Philatelic Terms Explained: What is a Perfin? What is the Purpose of Perfins?
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Victorian Postal stationery cover sent in 1900 from London to Dusseldorf with added twopence halfpenny Jubliee stamp showing perfin 'C&S' (Churchill & Sim)
As the example cover illustrates from the embossed senders details inset, the perfin perforated in the postage stamp matches the initials of the sending firm Churchill & Sim.
The purpose of perfin stamps was simply to act as a security measure to deter staff stealing postage stamps from their employers. Use of perfins became far less common in the latter part of the 20th Century as metered mail became more widespread for business use.
Some UK local authorities and Government departments have made use of perfins but, in the precise terminology employed by philatelists, these governmental stamps tend to be classed as 'Official Stamps' rather than perfins.
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