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Different Ways to Collect Stamps

Plate Block

Plate Block– Is a block of stamps with the adjoining selvage containing the number of the printing plates used in production.



Block– An un-separated group of stamps, at least two rows high and two rows wide.





A single stamp is one stamp from a pane of stamps.


Panel- A full “pane” of stamps as sold by the Post Office.  Panes often include 20, 50 or 100 stamps. Four or six panes typically make up the original sheet of stamps as printed.


First Day Cover

First Day Cover- An envelope with a new stamp affixed and cancellation showing the date the stamp was issued.




Cachet- (pronounced Ka-Shay) A cachet is a design of words and/or pictures which refers especially to the new stamp on a first day cover. These designs are usually found on the front left side of the envelope. They can be printed, hand drawn, printed from computer, or glued on. The purpose of  a cachet is to enhance the meaning and appearance of the First Day Cover.




A full production unit (such as a press sheet) for stamps as printed. “Sheets” stamps are generally subdivided into panes for sale, the number  per sheet typically defines the number of the position listed for an issue.

First Day of Issue

Ceremony  Program


First Day of Issue Ceremony Program- is issued by USPS on the ceremony dates. Each program features a narrative about the stamp subject, the sequence and the elements  of the ceremony plus the stamp or stamps, affixed and cancelled with the date and city of issuance.

Souvenir Page


Souvenir Page– Each page gives pertinent information about the issued stamp ( First Day City, Color Images, Designer, etc) and a brief narrative about the honoree.


Proof Card


Proof Card- These are spectacular 6x9 inch embossed cards with proof quality il-lustrations and the new stamp First Day of Issue postmark. In addition, the reverse side includes a description of the stamps.

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