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 Processing Policies & Table of Grading Terminology

All valuable Mint Colony stamps are checked under UV light for repairs and washed off fiscal markings.
Where appropriate certificates of authenticity are provided. These can also be obtained upon request.

 Many of our more valuable used stamps are soaked and cleaned to detect any hidden repairs or faults.

Stamp perforations may be neatened up where appropriate.

 Our scans are not enhanced and can be taken as a fair and reasonable representation
of what you are purchasing. All material is unconditionally guaranteed. See Terms.

We are committed to excellence in customer service and fair dealing. See our Mission Statement.

The Alternative Term column below shows philatelic terms you may encounter elsewhere and are
shown here for comparative purposes. We use the Terms in left hand column to describe condition.

Term Description Alternative Term

Mint Unhinged - the stamp has never been mounted.

MUM (Mint Unmounted), MNH (Mint Never Hinged), Mint, **
MVLH  Mint Very Light Hinge - the stamp has been previously mounted but with a peelable hinge that has left only a trace upon removal. MLM (Mint Light Mount), Mint *
MLH Mint Light Hinge - the stamp has been previously mounted with only light hinging evidence visible upon removal. MM (Mint Mounted), Mint *
MH Mint Hinged - the stamp has a moderate size hinge remnant that may be faintly visible when viewing the front of the stamp. MM (Mint Mounted) Mint *
MHH Mint Heavy Hinge - the stamp has a heavy hinge remnant that has caused a kink to appear on the face of the stamp. Mint *


Mint No Gum - the gum has been removed from the stamp Unused, UN

Special Note re the term Mint

A grading term that can lead to confusion is the term Mint. All of the above gradings can be referred to as Mint by some reference sources. Due to its general nature and we tend to avoid the term for post Federation stamps. 

CTO Cancelled To Order - a stamp issued by the Post Office in collector sets. They may or may not have gum and generally display a neat corner Circular Date Stamp (cds) cancellation. CPF - Cancelled Per Favour. PF - Per Favour
VFU Very Fine Used. Above average for issue, full perforations. Neat corner cds cancellation.
FU Fine Used. Average centring and perfs for issue, cds cancellation that covers a modest section of the stamp. Of general VF (Very Fine) appearance.
GU Good Used. Average to poor centring, smudgy cds cancel, or may be a machine cancel. Generally of F (Fine) appearance

Descriptive Terms Used for Overall Condition & Appearance

Gem Gem - exceptional in all grading facets for the issue: Gum, Freshness, Colouring, Perforations, Centring and overall appearance & appeal. Superb, Premium Grade.
VF Very Fine - of mostly overall above average in grading elements for the issue.  
F Fine - of mostly average in grading elements for the issue.
G Good - less than average, but not repaired and has no major faults such as: tears, thins, creases. Is still of collectable grade.
Repr Repaired - a repaired fault(s). Details of repair will be in item description.
Flts Faults - tears, thins, creasing etc. Details will be in item description.

Other Abbreviations

AAMC Australian Airmail Catalogue
ACSC Australian Commonwealth Specialist Catalogue. Also known as BW
BW Brusden-White (see ACSC)
blk Block
bklt Booklet
b/s Backstamped
cds Circular Date Stamp (cancellation). Far more desirable than a machine or parcel type cancellation.
Cnr Corner
Exp Expertized
FDC First Day Cover
FV Face Value
h/s Handstamped
imp Imprint
m/c Machine Cancellation - cancellation applied by machine.
marg Margin(al) - refers to piece of magin or selvedge attached to the stamp or piece
Mi Michel catalogue
M/S Minature or or Souvenir Sheet
o/w Otherwise
photo-cert Certificate of authenticity with reproduction image of item embedded
pmk Postmark
PC Postcard
PPC Picture Postcard
SG Stanley Gibbons (reference catalogue)

Blue Owl Stamps Pty Ltd

Australian Colonies, Kangaroos, KGV Heads, Pre-Decimals, Booklets,
G.R.I. Papua, New Guinea, N.W.P.I. NZ in Stamps, Specialty Items and Usage on Cover