Terms Used In Expertizing
To help collectors better understand the information on The Philatelic Foundation’s certificates of opinion, the PF’s Expert Committee has developed definitions of terms it uses in the opinions on the certificates it issues. The definitions reflect the experience and comments of the PF’s current consultants among collectors, dealers and auctioneers.
|Original Gum||Gum which is in the original state as applied by the printer.|
|Never Hinged||Full original gum as applied by the printer and which is free from any disturbance. Cognizance will be taken of the normal gum condition for each issue. Gum skips, bubbles or other natural gum irregularities including short gumming will be cited where these are considered to be significant.|
|Previously Hinged||Original gum with disturbances which haveoccurred since the gum was applied by the printer. Included are stamps with hinge remnants, hinge marks on the gum, or with moisture spots on the gum. Cognizance will be taken of the normal gum condition for each issue. Gum skips, bubbles or other natural gum irregularities including short gumming will be cited where these are considered to be significant.Where the gum shows noticeable effects of damp or humid conditions (glazed original gum, mount glazed original gum or stamps lightly stuck on the gummed side) such stamps would be described as previously hinged. When significant in nature such conditions may be specifically mentioned on a certificate (see below).Where the gum has been manipulated, including redistributionor when it is significantly disturbed such conditions will bespecifically mentioned on a certificate.|
|Redistributed Original Gum||Gum which has been moistened and re-spread to present the appearance of a non-hinged surface.|
|Disturbed Original Gum||A stamp on which the character of the gum is substantially changed, with no intent to cover defects or hinging.|
|Part Original Gum||A stamp with noticeable original gum missing.|
|Traces of Gum||Small amounts of gum insufficient to determine whether original to the stamp.|
|Glazed Gum||Original gum in an altered state due to its softening and reforming, often while in a plastic mount.|
|Tropical Gum||Original gum which has been altered and often discolored from its original state, due to interleaving adhering to the gum of the stamp or to conditions that allow for fungal growth.|
|Ungummed||Usually not addressed on certificate. A stamp without gum as issued.|
|Foreign Matter Adhering To Gum||Indicates foreign material, which is not a hinge, adhering to the gum surface.|
|Regummed||A process where gum has been replaced on a stamp found without gum. This applies only to a stamp originally issued with gum.|
|Stains & Toning|
|Toning Of Paper||A marked yellowing or darkening of paper due to natural or other causes. Unless otherwise qualified, toning shows on the front of the stamp.|
|Fading||A lightening of ink or paper due to natural physical causes.|
|Staining||A discoloration in the paper of a stamp.|
|Color-Affected Stamp||A stamp whose color is changed or altered from its naturally issued color.|
|Color Changeling||A stamp on which the color has been dramatically changed from its issued color either chemically or naturally, e.g. a green stamp which has been changed to blue.|
|Cleaning||The removal of foreign substance from a stamp by any cleaning method. It is only mentioned when there is a noticeable change in appearance. The term “Cleaning” does not indicate the removal of a cancellation.|
|Bleached To Remove Staining||The use of a chemical agent to lighten or remove a discoloration or foreign substance from the paper of a stamp. This usually results in a whitening of the paper.|
|Privately Perforated||Philatelically inspired perforations not done to defraud collectors, e.g. private perforations on newspaper special printings or on U.S. imperforate issues of the 20th century made by people other than vending machine companies.|
|Unofficial Perforations||Perforations done contemporaneously to the issuance of a stamp, to facilitate the separation of the stamps, without philatelic inspiration, e.g. Confederate issues, Kansas City Roulettes, Chicago Perforations of the U.S. 1851 Issues and Private Vending and Affixing Machine Coils.|
|Imperforate Stamp||Stamps sold by the Post Office without perforations, either intentionally or accidentally.|
|Imperforate Between||A pair of stamps with perforations on all four sides, except those issues that come with a straight edge, with either the horizontal or vertical perforations completely omitted between the stamps.|
|Imperforate Horizontally Or Vertically||A pair or larger multiple with horizontal or vertical perforations completely omitted.|
|Reperforated Stamp||A stamp on which the perforations have been fraudulently added at a later time, by someone other than the printer or issuing authority, to imitate, simulate or change the original perforations.|
|Improved Perforation||Where several perforations, but not all, have been manipulated to enhance appearance, such as by the punching out of unpunched perfs.|
|Pulled Perforation||An instance where paper has been removed below the base line of the perforation holes.|
|Short Perforation||Usually not addressed on a certificate. An instance where paper has been removed down to or very close to the base line of the perforation holes.|
|Blind Perforations||An indentation of the paper which is caused by the perforating pin, but which does not break through the paper, as opposed to a complete hole, e.g. a pair of stamps which appear imperforate between but where the paper shows traces of perforations.|
|Unpunched Perforation||Usually not addressed on certificates. A missing perforation hole which is due to a missing pin in the perforator.|
|Trimmed Perforations||A stamp with perforations cut away after its issuance, but which originally had perforations in that location. Normally not used to describe USA hard paper special printings. (If an attempt to change catalog number has been made, the certificate merits a “WARNING” handstamp.)|
|Straight Edge||A stamp which naturally lacks perforations on one to three sides; as issued by the Post Office.|
|Perforation Disc Indentation||A depression which may be located anywhere on a stamp, caused by an errant punched paper disc from a perforation hole, creating a natural fault in the surface of the paper.|
|Partially Separated Perforations||Where a substantial number, but not all, of the perforations are detached between two or more stamps of a multiple.|
|Rejoined Perforations||Where separated perforations have been reattached by means of a hinge, gum or other chemical substances.|
|Creases & Tears|
|Crease||A folding of the paper creating a physical deformity which shows as a dark line in fluid or as a white line during drying.|
|Wrinkle/Bend||Usually not addressed on certificate. A visible physical deformity generally due to the printing process or due to the uneven contraction of the gum on a stamp. It does not show as a crease in fluid or dry.|
|Faint Crease||Barely shows in fluid. It only shows as a white line upon the fluid’s drying.|
|Light Crease||Visible in fluid.|
|Heavy Crease||Shows as a strong dark line in fluid and is easily seen by the naked eye when dry.|
|Pressed Out Crease||The application of heat, moisture and/or pressure to conceal a crease. This was formerly referred to as an “ironed-out” crease.|
|Corner Margin Crease||A diagonal crease occurring in the corner of an imperforate stamp outside the design.|
|Corner Crease||A diagonal crease which may or may not affect the design of a perforated stamp at a corner.|
|Diagonal Crease||A crease in a stamp, on a diagonal through the stamp, but greater than a corner crease.|
|Vertical & Horizontal Creases||Vertical & Horizontal Creases are self-explanatory.|
|Tears||A physical separation of the paper fibers of the stamp.
Tear: over 2.5mm.
Small Tear: Approx. 2.5mm or less.
Tiny Tear: Approx. 1mm or less.
|Other Natural And Unnatural
|Inclusions||Any substances incorporated in the paper web during fabrication, and normally different in color from that of the stamp. These are mentioned only if easily visible on the front of the stamp and are not a normal characteristic of the issue.|
|Natural Translucency||A natural condition of the paper which is generally ignored by the Expert Committee except when it is significant in size and may be confused with a thin spot.|
|Pre-Printing Paper Fold||A natural fold in the paper which occurs during or before the printing process, which, on opening (or pressing open) after printing, leaves an imprinted area. Paper folds are only noted when they are large or may be confused with a crease.|
|Natural Inking Flaw Or Smear||This is generally self-evident on the surface of a stamp, and may be due to either imprinted portions of the design or as areas of over-inking.|
|Pin-Hole||A tiny hole in the paper fibers through which one can see light which goes completely through the paper.|
|Scrape||An abrasion on the surface of a stamp which moves or removes paper fiber. It will appear as a thin in fluid.|
|Thin||The removal of paper fibers from the back of a stamp. If only gum is absent, it is not considered to be a thin and therefore not noted.|
|Portion Of Design Painted In Or Covering Of Scrape||The addition of any coloring agent to hide, camouflage, or alter the design of a stamp.|
|Surface Rubs||Partial removal of ink by abrasion; often noted on chalk-coated papers of Great Britain and Colonies.|
|Scissors Cut||A cut in the paper of a stamp which may be due to scissors or any other cutting device. This will be qualified as to whether it affects margin or design.|
|Soiling||Any substance, normally dirt on the surface of the paper, which noticeably dulls or darkens the appearance of the stamp.|
|Repair||An attempt to cover up a defect in the paper of a stamp.
This may include:
– Closing of a tear.
– Filling in of a thin.
– Touching up of scrapes.
– Rebacking ~ adding margins or missing perforations. (May warrant a “Warning” stamp.)
– Replacing pieces or perforation of a stamp.
|Alteration||A fraudulent attempt to change the type identifying characteristics of a stamp by the addition or removal of design or perforation or by changing characteristics of the paper. (All such items get a “Warning” stamp.)|
|Chemical Reinforcement||The rejoining or reinforcement of perforations by application of collodion or some other chemical agent.|
|Collodion Stains||Stains in the paper caused by collodion (a chemical substance), which is used to rejoin perforations in multiples. It may be found on single stamps. Shows in fluid as opaque white.|
|Non-Contemporary Cancellation||A genuine cancellation applied out of the time period of general usage of a stamp. This cancellation may have been postally or privately applied.|
|Counterfeit Cancellation||A reproduction or simulation of a genuine cancellation or postal marking. (Such an item gets a “Warning” stamp.)|
|Cancellation Lightened||The lightening by chemical or mechanical methods of a genuine cancellation to enhance the appearance of a stamp.|
|Cancellation Removed||The removal of a cancellation from a stamp by either chemical or mechanical methods. (Such an item gets a “Warning” stamp.)|
|Cancellation Enhanced||The addition to or strengthening of a cancellation to improve its appearance.|
|Cancellation Altered||The change of a part of a cancellation to represent other than what it originally was, e.g. an altered date(s). (All such items receive a “Warning” stamp.)|
|Cancelled-To-Order/Favor Cancelled||Genuine postal cancellations applied to an item (stamp/ cover) which did not pass through the mails. This term is not usually applied to first day covers.|
|Small Faults||When a multitude of small defects are present on the same stamp and are too numerous to point out individually; e.g. creases, pinholes, tears, etc.|
|Defective Stamp||A stamp with one or more major faults; e.g. a piece of the stamp is missing, or a hole exists that one can see through.|
|Counterfeit||An item, usually a replica of an existing stamp, made to defraud collectors. The term can also be applied to overprints, postmarks, etc. (These receive a “Warning”stamp.)|
|Postal Forgery||A contemporary counterfeit which has been used to defraud postal authorities.|
|Bogus||A fabricated item (stamp or cancellation), which never existed in this format, bearing names of imaginary or existing postal authorities or services; created to fool or defraud collectors. (All such items receive a “Warning” stamp.)|
|Reprint||A printing of stamps made from the original plates after the stamp has become obsolete. This could be officially or privately done. This term does not apply to stamps sold by the U.S. Government.|
|Terms For Cover|
|Bisect (or other fraction) On Cover||Such items will only be given “genuine” certificates when the cancellation is applied across the cut or when sufficient collateral documentation exists to verify authenticity.|
|Cleaning Of Cover||The cleaning of a cover is mentioned ONLY when the cleaning NOTICEABLY affects the postal markings, the stamps, or postal routing including address. This will only include erasures where they affect the above.|
|Extensive Cleaning||Usually applied to covers which have had a considerable portion cleaned by either chemical or mechanical methods.|
|Manipulation Of Stamps And Markings On A
|Removal and replacement of original stamp. Mentioned only if quite noticeable. Removal, repair, and replacement of a stamp. Addition, deletion or substitution of stamp(s) (certificate gets a “Warning” stamp). Touching up of postal marking(s) or address.|
|Repairing Of Cover||Backflap added. The addition of a non-originalbackflap.
Rebacking a cover front. A cover front which has been joined to a back which was not original.
More detailed terms for covers can be found at Expertizing Terms and Condition Standards for Covers.