American Philatelic Society

Stamp Identifier

Key words on stamps Country
Afghan or AfghansAfghanistan
Belgie or Belgique Belgium
Brasil Brazil
CCCP (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) Russia
Ceskoslovensko Czechoslovakia
Danmark Denmark
Deutsche Bundespost West Germany
Deutsche Demokratische
East Germany
Eire Ireland
Espana Spain
Francaise France
Gronland Greenland
Haute-volta Upper Volta
Hellas Greece
Helvetia Switzerland
Hrvatska Croatia or Yugoslavia
Island Iceland
Italia or Italiane Italy
Liban or Libanaise lebanon
Lietuva or Lietvos Lithuania
Magyar Hungary
Maroc French Morocco
Nations Unies United Nations
Nederland Netherlands
Nippon Japan
Norge Norway
Osterreich Austria
Philipinas Philippines
Polska Poland
Romana?Romina Romania
Vaticane Vatican City
Shqipenia Albania
Suomi Finland
Sverige Sweden
Turkiye Turkey
U.A.R. United Arab Republic
How to Identify Stamps?

If you cannot recognize the name of a country on a stamp, you may need a Stamp Identifier.

With the exception of Great Britain all postage stamps must have the name of the country of issuance on them. (As the first country to issue postage stamps Great Britain may simply have a silhouette of the ruling monarch.) However, the country name will not necessarily appear in English or even resemble the English name.

Stamp Identifiers provide lists of the various text that may appear on stamps and tell you what country that text signifies. See the simple identifier on this page, the APS also offers a Stamp Identifier for sale at our "Publications Shop" or visit the Worldwide Stamp Identifier site at:

While identification by country may initially satisfy you, many collectors will want to know when their stamp was issued and how much it is worth. Catalogs exist to help in this way. In the United States the Scott Postage Stamp Catalogue is the standard used by most collectors. In six volumes it lists nearly all the postage stamps issued by every country of the world. It is expensive to purchase a complete set but the catalogs may be borrowed from many public libraries. (Sometimes the most recent edition is in reference, but normally older editions may be checked out.) Learn How to Read a Stamp Catalog Listing

Most catalogs are arranged by country and within country by type of stamp (such as regular, airmail or postage due) and date of issue. Look at the first few pages of a catalogue for information on how to use it. At first it can be challenging to find a specific stamp among the hundreds or thousands of listings for a country. However, in time looking at the denomination of the stamp and how it is printed (one or multiple colors) will give you good clues as to the approximate time the stamp was issued.

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