What is a postal souvenir sheet? Ask this question to philatelists and you risk getting a lot of different answers. We even attempted to answer the question ourselves in a previous article: What is the difference between a full pane and a souvenir sheet?
Good question! We all want to know what stamp perfins are, right? The word “perfin” is a shortened version of the two words “PERforated INitials” or “PERforated INsignia”. Philatelists also call stamp perfins “SPIFS”. This is an acronym for “Stamps Perforated with Initials of Firms and Societies”. I have to say, perfin is a lot simpler to remember!
We understand the meaning of the word when we know its origin. The meaning almost becomes self-explanatory. People or companies punch tiny holes into a stamp in the shape of letters, an object, or a design. This is a perfin.
Stamps are made up of different parts: the type of paper, the vignette, the denomination, etc. One of the most important things a collector needs to understand properly is stamp perforations, or “perfs” as they are commonly referred to. There are many different methods of postage stamp separation. This article will explain perforations to you.
So what is a stamp cachet? Cachets represent a really fun part of stamp collecting. First of all, though, stamp collectors need to understand what a First Day Cover is (FDC) because cachets are almost always found on them.
Awhile ago in another article, we discussed what a stamp grill is. Now we will help you to identify different types of stamp grills that are known to exist.
First of all, just a quick reminder: stamp makers developed grills in order to prevent the reuse of stamps. The maker embossed the stamp with a special roller. The roller broke up and weakened the fibers in the stamp paper. The cancellation ink could now be absorbed into the paper more. If you tried to wash off the cancellation, the stamp would most likely tear where the grill mark was located because the paper was weaker.
So … how can you identify stamp colours? That is the question! The first article of this series dealt with why there are so many different stamp colours and why that can make colours hard to identify. The purpose of “How can I identify stamp colours?” is to help you identify stamp colours even without a universal do-it-all guide.
Here’s a quick recap of why colours are hard to identify:
- Stamp colour age and change with time
- The human eye sees colours differently from one person to the next
- An abundance (overabundance?) of recognized shades and colours
When I decided to write this article, I had no idea what I was getting into! Call me naive, but even though I had never seen a stamp colour guide personally, I kind of thought that a reliable one existed which I would recommend to all of you. NOT! So, why so many stamp colours and how can I identify stamp colours?
This first article in a series of two will start by helping us to understand why all these different shades came to exist.
What is the definition of a stamp plate proof? I’m often fascinated to see how many different items are considered collectibles in the philatelic world. Not just postage stamps, but souvenir sheets, booklets, first day covers and plate blocks too. Then there’s all the philatelic material that hasn’t necessarily been used for actual mail service: Cinderellas, labels, and SPECIMENs and die proofs. Add to that list plate proofs.
What is a SPECIMEN stamp and should I collect them? Before I answer that question, let’s take a look at page 58 of the 2019 Unitrade specialized catalogue of Canadian stamps. There you will find all the listings for the 1897 Diamond Jubilee Issue. Canada Post issued this series of stamps to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s rule. Pay attention to one of the footnotes at the bottom of the page that deals with the value of the Jubliee Issue SPECIMEN stamps.
Defining a Cinderella stamp is a tricky business, as you will see. There always seems to be an exception to the rule in this field of collecting. Cinderella stamps are any kind of adhesive labels that were not issued by a government post office for sending the mail. Here is where it gets complicated though-some stamps that are considered “Cinderellas” were used for the mail, unofficial mail that is. AGGGHHHH!