The Arlington Stamp Company

The Stamp Collecting Glossary

A-B | C-D | E-F | G-L | M-P | Q-S | T-Z

Glassine: A semitransparent paper with many uses in stamp collecting. Envelopes, interleaving between album pages and hinges are all made from glassine.

Granite Paper: Security paper made with small colored fibers to protect against counterfeiting.

Gravure: A recessed printing process where the printing plate is created by photographic and chemical means, rather than by hand engraving. see Intaglio.

Grill: A grid pattern impressed into the paper of certain 19th century stamps. Grills were intended to make it more difficult to remove cancels from stamps and re-use them.

Gum: Another word for stamp glue.

Gutter: The selvage (paper) between panes on a sheet of stamps - is usually discarded during processing.

Gutter Pair: Pair of stamps with a gutter between.

Gutter snipe: One or more stamps attached the gutter.

Hinge: A gummed strip of glassine used for mounting stamps in albums.

Hunting Permit Stamp: see Duck Stamp.

Imperforate: Refers to stamps without perforations.

Imprimatur: The word in general use means official approval or license to print or publish. In philatelic use it also refers to the first sheets of stamps from an approved plate, which are checked before final production orders are given.

India Paper: A nineteenth century paper based on bleached fibers, that produced a very thin, tough opaque printing paper of high quality.

Intaglio: Italian for "in recess.". A printing process that uses an etched or engraved plate; the plate is smeared with ink and wiped clean, then the ink left in the recesses makes the print. Line engraving and gravure are forms of intaglio printing.

Invert: A stamp error in which a portion of the design is printed upside down. Inverts come about when printing multi-color stamps that require more than one printing plate. The sheet is accidentally reversed between print cycles resulting in one portion of the design being upside down in relation to the other.

Keytype: A basic stamp design used by more than one postal entity (country or colony). Many of the earlier colonial issues of Britain, France, Spain, Germany and Portugal are keytypes.

Label: Any stamp-like adhesive that is not a postage or revenue stamp. see Cinderella.

Laid Paper: One of the two basic types of paper used in stamp printing. When held to the light, the paper shows alternate light and dark crossed lines.

Letterpress: Process of printing text with movable type.

Line Engraving: Used in intaglio printing Printing done from a metal plate engraved by hand.

Line Pair: A pair of coil stamps with the printed guideline between them. Most coil stamp rolls prior to 1891 feature such a guideline at varying intervals. Stamps produced on a flatbed press have a line from the guideline between panes. Stamps produced on a rotary press have a joint line from the space where ink collects between the sections of curved rotary plates.

Lithography: A printing process in which the image to be printed is rendered with a design area that is ink-receptive while the nonimage areas are treated to repel ink.

Locals: Produced both privately and officially, locals are valid within a limited area such as a city or town. To be delivered beyond the locality requires additional stamps.

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