Stamp Collecting Abbreviations

Herewith, a list of the most commonly encountered abbreviations utilized by stamp collectors and stamp dealers. We try not to use a lot of abbreviations on our website, but these are still good to know. We've also included some symbols that are occasionally encountered.

 

  • / or //  Incomplete range
  • Addr     Addressed
  • Ave        Average, i.e., average condition, less than fine
  • Bklt/B   Booklet
  • Bkstp(s)  Backstamp(s)
  • Blk  Block
  • Cat      Catalogue Value
  • CDS     Circular date stamp cancellation
  • Cert   Certificate
  • Commem   Commemorative or Special Issue sets; not definitives
  • CTO    Cancelled to order - cancelled, but not postally used
  • Defin    Definitive or Regular long term issue stamp sets; not commemoratives
  • Env    Envelope
  • F        Fine, fine condition
  • FDC, or F.D.C.    First Day Cover
  • FL  Folded lettersheet
  • HH    Heavily Hinged
  • HR   Hinge Remnant
  • Imperf or Imp    Imperforate
  • Mi or Michel    Michel (German language) Catalogue
  • MNH    Mint, Never Hinged
  • MLH    Mint Lightly Hinged
  • MS, or ms  Manuscript
  • NG    No gum
  • OG   Original gum
  • OS    Official Service - Official Use
  • PC    Postcard
  • Perf    Perforation
  • pr    Pair
  • PSE    Pre-Stamped Envelope
  • SC or Scott    Scott Catalogue number current edition and price in $US
  • s/d    Small defects
  • SE    Straight Edge
  • SG    Stanley Gibbons catalogue number - usually "Part 1" Br. Commonwealth in £ Sterling
  • SS or S/S    Souvenir Sheet
  • Superb    As close to perfection as one is likely to see - for this reason, term should be used very sparingly
  • Unadd     Unaddressed
  • Unused    Some individuals prefer this term over "mint" if an item is other than never hinged
  • Used    Postally used, cancelled
  • VF or V.F.    Very Fine: Refers to overall condition
  • Wmk     Watermark
  • Zum    Zumstein Catalogue
  • ««  Mint Never Hinged
  • «        Mint, Lightly Hinged
  • ¤    Used