The Ultimate Guide To Philatelic Terms – III

Illustrative Image - Ultimate Guide To Philatelic Terms

Dear Fellow Philatelists and Readers!!

I am happy to connect with you again. In the third edition of “The Ultimate Guide To Philatelic Terms,”  we are going to uncover more words from the philatelic glossary.  I hope you have been liking it so far. Please do not hesitate to share your candid impressions and inputs. Let’s Begin !!

Definitive Stamps – These are the regular issues being printed and published by the respective postal authorities. These are printed in large quantities and are good to use as long as they last. Different variants of the series might be published as deemed fit for circulation for an indefinite period. They tend to be small in size and reflect the local culture and history of the country. These are good for collection and keep the collectors happy. Example – KGVI definitive stamp issued in 1937

Illustrative Image Definitive Stamp. Ultimate Guide Philatelic Terms

Dead CountryThe literal connotation or the meaning of the word implies those countries that cease to exist now. These also might entail countries that have changed regimes or names meaning that the discontinued identities are no longer on the stamps issued.

Illustrative Image Dead Country. Ultimate Guide Philatelic Terms

Denomination – It is the face value inscribed on the stamp. It is no way connected to the market value of the stamp in the collector market or stamp collecting parlance.

Demonetized Stamps – These are stamps that have been discontinued and deemed as invalid for postal usage. The United States demonetized all the stamps printed before the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. In the year 2002 Austria, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, declared quite a few of their respective stamps as “No Longer Valid”.

Directory Markings – These are the comments recorded by the postal office for undelivered mail. These could be comments such as “Wrong Address”, “Location Not Found”, “Addressee Moved”.

Doane Cancels – These were introduced by the US Postal Department in the early 20th century. They wanted to test the efficacy of postal marks using rubber handstamps. This term was adopted to honor a Postal historian by the name Edith R Doane. The first ones were used in the first half of 1903. They were called Type I and 500 of such marks were issued. The testing was successful and later the other two variants Type II and Type III were also introduced.

Type I had 5 bars with a number in them. These were in usage from Aug. 28, 1903, to Sep. 28, 1903. Approximately 1600 were issued inclusive of the 500 Experimental earlier ones.

Type II had two sets of railroad tracks like bars with a number between them. Approximately a total of 17.500 of them were issued between September 29, 1903, and June 30, 1905.

Type III cancels had 4 solid bars like a standard 4-bar handstamp cancel with a number in them. Approximately a total of 12.000 of them were issued between July 1, 1905, until the fall of 1906.

Shown below are the 3 Types of Doanes

Duck Stamp – It was formally known as the  Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp. It is used as an entry ticket to National Wildlife Sanctuaries for the hunting of geese and ducks. 98% of the proceedings from the sale of these stamps go to Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. On March 16, 1934, the congress passed the resolution to print this stamp signed by President Roosevelt. The first stamp was issued on August 14 in the year 1934.

Dummy Stamp – As the name suggests it is not an actual stamp but a stamp-like label that cannot be used for regular postal purposes. These were produced to train the postal employees or test the postal machines that were used for automatic stamp dispensing.

Double Impression Error – It is also known as “Double Transfer” and is the result of the same stamp design being printed twice with one impression being slightly offset from the other. Depending on how the sheet of stamps has passed through the printing machine on the second occasion, it can result in a partial or full impression of the original design which could be straight, mirrored or reversed.

Illustrative Image Double Error - Ultimate Guide Philatelic Terms

Duplex Cancellation – It was in practice to use a handheld duplex canceller to cancel the postage stamps and stationary. A dated postmark and cancellation were imprinted simultaneously. In the US these were used from the 1860s till 1940.

Durland – It is the standard plate number catalog specifically for the US Stamps. This was first published in the year 1950 and edited by the renowned philatelist Clarence Durland. The last edition was published in 2016.

Earliest Documented Use (EDU) – There are two connotations of this term including itself. The other one is the Earliest Known Use (EKU). These two are often used interchangeably. EDU entails the earliest date expertized by a specialist in the use of a particular philatelic collectible. The distinction with EKU is that many of the earlier reported EKUs have failed on the verification front.

Edison Issue – This is a 3c commemorative stamp that was issued in the year 1947 to mark the 100th birth anniversary of Thomas Alva Edison. A total of 156,540,510 stamps were issued by the postal department.

Illustrative Example Edison Issue - Ultimate Guide Philatelic Terms

EE Bars – stand for Electric Eye Bars. They facilitate electrically controlled perforation machines. These are commonly available on the margins of sheets of stamps but are missing in the coil format.

Encased Stamps – During the civil war era in the United States apart from the hoarding of other commodities gold, silver, copper and nickel coins worth millions of dollars disappeared from circulation. The government authorized monetization of postage stamps and during this period an American Entrepreneur named John Gault received a patent for his “Design of Encasing Government Stamps” on August 12, 1862.

This entailed thin, transparent piece of mica covered the stamp, with an outer metal frame holding these items securely. A heavier brass backing, suitable for advertising purposes, was applied to make the piece complete. The size of a quarter, lightweight, the coin encased stamps from the 1861 issue-the 1-cent, 3-cent, 5-cent, 10-cent, 12-cent, 24-cent, 30-cent, and 90-cent. Gault sold these encased postage stamps at a small markup over the value of the enclosed stamp and the cost of production.

These stamps were short-lived as the government issued fractional currency in 5-cent, 10-cent, 25-cent, and 50-cent denominations. Of the approximately 750,000 pieces sold, only 3,500-7,000 are believed to have survived.

Error Stamps – As the word suggests these are stamps that have a design or printing mistakes at the production stage. Some of the production errors are Imperfs, imperforate-between varieties, missed or incorrect colors, inversion or design overprint. Errors are different from Freaks and Oddities on one account and that is Major Production mistake. Example – 5c color error US-CA 1917. Printed in red instead of blue.

Illustrative Example Error Stamps. Ultimate Guide Philatelic Terms

Europa Stamps – Also known as Europa CEPT until 1992. These are special stamps produced by the European Postal administrations/enterprises and carry the official Europa logo that is the registered trademark used by the PostEurop. They signify the cooperation between the postal authorities of the European Union, the promotion of Philately and the creation of awareness for roots, culture, and history of Europe.

First Europa Stamps. Ultimate Guide Philatelic Terms

With this, we come to the conclusion of this episode of “The Ultimate Guide To Philatelic Terms”. Please stay tuned for the next week’s edition of “The Ultimate Guide to Philatelic Terms”.

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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