Stamps come in all types, shapes, sizes, colors and specifications. Stamp collectors can specialize in one type of stamp or collect stamps from all types of categories. Not all stamps are the same and serve several purposes. The different types of stamps include:
Airmail stamps were used to pay shipping fees for letters and packages. Airmail stamps are being phased out, but are sometimes used internationally.
Pre-cancellations are stamps that show “Cancel” before sale or use. They are used for bulk shipments and let the postal worker know that there is no need to stamp them.
Perfins are stamps that display initials or a perforated design in the vignette, or design area. These stamps are used by companies and governments to prevent employees from taking them for personal use.
Official seals may display the words “OFFICIAL, SERVICE, O.S. or OHMS” and are used by authorized government agencies.
Postage Due are used when the current post is not enough. The receiver is obliged to pay the difference shown at maturity.
Semi-postage stamps have an additional voluntary fee that is collected and sent to a charity. The causes that have received donations through this seal are prisoners of war, restorative efforts, combating hunger and a fund for refugees.
Postal tax stamps are mandatory taxes paid to send a letter or package.
War tax stamps allow the post office to collect revenue for government funds to pay the price of fighting in a war.
Parcel Post stamps allow the sender to pay a reduced fee for specific packages. They are difficult to find. They were used in the early 1900s for a short period of time.
Registered Letter Stamps
Registered Letter stamps guarantee that a letter or package will be indemnified at the time of loss or damage. Each letter stamp can be traced and provides receipts for shipping and signature of the recipient on delivery
Certified Mail Stamps
Certified mail is similar to the letter stamp, but without compensation for loss or damage.
Special delivery stamps require immediate delivery of the letter or package.
Newspaper stamps offered a reduced rate for news companies due to trade and development benefits
Telegraph stamps are prepaid fees for sending a telegram. In the United States, these services were privately owned and operated, rather than under the control of the post office.
Military seals offer personnel a reduced rate.
Revenue stamps do not have a postal function, but can be used for taxes from different sources, including registration of deeds, discounting bank checks or actions related to shares.
The Postal Fiscal are like a cross between revenues and postage stamps. They pay fees and taxes for other services, such as taxes on imported products and licensing fees.
The forever stamps cover the specified class of correspondence, regardless of postage rate increases.
Joint issue stamps can honor a person, event or interest. These are similar or identical stamps issued by two or more postal administrators on the same day or a few days apart.
Personalized or Custom stamps are created from a photo provided by the consumer. This can only be done by one of the three companies approved in the United States. Only they have the right to produce and distribute them. They are sold at a higher rate.