How do you start your first collection, develop and improve an existing collection, or add a new collection?
There are a multitude of ways to collect stamps, have fun and grow a collection that is just right for you. Whether it is the thrill of the hunt, thoughts of exotic locales, or learning something new, stamp collecting can be an adventure filled with wonderful memories.
Stamp collecting is a major hobby among many people worldwide. Stamp collecting helps instruct the collector in geography, biography, history, culture and art. One of the aspects of stamps that collectors find most fascinating is their ability to reveal much about the history and culture of other places.
Stamps are miniature gateways to the world. It can be started easily enough, and can grow to a wonderful collection over time. Stamp collecting is a hobby that is simple enough to get started by children or adults alike, and can be continued for decades. If you are new to stamp collecting, follow this blog to get started and discover some useful tips and resources.
Starting a Stamp Collection
As with any hobby, there are some supplies you’ll need to get started with a stamp collection. While it may go without saying, a stamp album is essential. Since it is imperative to preserve the stamps as much as possible, a pair of tweezers will be needed for handling, and will prevent fingerprints, sweat or grease from getting on the stamp. Remember, the condition of the stamp has a large impact on its value. A magnifying glass is also very useful for inspecting fine details. Make sure to keep the stamps and stamp albums away from moisture, warm areas, and light. Depending on your preference, the collection can be arranged according to a theme, such as country, time period, or subject. Older collectors might even pass on their collection to children or grandchildren. As the collection grows larger, it becomes more and more important to properly catalog the stamps so that you know exactly what you have.
Finding and Collecting Stamps
An easy way to start collecting stamps is to simply ask people you know to pass on stamps from mail that they have received. If a friend is going on vacation, ask them to send you a postcard or purchase a few stamps for you. Elderly people may also have old pieces of mail with out of print stamps. These stamps can make an especially interesting addition to a collection. As the collection grows, you may become more interested in purchasing stamps to complete a theme. Try hunting at garage sales, at stamp collector events, at online specialty stores or through stamp dealers. Serious stamp collectors end up investing enormously in rare, vintage and unused stamps over time. There are plenty of online forums and communities for stamp collectors to compare and discuss their findings. These types of message boards are also extremely useful sources for new stamp collectors to find answers about stamps that they currently have or are seeking.
If you have decided to collect according to a country, topic, or any other area of stamp collecting that you want to concentrate on, you may want to keep in touch with others who are collecting the same way. There are numerous specialized stamp clubs locally or nationwide. Many of these clubs can be found through web searches using the terms “stamps” and your collecting topic.
Often when a club has members around the country, the only way for them to keep in touch with each other is through a magazine, newsletter, or bulletin. You may want to subscribe to a philatelic magazine that covers your interests. There are stamp journals which let you know what is going on in the field in general, and keep you up to date on new discoveries. There are stamp journals which are devoted to studying and describing stamps and covers.
Whatever area of collecting you wish to collect in, there is an enormous amount of information available to help you enjoy your hobby. The best place to start is a local stamp club. You’ve probably already made that first step, now you can try and decide which kinds of stamps or envelopes you’d like to collect and which materials you’ll need to help you. Good luck, and remember—enjoy yourself, because the main reason for collecting stamps is for the fun of it!