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Beginner's Guide To Stamp Collecting


Through stamp collecting, one discovers educational information about sports, science, history, arts, currency, animals, rituals and customs of different countries and their people.

The hobby of collecting stamps, also recognized as philately, is among the world’s most interesting and popular hobbies. Collectors find them attractive and fascinating at the same time educational.

Some collect traditional stamps or “by the country” and others collect topical stamps which are stamps by design and some collect copies of only one kind of stamp (specialist), and there are some who collect stamps from all parts of the world or all types of stamps that they can find (worldwide).

It all really depends on one’s interests. For example, when one is fascinated with boats, one can collect stamps of boats and ships. Or any theme that interests you.

There are a lot of stamp collectors that specializes in collecting presently existing “commemoratives” as their past time. Commemoratives are special stamps which are released for a restricted time by the “post office”. They generally commemorate or celebrate special events or people, such as artists, wild life, antiques, and many others.

A beginner philatelist or collector can start collecting stamps that arrives on the mail. To take off a stamp the envelope, cautiously rip the envelope away surrounding the stamp, careful that the stamp is well preserved. Then soak it in warm water and the piece of the envelope that is attached to it will just turn loose and allow you to carefully lift out the stamp with the use of tongs. On a piece of absorbent paper, set the stamp and set down a thick book over it when dry so that to flatten it.

As a hobby, collecting stamps requires neatness and precision. Place the flattened and dried stamp in your album with hinges, or store it inside small “glassine envelopes” designed for stamp collecting.

Stamp values:

Stamps do not become automatically more valuable or expensive as they age. Valuable stamps are types of stamps that have been always holding a high value; in time, these can possibly increase their value, however ordinary stamps, common ones and of no or low value will stay in that low value regardless of time.

Collections of valuable stamps (one’s having high value) will be the ones which are considered precious or expensive today. Simply put, if the original stamp collector was purchasing stamps that were valuable and expensive before then up to now, the stamps will hold a great value.

You can usually tell what kinds of stamps are displayed in the collection by just simply looking quickly at the collection’s presentation. When presented in a careful and meticulous manner, then there is the possibility that some stamps in the collection are valuable.

So if one has some commercially ordinary stamp albums with several gaps omitted on its pages, you do not have a “valuable collection”; whereas, if your albums have crafted pages with many complete sets as well as duplicates with “minor variations”, etc then most probably, you have a good collection of valuable stamps among them.

Perhaps you have inherited a collection of stamps that you have no interest with and just want to sell them, sad to say, you will get just a very small amount for it, and certainly much less than how much you think it would cost.
Almost all stamps of most countries, especially Russian stamps, are of very little value whether used or new.

Certainly, you can purchase unused, extremely old mint, “US postage stamps” for not more than their “face value”. Used stamps usually are worth much less than new stamps, though old stamps with clear mints can at times add to the used stamp’s value.

If a collection of stamps are all sold at one time, the value may sometimes depend on how the collection are displayed and stored.

If the collection are displayed and kept in such a manner that every stamp is assigned with a catalogue number, then, this becomes easy for somebody who is buying the collection to view it and know what they want to add in their collection. When the stamps are loose, then they are of very, very little value.

In stamp collecting, the most basic rule is to just enjoy what one is collecting, to get satisfaction and pleasure from it. Value is not necessarily a factor here. So go ahead and collect whatever stamps that interests you and display your collection in whatever manner you like.
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Content copyright © 2013 by Gary Eggleston. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Gary Eggleston. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Gary Eggleston for details.

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