Gary Fok



There are various categories of stamps. Here are some of them:


v     Origin  :  issued countries

         It refers to the place which issue stamps, e.g. USA, United Nations, PRC, Germany, etc.

         It is usually the primary classification in the stamp catalogues, e.g. Scott, Stanley Gibbon, Michel, etc.


v     Topic  : 

         It refers to the theme of the stamp, e.g. animals, transport, Christmas, flag, New Year, Europa, etc.

         The most common topics are the animals, Christmas, flowers, etc.

         There are some stamp catalogues are specialised in some of these topics


v     Format  : 

         It refers to the presentation of the stamps.

      Single or Set: the stamps are issued in single stamps or in set

      Miniature sheet: the stamps are placed enclosed in a small sheet

      Souvenir sheet:  a whole sheet consists of different  stamps

      Se-tenant: a set of stamps attached to each other in a strip

      FDC (First Day Cover): the stamps are placed and stamped on a cover.

      Booklet: the stamps are placed inside a booklet

      Presentation Pack: the stamps are stored in a pack, which includes full description of the stamps

      Coil: the stamps are issued in a coil.


v     Type  : 

         It refers to the purpose of the stamps.

      Commemoratives: the stamps are issued for specific issues, e.g. Christmas, Anniversary, etc., which can be available at the office for short period of time.

      Definitive: the stamps are issued for mailing purpose, which can normally be available at the post offices for more than one year.


v     Condition  : 

         It refers to the physical conditions of the stamps.

      U/M (**) – un-mounted mint: the stamp new and has not been mounted

      Hinged (*) – the stamp has been hinged

      U – the stamp has been used and stamped

      CTO – the stamp has been stamped on its issue

      F – Fine: the stamp is in fine condition

      VF – Very Fine : the stamp is in very fine condition

      Gum – the stamp has some dirt


v     Shape  : 

         It refers to the appearance of the stamps.








v     Printing  : 

         It refers to the printing method of the stamps.

      Texture – the surface of stamp is uneven caused by the ink, usually old stamp of single colour, e.g. Bahamas, Fiji and other old British Commonwealth stamps.

      Flat  – the modern stamps with the flat and smooth surface



The above classifications are not comprehensive and are only based on my experiences.




Book 1  Topical  Favourite  Classifications Format  Shapes