What Does Hinged Mean in Stamp Collecting?

By Shellie Braeuner
Collecting stamps can be a fun and educational hobby.

Stamp collecting, also known as philately, started in the 1840s when stamps were first issued with glue on the back. The United States first offered postage stamps in 1847 when stamps featuring George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were printed.

Hinges

A stamp hinge is a small piece of gummed paper, folded in half, that allows a stamp to be mounted in an album.

Hinged Stamps

Hinged stamps are stamps that have had a hinge applied to them at some point. This means that the gum on the back of the stamp had adhered to something. Even after the hinge is removed, there may be a disruption in the glue on the back of the stamp.

Other Hinge Terms

"Never Hinged" means what it implies: no hinge has ever been applied to the stamp. "Lightly Hinged" denotes that a hinge had been applied, but that there is little or no disruption of the stamp's glue after removal. "Heavily Hinged" means that the hinge has been removed with significant damage to the glue on the back of the stamp. "Hinge Remnant" means that some portion of the hinge was impossible to remove without damaging the stamp.

About the Author

Based in Nashville, Shellie Braeuner has been writing articles since 1986 on topics including child rearing, entertainment, politics and home improvement. Her work has appeared in "The Tennessean" and "Borderlines" as well as a book from Simon & Schuster. Braeuner holds a Master of Education in developmental counseling from Vanderbilt University.