- A.C.E. - Art Cover Exchange.
- A.P.O. - Army Post Office.
- Above Privilege Number - A handstamp applied to a letter disallowed under the Franking
- Accessories - Full range of stamp collecting tools and aids, e.g. tweezers, hinge
mounts, perforation gauges, catalogues, stock books, catalogues and books etc..
- Additional Halfpenny Tax - The Additional Halfpenny Tax was imposed on 8 June 1813 on
all letters from England to or from Scotland to recover a levy paid to the Scottish
- Add-on - A cachet design added to a cover which was originally uncacheted.
- Adhesive - (i) Any postage stamp for attachment to an envelope, as distinct from the
stamps impressed directly on to postal stationary. (ii) The gum used to affix a postage
- Admirals - Philatelic term for for three British Commonwealth definitive series stamps;
Canada 1912-25, New Zealand 1926 and Rhodesia 1913-19. All of which show King George V in
his naval uniform.
- Advertisement pane - A pane of postage stamps from a booklet in which one or more of the
stamp-sized areas bears an advertisement or slogan.
- Advertising Stamp - See Poster Stamp.
- Aerogram - See Aerogramme.
- Aerogramme - Printed and gummed writing-sheet designed to be folded and sealed to form a
lightweight air-mail letter. Usually made of thin paper and printed with the appropriate
postal duty. No enclosures are permitted.
- Aerophilately - Area of stamp collecting which concentrates on stamps and mail carried
- Agency - Post Office maintained by one country in another countries territory.
- Air Label - Small blue labels used by UPU member nations to denote carriage by air mail.
- Airmail - Carriage of mail by aircraft. The first succesful mail flight was in May 1911
when a Captain Windham organised a flight at the Allahabad Exhibition in India. Special
postmarks subsequently came into general use.
- Albino - White or without colour; a postage stamp or overprint in which absence of ink
has resulted in a colourless impression.
- Album - Books used for mounting and display of stamps or postal history. They come in a
great variety of colours, sizes and speciality topics.
- Allen, Ralph - (b.1694, d.1794) Former postmaster of Bath, England and organiser of the
first British provincial cross posts.
- All Purpose Cachet - A cachet with a general purpose design that can be used for a
variety of different stamp subjects.
- Alphabet - A particularly distinctive set of letters used to print a postage stamp or
overprint and which helps a philatelist identify the item precisely.
- Ambulant - Word meaning 'moving' as used to denote a mobile or Travelling Post Office
(TPO) in a cancellation.
- Aniline - Oily liquid, originally distilled from coal-tar, used as the basis of certain
dyes in postage stamps; in particular a bright-red ink, manufactured partly from aniline,
which immediately penetrates between the fibres of uncoated paper.
- Approvals - Stamps or other postal history and philatelic items sent on approval by a
dealer to a customer who can study them at leisure whilst knowing the price asked. The
customer buys whatever he chooses, returning the remainder with payment.
- Apres le Depart - Too late.
- Arrow - Small arrow markers appearing in the selvage as a guide for the cutting of a
sheet of stamps into pre-defined blocks. Collectors save these as "arrow
- Artistamp - Decorative or promotional stamps depicting artistic images, scenic pictures,
portraits, graphic arts, etc., usually denoting the artistic abilities or works of art by
a particular artist. Artistamps are not issued by governmental postal authorities,
therefore they do not bear any value for postal services. Usually of interest to topical
- Ausstellung - Exhibition.
- Avion - Fr.; see Par Avion.