Stamps with holes!

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1. What are these holes?

The small punched holes which you can find in some postage stamps, in the shape of letters or patterns, were to show the stamp was owned by a certain company or organisation.

The holes were to try and stop people stealing the stamps from the organisation. Only the organisation should be able to use the stamps. No one else should use them or exchange them for cash.

These holes are called perfins. The name perfin comes from PERForated INitials.

There are many different perfins. In the UK, they were used on stamps from 1868. They are not used today and most companies stopped using them in the 1960’s.

These are some of the images you may see on the back of postage stamps. 

Next page you'll find out more about perfins

(Images - Copyright: The Perfin Society of Great Britain)