The Arlington Stamp Company

The Stamp Collecting Glossary

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

Receiving Mark: A postal marking applied by the receiving, rather than the originating, post office.

Regional: A stamp intended for a subset or specific area within a stamp-issuing entity – such as Guernsey within Great Britain.

Regular Issue: …see Definitive.

Reissue: Official reprinting of an obsolete or discontinued stamp. As distinguished from a reprint, reissues are valid for postage.

Reprint: An obsolete or discontinued stamp stamp printed from the original plate, after the issue has ceased to be postally valid. Reprints may be officially produced or private. As distinguished from reissues, reprints are not valid for postage.

Revenues: Stamps used to represent the prepayment or payment of various taxes. Typically not valid for postage although sometimes stamps are valid for both purposes as in the many issues of the British Commonwealth that are inscibed "Postage and Revenue."

Ribbed Paper: Corrugated appearance which shows fine parallel ridges similar to laid paper.

Rocket Mail: Mail flown by rocket by public or private entities either as a novelty to create a philatelic cover, or as part of an experiment or demonstration.

Rotary Press: A printing press that uses curved plates fastened around a cylinder and a continuous roll of paper, called a web.

Rouletting: An early method of pre-cutting stamps for easier separation, rouletting involves piercing the paper to create slits.

Rural Free Delivery (RFD): System for free home delivery that brought daily mail service to farmers and others living outside urban areas of the United States.

Rust: Slang term for a brown mold that affects paper and gum.

Secret Mark: Marks added to stamp designs by the Continental Banknote Co. in order to distinguish their stamps from stamps previously produced from the same dies by the National Bank Note Co.

Seebeck: Refers to various Latin American issues produced 1890-99 by Nicholas Frederick Seebeck, the agent for the Hamilton Bank Note Co. of New York. Seebeck secured the rights from these countries to sell remainders and reprints to collectors, and both the man and the countries he dealt with became associated with unethical practices.

Selvage: The unprinted marginal area around the outer edges on a sheet or pane of stamps. Selvage may be unprinted or may contain printer's markings or other information.

Semi-Postal: A stamp sold at a price greater than postal value to raise money for charity.

Series: Stamps with a common design or theme, issued over a period of time.

Serpentine: A wavy line impressed into stamp paper as an alternative to perforations for separating stamps.

Set: Complete series issued at one time which includes all the values in the set.

Se-tenant: French for "joined together." Refers to two or more stamps with different designs or values printed together on the same sheet. Most often used to indicate an intact, unseparated pair (or greater multiple) it can also be used as a general description of the stamp issue.

Sheet: see Press Sheet.

Short Set: An incomplete set of stamps – often comprised of the more affordable issues in the set and lacking one or more key values.

Souvenir Sheet: A small sheet of stamps issued for a specific commemorative purpose. Often has an inscription describing the event being commemorated.

Special Delivery: A class of postal service providing expedited delivery of mail. Also refers to stamps issued to pay the Special Delivery rates.

Special Printing: Reissue of a stamp for special purpose, often with distinctive color, paper, or perforations.

Specimen: Stamp or stationery overprinted or punched "Specimen"and distributed to Universal Postal Union members for identification purposes, as well as to other entities such as the philatelic press.

Stampless Cover: A folded sheet or envelope carried as mail without a postage stamp. Usually refers to covers predating the modern era of using postage stamps to prepay postage…see also Postal History.

Stock Book: A specially manufactured blank book containing rows of strips forming pockets into which stamps can be inserted for storage.

Strip: Three or more unseparated stamps in a horizontal or vertical row.

Surcharge: An overprint that changes the denomination of a stamp.

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