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.
International Labour Office.
British Post Office competition held at the 1912 Jubilee International Stamp Exhibition. The winning design was not accepted for use by the Post Office!
Code letter or number printed during the automatic sorting of mail to identify the sorter or machine.
Postage stamps which are regarded as illegal or those which contravene the postal laws of one or more countries e.g. Rhodesia.
A stamp that carries the name of a legitimate country but was not authorised by the postal administration of that country for production.
Simulated perforations printed around stamps.
Integrated Mail Processor (q.v)
Stamps printed on paper not perforated and not provided with other means of easy separation other than by scissors or knife.
Stamps normally perforated but with a line of perforations inadvertently omitted between adjoining rows due to faulty manufacture.
Applied by a machine to paper to leave an impression e.g. a revenue stamp.
Before the early stamps of Great Britain were issued to the public an Imprimatur or registration sheet was printed on watermarked paper and in the colour selected for the denomination/colour to be registered at Somerset House. Normally it refers to an individual stamp from the registration sheet.
(French) Printed papers sent by post.
The name of the printer inscribed in the sheet margins.
A block of stamps taken from a part of the sheet where the printer's name or imprint is located in the margin.
A thin soft absorbent paper of Chinese or Japanese origin made from Bamboo fibres used in taking fine proofs from the engraved plates.
A group of letters etc. printed to the left of a meter mark.
Stamps with a huge face value e.g. Germany 1923.
Mixture of pigments, oils, varnishes, driers, toners with compounds and fugitive chemicals made in accordance with the type of printing process.
Ink Jet Slogan
Inscription applied by ink jet printer to covers during automatic sorting.