, independent contract stamp printer.

USSS - United States Stamp Society

WAG - water activated gum

ZIP single - single stamp with adjacent "Use ZIP code" text or image and all applicable selvedge.

 

Comments?  Suggestions?  Email the Webmaster:  apnss.sec at gmail dot com.

 

This page last updated May 30, 2011.

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