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Chinese Stamps

Stamp collecting is a fun and family-friendly hobby, great for any collector. You can begin your new collection, or enhance your current albums, with a variety of beautiful stamps from the country of China. The first Chinese government postal service began as early as the Zhou Dynasty with antique pottery stamps, and you can share in this history with a selection of new and used Chinese stamps, unique in all the world.

How are mint never hinged and mint hinged stamps different?

A mint hinged stamp is one that is unused but has been previously hinged. Hinges are mini pieces of transparent paper with a small amount of gum on them. These are used to mount the postage into albums. Mint hinged stamps may have a small amount of the hinge remaining on them or may have disturbances in the gum on the back of them. A mint never hinged stamp is one that has not been affixed into an album in this manner and has the original undisturbed gum on the back.

How do you evaluate the condition of the Chinese stamps?

There are several different qualities to look for when choosing which one to add to your collection. Some of these include:

  • centreing - The image on the stamp should be well centreed and have even margins on each side.
  • Gum - In the case of unused ones, the postal gum on the back should be undisturbed. If it has been previously hinged, there may be remains of the hinge on the back, or it may be missing the original gum. There are older versions that were issued with no gum.
  • Cancellation - In the case of used ones, some cancellation marks can make it hard to see the designs and images. Look for clean cancellations.
How are Chinese commemorative and Chinese definitive stamps different?

A commemorative one is special, usually decorative, and usually issued to honor the anniversary of a person, an event, or a special place. Definitive postage is part of the country's regularly issued stamps and is mostly used for the daily mail needs of the country.

What is an overprint?

An overprint is an additional layer of printing that was added after the originally made stamp was issued. For example, in the year 1898, stamps were issued from London for the Chinese Imperial Post. These were used until the end of the empire. After the revolution in 1911, stamps were issued with an overprint in red reading from top to bottom Republic of China in traditional Chinese.