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Abnormal: Term applied for specifically to certain stamps produced by De La Rue for Great Britain 1862-1880, from plated which were not subsequently put into normal production. De La Rau submitted to the board of Inland Revenue the first six sheets stamps produced from each plate. These stamps were imperforate but were gummed and watermarked. The board retained one sheets as the imprimatur and the other five sheets would be same as all others produced from the same plate. But sometimes plates were modified or scrapped or a change was made in the colour used formal printing. The resultant stamp from five sheetswere therefore classified as abnormals. Only 12 types of abnormals have so far been recorded, although there are a further nine plated which were registered but from which no stamps are known to exit.

Abusive Stamps: Also termed ” undesirable ” or ” harmful”. Stamps issued by countries to exploit collectors and make easy money. Stanley Gibbons catalogue does not list in details or quote prices, but make a note in appendix to help collectors from being cheated. Stamps with extra ordinary shapes, sizes, printed on various materials like plastic, metals etc.

Accessories: Various products and tools commonly used by the stamp collector, like catalogs, hinges, magnifiers, mounts, perforation gauges, stamp albums, stamp tongs, stock books and philatelic literature can also be regarded as accessories.

Accountancy Stamps: Stamps issued for newspaper taxes (Denmark 1907), newspaper parcels (USA 1975), (Belgium 1928), and filed Newspaper stamps (Austria 1916).

Accumulation: A large collection of stamps that has not been arranged.

Acid Free Paper: Paper manufactured under neutral condition with a pH greater than 7.0 containing no acid additives.

Adhesive: A stamp originally issued with gum on the back. So that it can be pasted on a letter, parcel etc.

Admirals: A nickname for three British Commonwealth definitive series, those of Canada, 1912-25, New Zealand, 1926, and Rhodesia, 1913-19. These stamps depict King George V of Great Britain in naval uniform.

Aero Philately: The collecting of airmail stamps, covers and air related covers, cancellations like Inaugural flight, Rocker mail, Balloon post etc are popular.

Aerogram: International tern for an air letter. A postage-paid air letter sheet with gummed flaps that is written on and then folded to form an envelope. Aerograms are normally carried at less than the airmail letter rate. No enclosures are permitted.

Agency: 1) an organization authorized to publish or sell new issues of stamps o behalf of a stamp issuing entity. 2) An extraterritorial post office maintained at various times by a government within the territory of another government.

Air labels: Air labels, or etiquettes, are used by Universal Postal Union member nations to denote airmail carriage. They are inscribed “Par Avion” (French for “By Airmail”). The text usually includes the same message in the language of the country of origin. Air labels also are adhesives issued by private organizations for specific, unofficial flights.

Air Mail Cancellations: Initially airmail letters were marked with hand written information. Later special hand stamps were introduced with a text denoting that it was an airmail item and giving details of type of flight, date etc.

Air Mail Stamps: When airmail services started, the postage for an airmail letter was high, much higher than for surface mail. Hence special airmail stamps for additional airmail surcharge were printed. Their designs of term include the words ‘ Air mail ‘ or ‘ Aereo ‘ with pictural reference to air travel.

Airmail: The carriage of mail by air, any mode of correspondence transmitted by air. The Pigeon Post, Balloon post to Helicopter, parachute and Rocket mail represent the oldest methods of mail transport by air. The first official carriage of mail by air took place in August 1859 between La Fayette and Crawfordsville, Indiana by balloon Jupiter, but the first official airmail by this means was the Allahabad –Naini service, India in February 1911. The first airmail stamp was issued by Italy in 1917.

Albino: An impression of a stamp which has accidentally escaped inking. This error can be seen in embossed envelops and letter cards in full or in part. Such errors are scarce on stamps.

Album weed: Album Weeds is the title of a reference book series on forged stamps, written by the Rev. R. Brisco Earee.

Album: A book to hold, mounting and display of stamps or covers. Many early albums were permanently bound books. Albums come in many sizes, styles and themes.

Ambulante: This word means “moving” in Spanish and other Romance languages. It appears in cancellations and indicates that the item was processed by a mobile post office.

Aniline: A type of ink used in printing stamps which shows fluorescence under ultra-violet rays. Aniline inks are very sensitive and may dissolve in water or other liquids or chemicals. To prevent the erasure of cancellations and reuse of stamps, aniline inks were used to print some stamps.

Approvals: Selection of stamps or covers sent to a collector to choose and purchase which must be returned to the sender within a specified time frame.

Arab Postal Union: Like Universal Postal Union in 1954, Arab Postal Union was founded having regional authority and their countries also members of U.P.U.

Army Post Office: (APO): An army post office or military post office is set up to distribute mail to and from military personnel.

Arrow: On many sheets of stamps, V-shaped arrow like markings appear in the selvage, generally serving as guides for cutting the sheets into predetermined units. Some collectors save stamps or blocks displaying these marks.

As is: A term written in auction descriptions, or spoken or written during a retail transaction. It indicates that an item or lot is sold without guarantee or return privilege, without giving specific details or condition of stamps. Stamps are usually sold “as is” when they are damaged or are possibly not genuine.

ATM stamps: Stamps which are brought from Automated Teller Machine dispensers.

Auction catalogue: Philatelic auctioneers publish for their customers special catalogues listing and describing all lots put up for sale, contains photographs, study about prices realized in auctions, which give the correct picture of market prices.

Auction: A sale of stamps, covers and other philatelic items where prospective purchasers place bids in an attempt to obtain the desired items. The highest bidder for each described item or items makes the purchase. Bidding can be done in person or by mail or through an agent.

Authentication mark: A marking, such as initials, placed on the reverse of a stamp examined and certified to be genuine by an expert.

Auxiliary Cancellation: In emergencies, temporary and auxiliary cancellations were used either with previously used hand stamps or make shift hand stamps produced not by metal, but by rubber or wood.