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Glossary of Philatelic Terms P

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

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Packet: A presorted selection of all-different stamps, a common and economical way to begin a general collection.

Pair: Two unseparated stamps.
Pane: "The unit into which a full press sheet is divided before sale at post offices.
Paquebot: Cancellation indicating an item was mailed aboard a ship.
Par Avion: "A French phrase meaning ""By Air,'' it appears on airmail etiquettes of most countries, along with a similar phrase in the predominant language of the country of origin."
Parcel post stamps: Special stamps created for payment of parcel post fees.
Part-perforate: A stamp with all perforations missing on one or more sides, but with at least one side perforated.
Paste-up: The ends of rolls of coiled stamps joined together with glue or tape.
Pelure paper: A strong, thin paper occasionally used in stamp printing. 
Pen canceled: Stamps canceled with an ink pen or marker pen rather than a handstamp or machine cancel.
Penny Black: The black 1-penny British stamp issued May 6,1840, bearing the portrait of Queen Victoria. It is the world's first adhesive stamp issued for the prepayment of postage.
Perfins: Stamps perforated through the face with identifying initials, designs or holes in coded positions.
Perforation: The punching out of holes between stamps to make separation easy.
Perforation gauge: A scale printed or designed on metal, transparent or opaque plastic, cardboard or other material to measure the number of perforation holes or teeth within the space of 2 centimeters.
Philatelic cover: An envelope, postal card or other item franked and mailed by a stamp collector to create a collectible object.
Philately: The collection and study of postage stamps, postal stationery and postal history.
Phosphor: A chemical substance used in the production of selected stamps to activate machines that automatically cancel mail.
Photogravure: A modern stamp-printing process that is a form of intaglio printing.
Plate: The basic printing unit on a press used to produce stamps.
Plate block: A block of stamps from the corner or side of a pane including the selvage bearing the number(s) of the plate(s) used to print the sheet from which the pane was separated.
Plate number: Numerals or an alphanumeric combination that identifies the printing plate used to print postage stamp images.
Plating: The reconstruction of a stamp pane by collecting blocks and individual stamps representing various positions.
Plebiscite issue: A stamp issue promoting a popular vote.
PNC: A plate number coil stamp; that is, a stamp from a coil that is inscribed with a plate number.
Pneumatic post: Letter distribution through pressurized air tubes.
Postage dues: Stamps or markings indicating that insufficient postage has been affixed to the mailing piece.
Postal card: A government-produced postcard bearing a stamp imprint in the upper-right corner representing prepayment of postage.
Postal fiscal: Revenue or fiscal stamps used postally.
Postmark: Any official postal marking.
Precancel: Stamp with a special overprint cancellation allowing it to bypass normal canceling.
Prestamp covers: Folded letters or their outer enclosures used before the introduction of adhesive postage stamps or postal stationery.
Prestige booklet: A stamp booklet with oversized panes, descriptive information and stamp issues commemorating a special topic.
Processing: Steps that finish a printed stamp sheet. Processing includes perforation, trimming, dividing the sheet into individual panes, and packaging for distribution.
Pro Juventute: Latin, meaning for the benefit of youth. Switzerland has issued Pro Juventute semipostals nearly every year since 1913.
Proofs: Trial impressions from a die or printing plate before actual stamp production.
Plate number block: A block of stamps from the corner or side of a pane including the selvage bearing the number(s) of the plate(s) used to print the sheet from which the pane was separated.
Press sheet: A complete unit of stamps as printed.


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