This glossary has been compiled from various different sources. Some of the terms have been reproduced with kind permission from the Stanley Gibbons Philatelic Terms Illustrated by James Mackay. If you think a term is missing please e-mail us.
Charity labels issued at Easter, mainly in South Africa.
A cheap postal service for bulk postings and printed matter.
Type of gum applied in patterns or blobs to the backs of some stamps issued after the Second World War.
Used during war period to be applied to covers that were to be re-used.
Electric Eye Perforator
Perforating machine which includes a controlling device to ensure that the perforation holes are positioned accurately.
Process for producing photogravure cylinders by laser scanning an original photograph to create a digital image recorded on a computer disc which is then used to drive an electronic system for engraving cylinders.
Electronic Letter Sorting Indicator Equipment (ELSIE)
Early automatic sorting machine of late 1950s.
A system whereby postage can be downloaded from the internet and put on envelopes and postcards using a computer printer.
Method of copying a design by the electro deposition of copper in a mould.
Name given to watermarked heraldic devices appearing in corners of early stamps of GB.
Usually a postage stamp created on paper by method of embossing (q.v).
Stamping in coloured or colourless relief, the paper itself being distorted by pressure between matched dies.
(French) Term meaning "in relief" used to describe the type of printing press used in the letterpress system.
A paint used for printing stamps e.g. Tibet 1912-33.
Highly glazed paper coated with a mixture of zinc white and glue.
Encased Postage Stamp
Stamps encased in small cases with a transparent front and back used as small change when a shortage of coinage occurred.
Printing on the back of a stamp.
Mechanical engraving of symmetrical patterns on metal.
Trial impressions taken during the course of making the die.
A process where the design of the stamp is cut into a metal die or plate.