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.
British definitive stamps issued since 1967. They feature a photographic image of a plaster cast of the Queen. The design was created by sculptor Arnold Machin.
The obliteration of postage stamps by mechanical means.
Machine de Tri à Tasseurs
Mail centre machine which carries mail through various processes from arrival to sorting.
Pseudonym for a forger of cancellations struck on genuine unused postage stamps of the British Commonwealth.
A magnifying glass for the close examination of stamps.
Horse-drawn coaches used for the transport of mail from 1784 until they were mostly replaced by the railways in the 1830s and 1840s.
A system of automatic stamps used in USA and Canada using Pitney Bowes postage meters adapted for use as coin-operated machines.
A facility offered to business users by Royal Mail.
Variations of importance either in type, colour, design or format from the basic design.
A cross of eight points, formed of four triangles with their top points meeting in the centre and their bases indented. Also used to describe the obliterating device used in Great Britain to cancel early adhesive stamps in the period 1840-44.
A coarse strong paper of light texture originally manufactured from manila hemp.
Manual Data Entry Centre
Location where manual coding is carried out by VCR on items unable to be read by existing equipment.
Handwriting applied to a stamp's face to denote some special use or particular value.
Paper used for Latvia's first stamps printed on German military maps.
Paper surrounding a single sheet, pane or sheet.
The extra unprinted margin.
Announcement of commercial nature printed in the sheet margins.
Marginal Guide Marks
Marks in the margins of sheets of stamps serving as a guide for the printer in perforating and trimming the sheets.
Inscriptions in sheet margins of stamps which may include printer's name.