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A stamp's function (sometimes also called type) is the purpose for which it is intended. Functions range from "postage" for normal postage stamps, to "airmail", to "special delivery", to the many types of revenue stamps.

There are only a small number of functions in common use, plus several-score additional types that appear here and there.

  • postage - used for regular mail service

  • semipostal - used for regular mail service, but mailer pays an extra fee that typically goes to charities

  • airmail - use for mail being transported by air