Robert Murray Stamp Shop, Edinburgh

Explanations of product categories.

On our retail price list for United Kingdom commemorative stamps there are several definitions which, while in common usage in the stamp world, might be unfamiliar to many people. Of course, non-English speakers might like further explanation, and even among English-speakers there are different words used in different countries.

Click on the definition to go down the page to the explanation. Click here to see this page with illustrations (much larger download).
Unmounted mint (u.m.)
First Day Cover (FDC)
Presentation Pack (Pres. Pack)
PHQ Cards

A "set" of stamps is a group of stamps normally issued on the same date, and usually on the same subject. On occasions some sets might be issued over different dates (such as a definitive set where new values can be added due to changing postal rates or production methods), and now and again a special issue may be issued on different dates.

"Unmounted Mint" refers to a stamp in the condition in which it was originally sold by the post office. The stamp will be unused (i.e. with no postmark) with its full gum, and the gum will not be marked in any way (such as by having had a stamp hinge on it). Americans call this "M.N.H." ("mint never hinged"). It is also always assumed that an unmounted mint stamp will not have any faults.

"First Day Cover".
Strictly speaking, it is any envelope bearing at least one stamp, postmarked on the first day that the stamp was on sale. In more general usage it usually suggests that the envelope would have the full set of stamps if more than one was issued, and was produced by or for a collector.
In the case of our UK Commemoratives price list, our prices are for what we call "bureau covers" - these are the ones sold by the British Post Office Philatelic Bureau to standing order customers (and for most one-of orders also). A normal "bureau cover" is the Royal Mail illustrated envelope with the full set of stamps, cancelled by the first day postmark ("Philatelic Bureau, Edinburgh" or "Tallents House, Edinburgh", or sometimes their alternative cancel), and with the typed (or later, printed) name and address of the original recipient.

"Presentation Pack". A presentation pack has a set of mint stamps held in clear plastic strips on a black card. The black card is then partly enclosed in an information card, and the whole thing covered by a plastic sleeve (different materials at different times - any we sell will be in the correct contemporary covering).

"PHQ Cards" are postcards with enlarged colour reproductions of the stamp designs. Generally there are as many postcards as there are stamps in the set.
[The name "PHQ" comes from the post office's practice of printing a stock code on its stationery. The first cards were not really intended  as items for collectors. PHQ stands for Postal HeadQuarters.]
We sell three catagories of PHQ cards; {1} mint cards are simply the postcards, unused, {2} "PHQ FD (front)" are the cards used with the matching stamps affixed to the picture side of the cards and postmarked with a first day cancel, and {3} "PHQ FD (back)" is the same but with the stamps on the plain side of the card.

Page last updated Tuesday 1 February 2005. Copyright Robert Murray 2005.

Robert Murray Stamp Shop
5 & 6 Inverleith Gardens
Scotland EH3 5PU
Tel. 0131 552 1220 or 0131 478 7021
UK local rate number 0845 0500 886
Email; [email protected]
How to Order
Mail Orders are accepted by post, telephone, email, or fax. We accept payments by cash, cheque, Visa/MasterCard, Switch/Delta, and some foreign currencies.
Basically, we charge [the advertised price of the goods] plus [the actual price of postage] plus [50p per order handling charge]. 
Full details can be seen at our How to Order page.
Our Shop
is open five days each week, and customers are always, of course, welcome.
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