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Glossary of Philatelic Terms S

 Click on a letter to see the terms beginning with that letter

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SASE: A self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Secret mark: A minute alteration to a stamp design added to distinguish later printings from earlier printings by a different firm. 
 
Self-adhesive: Stamp gum that adheres to envelope paper by the application of pressure alone.

Semipostal: "A stamp sold at a price greater than postal value, with the additional charge dedicated for a special purpose.
 
Series: A group of stamps with a similar design or theme, issued over a period of time.
 
Set: Stamps sharing common design elements, often issued at one time and usually collected as a group.
 
Se-tenant: "French for ""joined together.'' Two or more unseparated stamps of different designs, colors, denominations or types."
 
Sheet: A complete unit of stamps as printed.
 
Short set: An incomplete set of stamps, usually lacking either the high value or one or more key values.
 
Sleeper: Stamp or other collectible item that seems to be underpriced and may have good investment potential.
 
Sleeve: A seamless cylindrical printing plate used in rotary intaglio printing.
 
Soaking: Removal of stamps from envelope paper.
 
Souvenir card: A philatelic card, not valid for postage, issued in conjunction with some special event.
 
Souvenir page: An announcement of a new United States stamp issue created by the U.S. Postal Service, bearing a copy of the new stamp tied by a first day of issue cancellation.
 
Souvenir sheet: A small sheet of stamps, including one value or a set of stamps. 
 
Space filler: A stamp in poor condition used to fill the designated space in a stamp album until a better copy can be found.
 
Specialist: A stamp collector who intensively studies and collects the stamps and postal history of a given country, area, or time period, or who has otherwise limited his collecting field.
 
Special stamps: Regular postage stamp issues that fall outside the traditional definitions of commemorative and definitive stamps.
 
Specimen: Stamp or stationery item distributed to Universal Postal Union members for identification purposes and to the philatelic press and trade for publicity purposes. 
 
Speculative issue: A stamp or issue released primarily for sale to collectors, rather than to meet any legitimate postal need.
 
Splice: The repair of a break in a roll of stamp paper, or the joining of two rolls of paper for continuous printing.
 
Stamp: An officially issued postage label, often adhesive, attesting that payment has been rendered for mail delivery.
 
Stampless cover: A folded sheet or envelope carried as mail without a postage stamp.
 
Stock book: A specially manufactured blank book containing rows of pockets on each page to hold stamps.
 
Straight edge: Flat-plate or rotary-plate stamps from the margins of panes where the sheets were cut apart.
 
Strip: Three or more unseparated stamps in a row, vertically or horizontally.
 
Surcharge: An overprint that changes or restates the denomination of a stamp or postal stationery item.
 
Surtax: The portion of a semipostal stamp purchase price exceeding the postage value.

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