In philately
Philately is the study of stamps and postal history and other related items. Philately involves more than just stamp collecting, which does not necessarily involve the study of stamps. It is possible to be a philatelist without owning any stamps...

, indicia are markings on a mail piece (as opposed to an adhesive stamp) showing that postage has been prepaid by the sender. Indicia is the plural of the latin word indicium, meaning distinguishing marks, signs or identifying marks. The term imprinted stamp
Imprinted stamp
In philately an imprinted stamp is a stamp printed on to a piece of postal stationery such as a stamped envelope, postal card, letter sheet, letter card, aerogram or wrapper. The printing is flat upon the surface of the paper, as opposed to an embossed stamp which has a raised relief...

 is used more or less interchangeably, but some indicia are not imprinted stamps (see illustration of handstamp, for example).

Forms of indicia

Indicia can take a number of forms, including printed designs or handstamps where a stamp would normally be that indicate the pre-payment of postage. Imprinted stamps on postal stationery
Postal stationery
A piece of postal stationery is a stationery item, such as a stamped envelope, letter sheet, postal card, lettercard, aerogram or wrapper, with an imprinted stamp or inscription indicating that a specific rate of postage or related service has been prepaid...

 are indicia.

The term also refers to a meter stamp
Meter stamp
A meter stamp, or meter mark, is the impression made by a postage meter machine that indicates that postage has been paid on a letter or parcel...

impression or the part thereof that indicates the value or postal rate.

External links

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