What is a postage stamp – Postage stamp definition

 A postage stamp is a piece of paper usually having the shape of a small rectangle of different proportions, other shapes are also occasionally used. A postage stamp is usually purchased from a postal administration. It is affixed to an envelope or other postal cover as an evidence or proof of payment of postage. To avoid its reuse, the stamp is processed by the postal system where a cancellation mark or the postmark is applied over the stamp.

A postage stamp has four main components: image, perforations, denominations and country name. Stamp image is the graphical subject or simply the image found on the face of the stamp. They usually define a postage stamp issued to public. Perforations are small holes made in between individual postage stamps on a page of stamps, making the separation of individual stamps easier. The denomination is the declared value of a stamp.

Postage stamps have their own respective values on factors like condition, age, rarity, markings, coil numbers, absence or presence of adhesive and stamp grade. The stamp grade pertains to how the stamp design was centered inside the stamp margin. It is one of the most important factors in determining the value of your old stamp.

Postage stamps are graded as extremely fine, very fine, fine, good, average, fair, and below average. Old postage stamps, especially the rare stamps, are worth more than the newer stamps. Its value depends on the availability of similar stamp specimens. This means that the rarer your old postage stamp is, the more valuable it will be. Stamp condition is the general appearance of the stamp. The old stamp value decreases when there is a missing or short perforation etc.