Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Arts and Crafts/Stamps - Advanced

Stamps - Advanced
Arts and Crafts
General Conference
Skill Level 3
Year of Introduction: 1933

1. Have the Stamp Honor.


Instructions and tips for earning the Stamps honor can be found in the Arts and Crafts chapter.

2. Know the meaning of the following


a. Cancellation

a cancellation (or cancel for short) is a postal marking applied to a postage stamp or postal stationery indicating that the item has been used. They are to be distinguished from overprints, and, in the case of the British "Occasions - Multiple Choice" stamps, from the ticking of boxes on the stamps with a pen for which the stamps call.[1] Modern cancellations are often applied simultaneously with a postmark, for efficiency, and commonly the terms "cancellation" and "postmark" are used interchangeably, if incorrectly. (The confusion arises because of the practice of some postal administrations of applying the postmark directly on the stamp, at the cost of legibility.)

b. Perfins

A perfin (a contraction of 'PERForated INitials'), also called SPIFS (a contraction of 'Stamps Perforated by Initials of Firms and Society's'), is a pattern of tiny holes punched through a postage stamp. Organizations used perforating machines to make perforations forming letters or designs in postage stamps with the purpose of preventing pilferage. The size and number of perfins is usually regulated by law or postal regulation in the relevant country.

c. Blocks

a block is a group of postage stamps still attached to each other. Blocks are of interest not only because they are rarer than individual stamps, but they also preserve relative positions of stamps as they were originally printed, information that is crucial to understanding how the stamps were produced.

d. Plate blocks

A plate block - see the serial number
The most commonly-collected kind of block is the plate block, which includes the part of the margin where the serial numbers of the printing plates may be found.

e. Precanceled

A precanceled stamp, or precancel for short, is a postage stamp that has been cancelled before being affixed to mail. Precancels are typically used by mass mailers, who can save a postal system time and effort by prearranging to use the precancels, and delivering the stamped mail ready for sorting. The postal administration will typically offer an incentive in the form of a reduced price for precancelled stamps in volume. Precancels cannot normally be purchased by the general public, although they are often seen in one's daily mail.

f. First day covers

A first day cover (FDC) is an envelope where the postage stamps have been cancelled on their first day of issue. Depending on the policy of the nation issuing the stamp, official first day postmarks may sometimes be applied to covers weeks or months after the date indicated.

g. Cachets

a cachet is a design or inscription, other than a cancellation or pre-printed postage, on an envelope, postcard, or postal card to commemorate a postal or philatelic event. There are official and private cachets; they commemorate everything from the first flight on a particular route, to the Super Bowl. Cachets are also frequently made, either by private companies, or a government, for First day of issue stamp events or 'Second-Day' stamp events. They are often present on event covers.
The first cacheted FDC (first day cover) was produced by prominent philatelist and cachetmaker George W. Linn in 1923, for the Harding Memorial stamp issue.

h. Souvenir sheets

A souvenir sheet or miniature sheet is a small group of postage stamps still attached to the sheet on which they were printed. They may be either regular issues that just happen to be printed in small groups (typical of many early stamps), or special issues often commemorating some event, such as a national anniversary, philatelic exhibition, or government program. The number of stamps ranges from one to about 25; larger sheets of stamps are simply called "sheets" with no qualifier.

i. Watermarks

the watermark is a key feature of the stamp, and often constitutes the difference between a common and a rare stamp. The "classic" stamp watermark is a small crown or other national symbol, appearing either once on each stamp or a continuous pattern. Watermarks were nearly universal on stamps in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but generally fell out of use and are not commonly used on modern issues.

j. Tongs

Stamp tweezers or stamp tongs are tweezers used to handle postage stamps. They are universally used by philatelists, as they are a reliable way to get hold of the small pieces of paper without damaging or getting skin oils on them. They can also be very efficient at handling large numbers of stamps.

3. Make a display of at least 16 pages suitable for a stamp club show, Pathfinder Fair, or Junior Youth Philatelic Stamp Show. Display should be artistically arranged, neatly labeled and mounted, showing careful thought and research. Cachets and covers should be used as well.

Make a display of at least 16 pages to show.

4. Make a collection of 750 additional stamps with at least 50 stamps from each of five foreign countries.

Collect more stamps in addition to those you collected for the Stamps honor.

5. Name two different catalogs for identifying stamps.

A stamp catalog (or stamp catalogue) is a catalog of postage stamp types. Although basically just a list of descriptions and prices, in practice the catalog is an essential tool of stamp collecting.
Originally catalogs were just dealers' price lists, and in some cases, such as Stanley Gibbons, that is still one of their functions. Over time, as philately developed, catalogs tended to accumulate additional supporting details about the stamps, such as dates of issue, color variations, and so forth. As their use by collectors became widespread, the catalogs came to define what was and was not a legitimate stamp, since collectors would avoid stamps not described in their catalog.
There are only a handful of catalogs with worldwide coverage:
  • Michel - The Michel catalog (MICHEL-Briefmarken-Katalog) is the largest and best-known stamp catalog in the German-speaking world. First published in 1910, it has become an important reference work for philately, with information not available in the English-language Scott catalog.
  • Minkus
  • Stanley Gibbons - is a company based in London, England specialising in the trade of collectible postage stamps and related products who are currently based at 399 Strand, London. The company was established by Edward Stanley Gibbons in 1856 on the basis of his purchase of a sackful of rare triangular stamps from the Cape of Good Hope.
  • Scott - The Scott catalogue of postage stamps put out by Scott Publishing Co, a subsidiary of Amos Press, is updated annually and lists all the stamps of the entire world which its editors recognize as issued for postal purposes.

6. Using a stamp catalog, identify and mount according to catalog number and country.

Identify and mount your collected stamps.

7. Mount your stamps with gummed hinges or plastic mounts. (Plastic mounts are preferred for mint stamps.)

Mount your stamps