What does a stamp "retouch" mean, and how can I detect it?

Stampboards has 1000s of regular readers who WILL take the time to help out even with the most basic question. If you are new to stamps - or taking up the hobby after a long break, there is a lot to learn. PLEASE do not be shy in asking the simplest of questions .. members here will be delighted to help you with the answers!

Moderator: Volunteer Moderator Team

Post Reply
Blue Star less than 5 posts NEWBIE!
Blue Star less than 5 posts NEWBIE!
Posts: 2
Joined: 05 Jun 2021 20:59
Location: Ettalong, Australia

What does a stamp "retouch" mean, and how can I detect it?

Post by Lofty1702 »

Hi - very new to this but loving it - I've bought an ACSC KGV catalogue to differentiate the stamps I have.

The catalogue makes frequent reference to retouching eg "Retouch to letters of value and base" on 59(1).

Even looking at the images, I can't see what it means - sorry if this is a dumb or repeated question but it is stopping me from classifying my stamps.

Thanks Lofty~

Last edited by Global Administrator on 08 Sep 2021 19:37, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: **EVERY** new thread here MUST have an image of some kind - no exceptions.

User avatar
Global Administrator
The Sheriff
The Sheriff
Posts: 64901
Joined: 18 Apr 2007 22:57
Location: Tombstone

Re: What does "retouch" mean and how can I detect it?

Post by Global Administrator »

Please make your FIRST intro post in Roll Call thread - thanks.

Put simply a retouch is the printer touching up a plate which had some kind of damage.

Sometimes it is minor and sometimes easy to spot.

Here is a striking one I sold here.

2/- Kangaroo stamp *MUH* Corner pair with *THE* MAJOR ACSC Retouch. The Spectacular and huge ACSC 40[2]ka retouch. THE largest and most striking retouch EVER on any Australian stamp – yet almost NEVER offered.


Click HERE to see superb, RARE and unusual stamps, at FIXED low nett prices, high rez photos, and NO buyer fees etc!

User avatar
RED Shooting Star Posting LEGEND!
RED Shooting Star Posting LEGEND!
Posts: 1925
Joined: 10 Sep 2014 07:49
Location: Yering in the Yarra Valley, Australia

Re: What does a stamp "retouch" mean, and how can I detect it?

Post by PhilipAdams »

As Glen said, a retouch is a repair to the plate from which the stamps are printed.

The nature of any retouch will be different depending on the type of printing process: relief (used for the Kangaroo and map and most KGV sideface stamps), recess (used for most pre-decimal stamps after the Kangaroo and sideface issues) and photogravure (used for most stamps from the late QEII pre-decimal era).

Note that the terms "re-cut" and "retouch" are largely used as synonyms.

As to "how can I detect it", necessary is a good magnifying glass and a flaw-identifying specialist catalogue such as the ACSC.

Some further good examples from across the world have been posted here in threads such as:


Post Reply

Return to “NO question is too basic or silly - you ask - we WILL help you with it!”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests