Fun with Stamps Part 3.


Part 3

Miniature sheet to Se-tenant    

by Ron Shanahan

The A to Z of Stamp Collecting Showing that the hobby can be fun.

M is for Miniature Sheet

A Miniature sheet has been defined as :-

"A small sheet containing a stamp or stamps valid for postal use at time of issue and provided for use by the normal stamp-issuing authority."

It may appear alone or with other stamps, but it differs in its format from normal stamp sheets and is of a size and shape which make it acceptable to the collector as an individual item.

Kenneth R Lake, Editor, David Field All World Miniature Sheet Catalogue 1973.

In todays philatelic parlance a 'NLE'

'A Nice Little Earner'

Icelandic miniature Sheet commemorating

Christopher Columbus and

Leifur Eiriksson

N is for NVI

NVI = Non Value Indicator.

This is the term used in Great Britain for a stamp which does not have the actual value printed on it.

Initially 1st for 'first class post' and 2nd for 'second class post', there has been an addition to the range with the 'E' type stamp.

Other countries have similar NVI's but under different names. South Africa has 'Standardised Mail' for instance.

The USA has 'alphabet' stamps with a letter instead of a value

The fastest stamp around must be the

'E' type machin!

Great Britain

1st and 2nd class N.V.I.stamps.

O is for Overprint


Overprints can be applied to stamps for a number of reasons.

The ones illustrated show:-

New Zealand Two Shillings and Sixpence Duty stamp, overprinted with 'NIUE' for use in that country.

Niue, overprinted to change the value to 'TWO PENCE'

Samoa overprinted with 'SURCHARGED 2½d'. Surcharges are usually used to raise funds for charities or to rebuild after natural disasters.

Great Britain Edward VIII 2½d value overprinted 'MOROCCO AGENCIES 25 CENTIMOS' thus changing the country of use and the value to local Spanish currency.

Beware of highly priced 'overprints' — make sure if you buy, that you get some sort of authentication, as this is a popular field for forgers/fakers.



I would be pleased to hear from anyone who can tell me the purpose of the Samoan 'surcharge'.

P is for Poached Egg

"Poached Egg" was the nickname given to the testing labels used while checking the operation of coil and booklet vending machines.

They were so called because the original type (top left in the picture) gave the impression of a 'poached egg'.

The red label was specially designed to test stamp affixing machines used in connection with the World Scout Jubilee Jamboree first day cover service.

They were printed in red to identify them as such and were perforated as for special issues.

(Double size, using two normal sized labels imperforate between)

A few of these on toast for breakfast would go down like the proverbial lead balloon!

The coil leader shown is

ROLL, TEST, No. 1.

The labels are also used in the make up of

'Dummy' booklets.

Q is for Quid


One of the old 'slang' names for One Pound (20 shillings)

Some beautiful stamp designs have borne this face value in the reigns of Queen Victoria, Edward VII, GVI and QEII.

Amongst them is my personal 'all time favourite' stamp — the £1 Postal Union Congress issued by Great Britain in 1929.

Times change though and the once great £1 has been brought low.

The £1 has now been relegated to the low value range.

G.B. £1 Postal Union Congress.

Machin £1

A modern classic

Quids worth!

R is for Reprint


are a good source of extra philatelic revenue. It was originally announced that due to collector demand for information, marginal markings would be added to show a reprinted value.

Initially on sheets, the same also applied to booklets.

Anyone about our age and ex UK will probably remember the old chant

"One potato, two potato, three potato, four" etc.

Now it is "One koala, two koala, three koala, four."

The first print had no markings, the first reprint 1 koala, the second 2 koalas until 4 koalas and then the fifth reprint was a kangaroo.

Thus 'dummies' like me can be 'conned' into buying 3 or 4 booklets instead of 1.

'Good Eh!' (for Australia Post anyway)

S is for Se-tenant


"The name applied to two or more unseparated stamps of different design, denomination or colour, printed adjacent to each other."

Not to be confused with C-tenant which is something living on your hard drive!

One of my favourite 'cartoon' stamps from the G.B. 1996 Greetings stamp booklet.

Copyright EARS Leisurewrite 1999.

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