A note about collecting Limited Edition Prints
The total number of identical prints made is called an edition. The edition number (represented as a fractional number), title (if any), and signature of the artist usually appears at the bottom margin of the print but may be signed inside the print area as well. The smaller number of the fraction indicates which print of the edition it is; the larger number indicates the total amount printed.
A small number of additional prints (this can be up to 10% of the edition size, for example an edition of 100 may have 10 artist proofs) marked "artist's proof" (A/P) may also be printed as well as proofs called "travel proofs". These are traditionally printed for the artist to take to photographers for advertising or to show to potential gallery venues for exhibition or sale. They can get handled and become a bit smudged.
The printer often retains a small number of prints from the edition that are signed as printer's proofs by the artist.
At times the publisher of an edition my retain a small number of prints that are titled Publisher Proofs. These are also signed by the artist.
There may also be trial or proof prints. Trial proofs are made in the printing process and can vary in color. When a printed press proof is satisfactory to the artist it can be marked press or final Proof or B.A.T. (bon a terer, which means final proof). These small numbers of artist, trial, travel or final or press proofs, if in excellent condition, can retain more value as the edition sells out and are more desirable to collectors. When purchasing a limited edition, always ask if any AP's are available, they sell for the same price but the artist usually reserves them for preferred collectors, family, employees, auctions and friends.
For example an edition of 300 may have an edition of 15 to 25 artist proofs, 5 printers proofs, 15 publisher proofs (this is rare but happens sometimes), a B.A.T. or final proof and up to 5 travel proofs.
For care of your prints, framing, using archival materials and UV protective glass, is the original way of displaying and preserving art - with a tradition going back for centuries. If you are not ready to frame your art, flat storage in archival, acid free, folders or drawers is advisable.