The Ultimate Guide To Philatelic Terms – Part Five

Illustrative Example Glossary Of Philatelic Terms

Dear Readers and Fellow Philatelists,

A Very Warm Welcome and Good Day to you all. I hope you enjoyed reading the last article of the series The Ultimate Guide To Philatelic Terms Today I am here to present a fresh new edition or a Glossary of Philatelic Terms contributing to the knowledge and growth of the “The King Of Hobbies”. I sincerely hope that you like this one too and do not forget to spread the word around.

Hammer Price – This is a term used at auctions whether online or offline. This relates to the final highest bid that is accepted at the auction. The general trend is that the auction houses charge 15-17% over and above the Hammer Price from the buyer also known as the “Buyer’s Premium” and also from the owner of the collectible or the artifact.

Handstamp – It is a handheld rubber stamp used by the postal workers while sorting and canceling the parcels before delivering them to their destinations.

Hand Cancel – A cancellation mark applied using the Handstamp. Manual sorting involves this practice as compared to the use of machines for doing the sorting and cancellation.

Illustrative Example Ultimate Guide

Hardening – Before other methods of printing such as Gravure, Typography, Lithography or Embossed the most prevalent was the Engraving method. According to the subject matter, the design was embedded in soft steel like die. It was subsequently hardened and its impressions were transferred to the printing plate. This was considered to be a secure way of printing the stamps and circumventing the production of counterfeits. Highly skilled craftsmen only were allowed to perform such steps.

Harding Issue – President Warren G. Harding was the 29th president of the USA. He was famous and a people’s leader. He died on 2nd August 1923. On popular demand, the postal department issued a 2c memorial stamp. The initial stamps were printed using the flat plate process.

Harding Issue Glossary of Philatelic Terms

Harrow Perforations – In a sheet of stamps there is an equal number of boxes and stamps. The pins of the perforation machine are arranged accordingly. Hence, with a single stroke of the machine, the perforation holes are imbibed into the sheet in a single stroke. It can be easily inferred that the corners of the individual stamps are all the same and of regular appearance and the individual stamps are all of an equal size.

Hinge – These are a type of philatelic stationery. They are rectangular in shape, small in size that is made of glassine paper and coated with a mild gum. Hinges are used by collectors to affix postage stamps in albums or stock books. I will suggest never to use them especially if you are a collector of Mint stamps with intact gum at the back.

Some of the other associated terms are

  • MNH – Mint Never Hinged.
  • MLH – Mint Lightly Hinged.
  • HH – Heavily Hinged.
  • HR – Hinge Remnant (Portion of the Hinge remains on the stamp)

We will continue with the Glossary of Philatelic Terms and look at some major ones starting with the letter I.

Imperforate – These are stamps that were produced in the early 19th century with the start of Penny Black. A very simple explanation in layman’s terms implies that stamps had no perforations. They were separated from the sheet by cutting with scissors or knives.

Imperforate Between – This is a rare printing error in philatelic parlance. The external sides of a pair of stamps have clear perforations, but in between the pair the perforations are missing.

Imperforate_Between Glossary of Philatelic Terms

Imprimatur – The term is usually associated with British Victorian Stamps. The printers had a practice of keeping the first sheet as a record. These are approved and printed from the finished printing plate.

Imprint Blocks – are those pair of stamps where the name of the printer is retained on the block and is visible.

Indicium – In Latin, the meaning of the word implies “Distinguishing Marks”. These are used on the postal parcels to showcase that the particular parcels have been prepaid by the sender. These can be in many forms such as Stamps, Printed designs or handstamps. Example – Cuban Postal Card depicting Alfonso XIII at age 5

Indicium Example Glossary of Philatelic Terms

Inverted Jenny – This is one of the most famous stamps, in the category of “Errors and Freaks”. A real prized possession for any collector in terms of aesthetic and financial value. It is also called the Upside Down Jenny or Jenny Invert. This stamp was issued on May 10, 1918, having a denomination value of 24c. The stamp has a Curtiss JN-4 Airplane printed in the middle of the stamp upside down or in other words as Inverted.

IRC – It is also known as the International Reply Coupon. It is a redeemable certificate by the members of the Universal Postal Union so that the holders can use it in other countries for return postage. These are like Traveler’s Cheques for philatelic use.

Next in our topic “Glossary of Philatelic Terms” we will look at some important ones starting with the alphabet J.

Jumbo or Boardwalk Margins – It is a stamp where the border in between the edges of the design and its perforations of the stamp sheet. If this space is bigger and large is termed as Jumbo.

Jamestown Issues – These stamps were issued to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the establishment of the first permanent English Colony on 14 May 1607. It was there that the first representative government of the American continent was established. The name of the colony was to honor King James.

Jamestown Issues - Glossary of Philatelic Terms

Joint Line – This is a line that appears from the spread of printing ink in between the separation of two rotary press plates intersect on the printing cylinder. The line is hardly visible to the naked eye if the two plates are tightly joined together. if the gap is larger, the joint line could be quite thick to the point of producing what appears to be a double line. Joint lines are most commonly collected in pairs or strips. The coil pairs are known as “Joint Line Pairs”. Note that a joint line is NOT the same as a guideline, which was printed intentionally to guide the perforation process.

To be continued

Rohit Mittal

Self Taught Techie, Father to a budding philatelist son and a Global Business Professional Having Traveled across four continents. I have helped European and Indian Businesses to turn around and realize business objectives in 180 to 270 days. Reading & Writing is my second nature. I rekindled my childhood passion for stamps after forty years and love to collect European Pre 1960s MNH OG stamps majorly from France, Germany, and Italy.
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