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.
Term used with reference either to a stamp's design or to the print used.
The denomination inscribed on a stamp: its official selling price.
Facer Canceller Table
Equipment designed for the automatic facing and cancelling of mail.
Facing Indicator Mark
Envelope marking indicating class of item (1st or 2nd class) printed on mail piece.
Copy or imitation of the design and colour of a stamp.
Stamps where colours or papers have faded through exposure to light, chemicals or water.
French Colonial key type.
Stamp which has been treated to disguise defects in its condition.
Postmark with a pictorial design.
Pieces of paper which purport to be postage stamps but bear the names of imaginary places.
American stamps of 1934-7 released imperforate on the authority of the Postmaster General James A Farley.
New Zealand service giving accelerated domestic overnight delivery and overseas airmail on payment of a fee.
First Day Cover (q.v.).
Federation International de Philatelie
(q.v FIP) Association of national philatelic federations set up in 1926 to safeguard the interests of stamp collectors at an international level. It also accredits major International philatelic exhibitions.
(German) Field Post Office.
Federation of European Philatelic Societies.
Any facsimile, imitation or representation of any stamp.
Field Post Office (FPO)
A Post Office established for use by troops on active service.
Fifth Clause Post
From fifth clause of Act of Parliament 1801 authorising under guarantee certain village posts for the conveyance of letters to the neighbouring post town.
Design in which a numeral is the most prominent feature.