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First steps in becoming a philatelist

Any philatelist (the official name for stamp researchers and collectors) will tell you this: build your collection around a focus that interests you, whether it’s cars or birds or your family’s country of origin. This way stamps become a vehicle for learning about a broader subject in all its nuances.

For starters – One could have a pile of stamps, and you start arranging them by country, Stamp collecting is very much an aesthetic hobby.

What you’ll pay

You get what you pay for when it comes to rare stamps. While there’s no firm rule on pricing, collectors buying at auctions should expect to pay 40% to 50% of the catalogue price, said Joseph Cottriall, who works as a stamp valuer for Warwick & Warwick in the UK, and a consultant to Sotheby’s in the US. The catalogue price is the amount listed in industry-respected publications by the likes of Stanley Gibbons in London, Scott in the US, Michel for the German-speaking world and Yvert et Tellier in France.

When deciding how much you’re willing to spend, first determine how rare the stamp is. Some of the world’s most coveted examples are the result of printing errors (like the British television stamp without the queen’s head), but others may have become scarce due to political or historic circumstances. Sometimes, the piece of mail a stamp is fastened to — perhaps a letter displaying traces of war history — can raise the price by a few hundred dollars.

The most prized stamp Cottriall has ever encountered is the inverted Jenny, an American stamp from 1918 depicting a blue old-fashioned biplane surrounded by a red vintage border. It looks like your average classic stamp until you realise the plane, or Jenny, was printed upside down. One hundred examples slipped through the printers, each worth at least $100,000 today, depending on condition.

“I looked at it under a magnifying glass and was like, ‘Wow, this is the value of a house!’” Cottriall recalled.

Quality is paramount. Generally, a mint stamp (one straight from the post office) will cost more than a used stamp. Mint stamps should be in mint condition, meaning no tears, folds or colour damage as well as an intact “stamp hinge” (the paper coating that guards the adhesive on the back). Even a stamp worth a few dollars could fetch a couple hundred if it’s the best example of a specific design on the market.

Stamps should be kept in high-quality albums or stock books. These generally range from about $75 to $150. “Hingeless” albums are considered the safest because they contain individual plastic sleeves that don’t require sticking stamps to pages, which can damage a stamp’s back. Albums should be stored in a cool place, away from areas that can get cold and damp or hot and humid.

What to look for

Older stamps are generally more valuable than modern stamps, Savastano said. Most modern “special” and “commemorative” sets released by countries for publicity and economic reasons have little value since so many are printed.

“In England, practically anything that’s been issued in the past 45 years immediately drops to 60% of face value,” he said.

Value can also change dramatically over the course of a decade or two, depending upon politics and collector interest. Take China for example. In the 1960s, few people wanted to buy stamps from a communist country. But today, a sheet of stamps from 1962 called Stage Art of Mei Lanfang is worth around $15,000.

China, Hong Kong, Japan and India are all in high demand at the moment, reflecting the growing trend of collecting in Asia. Western European stamps, on the other hand, are dropping in value. That’s because collectors who have been buying such countries as Switzerland, Germany and Italy for the past 60 years are now selling and flooding the market. However, classic stamps from these countries can still be valuable. Stamps from the UK, Commonwealth countries and the US tend to retain value since so many people continue to collect from these nations.

Where to buy it

While finding a rare stamp at a car boot sale or an antique shop might fit the idealistic story of a lucky find, the majority of known rare stamps have already been snapped up.

You’re better off going to a reputable dealer or auctioneer who can certify a stamp’s authenticity. The dealer Stanley Gibbons is considered an international authority, and specialist auction houses include Warwick & Warwick, Spink, Corinphila and David Feldman. In theory, auction houses are cheaper since dealers add markups that can double the price. But auctions are driven by bidders, and bidding wars can inflate prices substantially higher and create a lot of variance in the final sale.

Stamp fairs such as Stampex and travelling world stamp exhibitions are great places to meet dealers and scout out stock.

While the internet has enabled collectors to pursue their hobby ever more fervently, buying online is risky. It’s tougher to discern fakes and defects, or to spot the fine details of colour and pattern that separate a common stamp from its celebrated sister. Still, many people buy on sites like eBay, and it could play to a buyer’s advantage if the seller doesn’t know bogus from big money.

“There is no substitute for experience,” Cottriall said. “Collect a country or period you are interested in; learn about the people, culture and stamps issued; and you could become an expert.”

Is Philately worth it ?

Unlike stocks and shares, the majority of transactions in the philatelic or stamp market take place informally, by mail order, or in retail environments, and therefore the size of the market is hard to determine. The market is certainly much smaller than the financial markets but it is not trivial. It has been estimated at £5 Billion. The majority of these transactions, however, are likely to be low value items rather than investments. In a 2007 it was estimated that about $1 billion of rare stamps trade annually in the $10 billion-a-year stamp market. The number of collectors worldwide was estimated at 30 million in 2004.

© Kheyati Philately 1995

Philatelic Humor

Smile 🙂

1. A young collector asked an old advanced philatelist how he made his collection so advanced and valuable. The old guy had a look at the young nuisance and said, “Well, young man, it was in 1940 when I got a bunch of old letters from an uncle, I soaked off the stamps, dried them and put them in a presentation folder. I spent four days on this, after which I sold the stamps at my school for a cool 4 dollars. “The next morning, I invested those four dollars in some more stamps on paper. I spent the next four days on them and sold them afterwards for 6 dollars. I continued this system for a month, by the end of which I’d accumulated a fortune of 200 dollars. “Then my uncle died and left me his collection worth two million dollars…”

2. Fresh out of business school, a young man answered a want ad for an accountant.
Now he was being interviewed by a very nervous man who ran a small stamp dealership that he had started himself. 
“I need someone with an accounting degree,” the man said.”But mainly, I’m looking for someone to do my worrying for me.” 
“Excuse me?” the accountant said. 
“I worry about a lot of things like mailing packets, putting up items for auction, replying
to customers” the man said. “But I don’t want to have to worry about money. Your job will be to take all the money worries off my back.”
“I see,” the accountant said. “And how much does the job pay?”
“I’ll start you at eighty thousand.”
“Eighty thousand dollars!” the accountant exclaimed. “How can a stamp business afford 
a sum like that?”
“That,” the stamp dealer said, “is your first worry.”

3. Larry’s stamp collection was stolen, and Susan, his wife, called the insurance company:
“We had that collection insured for fifty thousand and I want my money”. Agent: “Whoa there just a minute, Susan. It doesn’t work quite like that. We will ascertain the value of the collection and provide you with a similar one of comparable worth”. Susan, after a pause: “I’d like to cancel the policy on my husband…”

4. A customer walks into a stamp shop and notices a large sign on the wall,
“500 DOLLARS IF WE FAIL TO FILL YOUR ORDER!” When the shop attendant arrives, he asks for a mint copy of the US 1 dollar Inverted Lamp. The shop attendant calmly writes down the details and walks into the shop owner’s office where all hell breaks loose! The shop owner comes storming out of the office. He runs up to the customer’s side, slaps five 100 dollars bills down and says, “You got me that time buddy, but I want you to know that’s the first time in ten years we’ve been out of a mint copy of this issue!” “Could have saved these 500 bucks if only you would have ordered a used copy!!”

5. One day, Hassan decided to start stamp collection. He knows that the Penny Black is the oldest stamp so he asks Genie: “Genie, I want you to give me the Penny Black stamp. Remember to bring it here in good conditions.That’s my first demand. ” After a few minutes Gene returns: “Here you are!” and he gives Hassan a Penny Black used stamp.
Hassan is very happy but after a few minutes… “No Genie, I want it in better condtion. That’s my second demand”. Genie flies again and this time he gives Hassan a Penny Black mint stamp. Hassan is very happy but after a few minutes, he says: “No Genie, I want it in even better, in the original condtion. That’s my third demand.”Then Genie flies away again and returns momentarly: “Master, here is the best, original I could find.”
And then, Hassan sees the Queen Victoria standing in front of him.

6. A priest goes to the post office to buy stamps for his Christmas cards. He says to the clerk, “May I have 50 Christmas stamps, please?” The clerk replies, “What denomination?” God help us. Has it come to this?” the priest answers. Give me six Catholic, 12 Presbyterian, 10 Lutheran and 22 Baptist!”

7. A stamp dealer dies and finds himself at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter says, “We don’t let just anybody in here, you know. Have you ever done any kind deeds?” 

The dealer thinks and think and thinks, and then his face brightens and he says, “Yeah! There was this kid. He kept coming in my shop after school, day after day. He was always looking at one stamp in my showcase. One day he says, ‘Mister, would you take a dime for that stamp? It’s all I’ve got.’ That stamp was worth a quarter, but I wanted to get rid of the brat, so I sold it to him for a dime.” 

“I see,” said St. Peter. He pauses for few moments of heavenly reflection. “OK, here’s what we’ll do.” He hands the dealer a dime and says, “Take this dime, and go to Hell!” :^)

8. Two wives gossip:  “You know, my husband is a heavy drinker – I think he might be an alcoholic!” The other wife replies: “Alcoholic? I have worse: my husband is a filibuster, oh no, no, he is a syphilist or something like that… .”

Voice from adjacent room: “how many times I have to tell you that I am a philatelist!”

In a tiny village on the Irish coast lived an old lady, a virgin and 
very proud of it. 
Sensing that her final days were rapidly approaching, and desiring 
to make sure everything was in proper order when she dies, she went 
to the town’s undertaker (who also happened to be the local postal 
clerk) to make the proper “final” arrangements. 

As a last wish, she informed the undertaker that she wanted the 
following inscription engraved on her tombstone: “BORN A VIRGIN, 

Not long after, the old maid died peacefully. A few days after the 
funeral, as the undertaker–postal clerk went to prepare the 
tombstone that the lady had requested, it became quite apparent that 
the tombstone that she had selected was much too small for the 
wording that she had chosen. 

He thought long and hard about how he could fulfill the old maid’s 
final request, considering the very limited space available on the 
small piece of stone. 

For days, he agonized over the dilemma. But finally his experience 
as a postal worker allowed him to come up with what he thought was 
the appropriate solution to the problem. 

The virgin’s tombstone was finally completed and duly engraved, and 
read as follows: 


World’s Most valued Stamps 11-20 (Part II)

I hope you enjoyed reading the earlier post on the 10 highly valued stamps in the world, this post is in continuation to do justice to some of the most prized and sought after philatelic treasures that are truly rare keepsakes.

11. 3¢ George Washington B-grill Rose , 1867

Value: $1,035,000
Country: U.S.

A pink 3-cent stamp issued in 1868 and depicting George Washington, the first U.S. President.

Stamps of this design are common and usually worth only a few dollars; but what made this one worth a million dollars is a distinct, waffle-like grill pressed into the back of the stamp as part of a short-lived government experiment to prevent fraudulent re-use. The Post Office tried out various sizes of grills, and only four 3-cent stamps with this type, called a B-grill by collectors, are known to exist.

The four were rediscovered in 1969, on a single envelope from a letter mailed to Germany. The stamp is one of the keys to assembling a complete collection of American stamps.

This particular example last sold at auction in 1993 for $85,000; another of the four sold in 1998 for $155,000. In a New York auction in 2018, an anonymous bidder bought it for $1,035,000.

This exceedingly rare version of the 1867 3¢ George Washington stamp in rose is one of America’s most sought-after philatelic treasures.

GEORGE WASHINGTON1867 rare stamp

12. The Alexandria “Blue Boy”, 1847

Value: $1,000,000
Country: U.S. 

The Alexandria “Blue Boy” is a very rare stamp. It takes its name from the feature that makes it unique: its color. One of the few surviving stamps from a rare issue—the Postmaster’s Provisionals produced in Alexandria, D.C., beginning in 1846, only seven of which are known—the Blue Boy is the sole example printed on blue paper (the others are on buff-colored paper). Postally used, the Blue Boy remains affixed to its original envelope, which last sold in 1981 and still holds the record for the highest priced cover of United States philately.

The single surviving Blue Boy today remains attached to the yellowish envelope on which it was originally mailed, cancelled with a “PAID” handstamp. Its last recorded sale took place in 1981, when a German collector acquired it through the dealer David Feldman for one million dollars.

The Blue Boy paid postage for a letter written by James Wallace Hoof on November 24, 1847, and sent in secret to his second cousin Janette H. Brown, whom he was courting against the wishes of her family. The stamp only narrowly escaped destruction, for at the bottom of his letter James wrote “Burn as usual.” He and Janette had to wait almost six years before they could marry, at last tying the knot on February 17, 1853.

Given that the Blue Boy was a provisional and local—rather than regular and national—issue, there is room for disagreement over whether it fully merits placement in the elite category of one-of-a-kind stamps alongside the Treskilling Yellow of Sweden and the British Guiana one cent magenta.

The Blue boy

13. The Red Revenue – Small One Dollar, 1897

Value: $970,000
Country: China

The Red Revenues are Qing dynasty Chinese revenue stamps that were overprinted (surcharged) to be used as postage stamps in 1897. Their limited number, fine design and the intaglio process made the stamps in this series some of the most sought-after in the world.[

There are several varieties of Red Revenue stamps, with the “Small One Dollar” being the rarest and most valuable. It has been called “China’s rarest regularly issued stamp”. In a 2013 Hong Kong auction, a single stamp was sold for HK$6.9 million. Another was sold in a 2013 Beijing auction for 7.22 million yuan. A block of four, considered the “crown jewel” of Chinese philately, was reportedly sold in 2009, together with a different stamp, for 120 million yuan (US$18.8 million).

In January 1896, Censor Chen Pi of the Qing government petitioned the Guangxu Emperor to issue revenue stamps. The proof was submitted to Sir Robert Hart, the Inspector General of Customs, for approval. Of the revenue stamps ordered from England, only a portion of the 3¢ stamps was printed and shipped to China. They were stored in the Shanghai Customs Department. The 3¢ red revenue stamps were printed by Waterlow & Sons in London. Of the overprinted denominations, the $1 was made first. Because of complaints that the size of the overprinted Chinese characters was too small, only two panes (each with 25 stamps) were made before they were changed to larger characters. Owing to their rarity, the “Small One Dollar” stamps have become some of the most valuable stamps in the world. Only 32 are known to exist

The Red Revenue – Small One Dollar, 1897

14. 10¢-on-9-Candareen Dark Green Dragons and Shou stamp, 1897

Value: $ 933,300
Country: China

China’s rare unused 1897 10¢-on-9-candareen dark green stamp with the small figures surcharge inverted (AKA Dowager issue) was auctioned in Jan,2019 for HKDollars 7.32 million, or approximately USD 933,300 . This stamp was previously in the world famous collection formed by Sir Percival David which was sold in London in 1970.

When the new Post Office was established in 1897 the currency was changed from candareens to dollars and cents, so new stamps were required. Delays at the printers meant that the unused candareen stamps were surcharged with values in the new currency. The original sheets of the 9 candareen were formed of twenty five stamps but each sheet was made with one corner stamp printed upside down. Before these sheet were given their new surcharge, the left column of stamps, with the offending invert, were removed. All available stamps were utilised, including any returned from country post offices. Unfortunately a few of these sheets did not have the unwanted stamps removed and were applied with the 10c. surcharge which was being used on the sheets of 12 candareen stamps, this the corner stamp which was printed upside down became this rare variety. Only three stamps have been verified, this being the only unused example. The stamp is part of the Lam Man Yin collection of Small Dragons.

15. Olive-colored Queen Victoria’s Head, 1864

Value: $824,648 
Country: China

The Olive-colored Queen Victoria’s Head, printed in 1864, is the most expensive historical postage stamp of Hong Kong. The face value of the stamp was 96 Hong Kong cents (12 US cents) and it should have a brownish-grey tone. However, due to a printing error, 52 sheets of the stamp were printed in olive color. The watermark was wrongly styled, and the word “CC” was printed in the wrong place.

Among all 40 pieces of the Olive-colored Queen Victoria’s Head that can be found in the world nowadays, there is only one block of four such stamps existing. It has been collected by a number of famous collectors. In January 2012, it was auctioned off for 6.4 million HK dollars (US$824,648), setting a record in the history of Hong Kong stamp auctions.

16. Tiflis Stamp, 1857

Value: $700,000 
Country: Russia

“The Tiflis Unica” is one of the oldest stamps of its kind. 

Printed in the year 1857, the Tiflis Unica was issued in the Russian Empire (in modern Georgia) for the city post in Tiflis (now Tbilisi) and Kojori in 1857. 

Tiflis was, basically, a province in Russia. In 1845 a Post office was set up and the work of the Tiflis province became more active. With Post office came Postage Stamps. To pay for the letters and packages special 6-kopeck stamps were introduced, which were then called “paper stamp seals”. 

These stamps, today, are known as Tiflis Unica Stamps. And are one of the rare and, hence, one of the most valuable stamps of the world. 

There are currently only five known surviving stamps. Russian collectors are willing to pay a lot of money for these rare stamps. One of these unique stamps was sold at David Feldman auction for € 480,000 i.e. $700,000 in the year 2008. 

17. Penny Red Plate 77 , 1863

Value: $708,000
Country: U.S.

The Penny Red was a British postage stamp, issued in 1841. It succeeded the Penny Black and continued as the main type of postage stamp in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until 1879, with only minor changes to the design during that time.

Plate 77 Penny Reds, which date from 1863, are viewed by collectors and investors as the holy grail of philately because Plate 77 stamps were not meant to exist. The stamps were created but never sold by post offices after they were not considered to be of good enough quality. The original printing plate was destroyed, but a tiny handful made their way into circulation. As a result they are highly prized by collectors.

Plate 77 Penny Red is one of only five used examples known to the world of philately – another of which is held in the British Museum

A rare Plate 77 Penny Red stamp was sold by Stanley Gibbons for $708,000 (£550k) to a client in Australia. Plate 77 stamps were considered poor quality and all examples were supposed to have been destroyed. The five that survived are regarded as the holy grail of British philately.

21 billion Penny Reds were printed

18. The Inverted Sun Yat-sen, 1941

Value: $707,000 
Country: China

Dr Sun Yat Sen was not only a Chinese revolutionary but also, the first president of the Republic of China. Moreover, he was instrumental in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty and is often referred to as the “Father of the Nation”.

The Dr Sun Yat Sen invert is an error issued originally in the year 1941 which bears his head. The stamp is one of the rarest stamps in all of the Chinese philately, with just one sheet of 50 stamps ever issued featuring the inverted centre error. The pair comes from the collection of the renowned philatelist Huang Ming Fang and is one of only two vertical pairs known to exist. 

The stamp also comes with the denomination of $2 which is also peculiar for this stamp to go rare. The pair was sold for $707,700 in the Hong Kong auction. 
Only two pairs of the error stamps are still found today, making them a rare collectible.

19. Hawaiian Missionaries, 1851

Value: $600,000
Country: Kingdom of Hawaii 

The Hawaiian Missionaries are the first postage stamps of the Kingdom of Hawaii, issued in 1851. They came to be known as the “Missionaries” because they were primarily found on the correspondence of missionaries working in the Hawaiian Islands. Owing to their crude engraving and the use of poor quality paper, only a handful of them survived, making them a rarity.

The 2-cent is the rarest of the Hawaiian Missionaries, with 15 copies recorded, only one of which is unused. When Maurice Burrus sold this unique unused example in 1921 the price was US$15,000; when Alfred H. Caspary sold the same stamp in 1963 the price was $41,000, the highest value ever paid for any stamp at that time.

The most valuable of all Missionary items is a cover sent to New York City bearing the only known use of the 2-cent value on cover, as well as a 5-cent value and two 3-cent US stamps. This is known as the Dawson Cover. It was in a bundle of correspondence shoved into a factory furnace around 1870, but packed so tightly that the fire went out (though one side of the cover bears a scorch mark). The factory was abandoned; 35 years later, a workman cleaning the factory for reuse discovered the stuffed furnace, and knew enough about stamps to save the unusual covers. In 2013 it sold for $2.24 million to an American collector making it one of the highest-priced of all philatelic items.

1851 2¢ Hawaiian Missionary
Dawson Cover

20. Buenos Aires 1859 1p ‘In Ps’ Tete-beche pair

Value: $575,000 
Country: Buenos Aires

The Buenos Aires 1859 1p “In Ps” tete-beche pair are the only existing pair of a postage stamp error on a tête-bêche pair of stamps issued by the government of the State of Buenos Aires and one of philately’s great rarities. 

In philately, tête-bêche (French for “head-to-tail”, lit. “head-to-head”) is a joined pair of stamps in which one is upside-down in relation to the other, produced intentionally or accidentally. Like any pair of stamps, a pair of tête-bêches can be a vertical or a horizontal pair. In the case of a pair of triangular stamps, they cannot help but be linked “head-to-tail”. The Caspary vertical tete-beche pair sold in 2008 at auction for $575,000 dollars.

Buenos Aires 1859 1p “In Ps” tete-beche pair

Philatelic Networks – Societies; Clubs & Associations

General Philatelic Societies

American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors [AAPE] (USA) –
American Philatelic Congress [APC] (USA) –
American Philatelic Society [APS] (USA) –
American Topical Association [ATA] (USA) –
APS Writers Unit [WU] (USA) –
Australian Philatelic Federation (Australia) –
British Thematic Association (Great Britain) –
Bund Deutscher Philatelisten (BDP) (Association of German Philatelists) – http://www.BDPH.deCardinal Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History (USA) –
Chicago Philatelic Society [CPS] (USA) –
Collectors Club of Chicago [CCC] (USA) –
Collectors Club of New York [CCNY] (USA) – of Inter-Asian Philately [FIAP] (Singapore] –øbenhavns Philatelist Klub (Denmark) – http://kpk.dkNational Philatelic Society [NPS] (Great Britain) – Philatelic Society, London [RPSL] (United Kingdom) –
Royal Philatelic Society of Canada [RPSC] (Canada) –
Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand (New Zealand) –
Royal Philatelic Society of Victoria (Australia) –

Specialty Philatelic Societies

American Air Mail Society [AAMS] (USA) –
American First Day Cover Society [AFDCS] (USA) –
American Helvetia Philatelic Society [AHPS] (USA) –
American Revenue Association [ARA] (USA) –
American Society for Netherlands Philately [ASNP] (USA) –
American Stamp Club of Great Britain [ASCGB] (Great Britain) –
Armenian Philatelic Association [APA] (USA) –
Asociacion Méxicana de Filatelia [AMF] (México) –
Associated Collectors of El Salvador [ACES] (USA) –
Australia – seeSociety of Australasian Specialists/Oceania
Australian Philatelic Society (Australia) –
Austrian Philatelic Society (Great Britain) –
Austria Philatelic Society [APS] (USA) –
Bechuanalands and Botswana Society (USA) –
Belgian Philatelic Study Circle (Great Britain) –
Bermuda Collectors Society [BCS] (USA) –
Boer War – seeThe Anglo-Boer War Philatelic Society
Bohemia – seeSociety for Czechoslovak Philately
Botswana – seeBechuanalands and Botswana Society
Brazil Philatelic Association [BPA] (USA) –
British Caribbean Philatelic Study Group [BCPSG] (USA) –
British Kaffraria – seeCape and Natal Study Circle
British North America Philatelic Society [BNAPS] (USA) –
British Society of Russian Philately (Great Britain) –
British West Indies Study Circle [BWISC] (Great Britain) –
Brunei – seeSarawak Specialists’ Society
Cambodia – seeSociety of Indo-China Philatelists
Canada – seeBritish North America Philatelic Society
Canada – seePostal History Society of Canada
Canadian Aerophilatelic Society [CAS] (Canada) –
Canadian Philatelic Society of Great Britain (Great Britain) –
Canal Zone Study Group [CZSG] (USA) –
Cape and Natal Study Circle (Great Britain) –
Cape of Good Hope – seeCape and Natal Study Circle
Cape of Good Hope – seeThe Philatelic Society for Greater Southern Africa
Carriers and Locals Society [CLS] (USA) –
Channel Islands Specialists’ Society (Great Britain) –
China Philatelic Society of London (Great Britain) –
China Stamp Society [CSS] (USA) –
Cinderella Stamp Club [CSC] (Great Britain) –
Civil Censorship Study Group [CCSG] (USA) –
Colombia-Panamá Philatelic Study Group [CoPaPhil] (USA) –
Confederate Stamp Alliance [CSA] (USA) –
Costa Rica – seeSociety of Costa Rica Collectors
Cuban Philatelic Society of America [CPSA] (USA) –
Cyprus – seeThe Cyprus Study Circle
Czechoslovakia – seeSociety for Czechoslovak Philately
East Africa Study Circle (Great Britain) –
Egypt Study Circle (Great Britain) –
Eire Philatelic Association [EPA] (USA) –
El Salvador – seeAssociated Collectors of El Salvador
Europa Study Unit (USA) –
Falkland Islands Philatelic Study Group (Great Britain) –
Færøe Islands Study Circle (Great Britain) –
Fellowship of Samoa Specialists (USA) –
Forces Postal History Society (Great Britain) –
France & Colonies Philatelic Society (Great Britain) –
France & Colonies Philatelic Society (USA) –
German Colonies Collectors Group [GCC] (USA) –
Gernany & Colonies Philatelic Society (USA) –
Germany Philatelic Society [GPS] (USA) –
Gibraltar Study Circle (Great Britain) –
Gilbert and Ellice Islands – seeKiribati and Tuvalu Philatelic Society
Great Britain Collectors Club [GBCC] (USA) –
Great Britain Overprints Society (Great Britain) –
Great Britain – seeThe Great Britain Philatelic Society
Griqualand West – seeCape and Natal Study Circle
Guatemala – seeInternational Society of Guatemala Collectors
Haiti Philatelic Society [HPS] (USA) –
Hawaiian Philatelic Society [HPS] (USA) –
Holy Land – seeSociety of Israel Philatelists
Hong Kong Stamp Society [HKSS] (USA) –
Hong Kong Study Circle (Great Britain) –
Hungary – seeSociety for Hungarian Philately
India Study Circle [ISC] (USA) –
Indo-China – seeSociety of Indo-China Philatelists
International Philippine Philatelic Society [IPPS] (Philippines) –
International Society for Japanese Philately [ISJP] (USA) –
International Society for Portuguese Philately [ISPP] (USA) –
International Society of Guatemala Collectors [ISGC] (USA) –
Iran Philatelic Study Circle [IPSC] (Great Britain) –
Ireland – seeEire Philatelic Association
Irish Philatelic Circle (Ireland) –
Israel – seeSociety of Israel Philatelists
Italy and Colonies Study Circle [CSC] (Great Britain) –
Japan – seeInternational Society for Japanese Philately
Judaica – seeSociety of Israel Philatelists
King George V Silver Jubilee Study Circle (Great Britain) –
King George VI Collectors Society (Great Britain) –
Kiribati and Tuvalu Philatelic Society (Great Britain) –
Labuan – seeSarawak Specialists’ Society
Laos – seeSociety of Indo-China Philatelists
Liberian Philatelic Society [LPS] (USA) –
Lithuania Stamp Society [LPS] (USA) –
Machine Cancel Society [MCS] (USA) –
Malaya – seeThe Malaya Study Group
Malta Study Circle (Great Britain) –
Meter Stamp Society [MSS] (USA) –
México – seeAsociacion Méxicana de Filatelia
México-Elmhurst Philatelic Society International [MEPSI] (USA) –
Military Postal History Society [MPHS] (USA) –
Mobile Post Office Society [MPOS] –
Natal – seeCape and Natal Study Circle
Natal – seeThe Philatelic Society for Greater Southern Africa
Nepal and Tibet Philatelic Study Circle (USA) –
Netherlands Philatelic Circle (Great Britain) –
Netherlands – seeAmerican Society for Netherlands Philately
New Zealand – seeRoyal Philatelic Society of New Zealand
New Zealand – seeSociety of Australasian Specialists/Oceania
New Zealand Society of Great Britain (Great Britain) –
North Borneo – seeSarawak Specialists’ Society
Orange Free State – seeThe Philatelic Society for Greater Southern Africa
Orange Free State Study Circle [OFSSC] (Great Britain) –
Oriental Philatelic Association of London (Great Britain) –
Ottoman and Near East Philatelic Society [ONEPS] (USA) –
Pacific Islands – seeSociety of Australasian Specialists/Oceania
Pacific Islands Study Circle [PISC] (Great Britain) –
Palestine – seeSociety of Israel Philatelists
Panamá – seeColombia-Panamá Philatelic Study Group
Perfins – seeThe Perfins Club
Perfins – seeThe Perfin Society of Great Britain
Perú Philatelic Study Circle [PPSC] (USA) –
Persia – seeIran Philatelic Study Circle
Philippines – seeInternational Philippine Philatelic Society
Pitcairn Islands Study Group [PISG] (USA) –
Poland – seePolonus Philatelic Society
Polar Philately – seeAmerican Society of Polar Philatelists
Polar Postal History Society of Great Britain (Great Britain) –
Polonus Philatelic Society [PPS] (USA) –
Portugal – seeInternational Society for Portuguese Philately
Portuguese Philatelic Society of Great Britain (Great Britain) –
Postal History Society [PHS] (USA) –
Postal History Society of Canada [PHSC] (Canada) –
Postal History Society of Great Britain (Great Britain) –
Postal Stationery – seeThe Postal Stationery Society
Precancel Stamp Society (USA) –
Railway/Railroads – seeTPO & Seapost Society
Rhodesian Study Circle [RSC] (Great Britain) –
Roman States – seeVatican Philatelic Society
Rossica Society of Russian Philately (USA) –
Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand [RPSNZ] (New Zealand) –
Russia – seeBritish Society of Russian Philately
Russia – seeRossica Society of Russian Philately
Ryukyu Philatelic Specialist Society [RPSS] (USA) –
Samoa – seeFellowship of Samoa Specialists
Sarawak Specialists’ Society [SSS] (Great Britain) –
Scandinavian Collectors Club [SCC] (USA) –
Scandinavia Philatelic Society (Great Britain) –
Scouts on Stamps Society International [SOSSI] (USA) –
Seapost – seeTPO & Seapost Society
Slovakia – seeSociety for Czechoslovak Philately
Society for Czechoslovak Philately [SCP] (USA) –
Society for Hungarian Philately [SHP] (USA) –
Society for Thai Philately [STP] (USA) –
Society of Australasian Specialists/Oceania [SASO] (USA) –
Society of Costa Rica Collectors (USA) –
Society of Indo-China Philatelists [SIP] (USA) –
Society of Israel Philatelists [SIP] (USA) –
South Africa – seeThe Philatelic Society for Greater Southern Africa
Space Topics Study Group [STSG] (USA) –
Spanish Study Circle (Great Britain) –
Sports Philatelists International [SPI] (USA) –
Stamps on Stamps Collectors Club [SOS] (USA) –
St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philatelic Society (USA) –
State Revenue Society (USA) –
Sudan Study Group (Great Britain) –
Switzerland – seeAmerican Helvetia Philatelic Society
Thailand – seeSociety for Thai Philately
The Anglo-Boer War Philatelic Society (Great Britain) –
The Cyprus Study Circle (Great Britain) –
The Great Britain Philatelic Society (Great Britain) –
The Hellenic Philatelic Society of The Netherlands
The Malaya Study Group (Great Britain) –
The Perfins Club (USA) –
The Perfin Society of Great Britain (Great Britain) –
The Philatelic Society for Greater Southern Africa (USA) –
The Postal Stationery Society (Great Britain) –
Tibet – seeNepal and Tibet Philatelic Study Circle
TPO & Seapost Society (Great Britain) –
Transkeian Territories – seeCape and Natal Study Circle
Transvaal – seeThe Philatelic Society for Greater Southern Africa
Transvaal Study Circle (Great Britain) –
Tristan da Cunha – seeSt. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philatelic Society
Turkey – seeOttoman and Near East Philatelic Society
Tuvalu – seeKiribati and Tuvalu Philatelic Society
Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society [UPNS] (USA) –
United Nations Philatelists [UNP] (USA) –
United Postal Stationery Society [UPSS] (USA) –
United States Stamp Society [USSS] (USA) –
United States State Revenue Society – seeState Revenue Society (USA)
Universal Ship Cancellation Society [USCS] (USA) –
U.S. Cancellation Club [USCC] (USA) –
U. S. Carriers and Locals – seeCarriers and Locals Society
U. S. Philatelic Classics Society [USPCS] (USA) –
Vatican Philatelic Society [VPS] (USA) –
Vietnam – seeSociety of Indo-China Philatelists
Welsh Philatelic Society (Great Britain) –
West Africa Study Circle [WASC] (Great Britain) –
Western Cover Society [WCS] (USA) –
Wreck & Crash Mail Society (USA) –
Yugoslavia Study Group (Great Britain) –
Zeppelin Study Group (Germany) –
Zululand – seeCape and Natal Study Circle

Philatelic Libraries

American Philatelic Research Library [APRL], 100 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte, PA 16823, USA
Collectors Club of Chicago Library, 1029 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60610-2803
Collectors Club of New York Library, 22 East 35th Street, New York,NY 10016
Münchner Stadtbibliothek (Munich Philatelic Library), Rosenheimer Straße 5, D-81667 München, Germany
Museum für Kommokation Berlin – Bobliothek, Leipziger Straße 16, D-10117 Berlin, Germany
National Postal Museum Library, National Postal Museum, 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., Washington, DC 20013-7012
Northern Philatelic Society Research Library, Old Thompson Hotel – Suite B, 426 South Wabasha Street, St. Paul, MN 55107-1170
Phila-Bibliothek Heinrich Köhler des Vereins für Briefmarkenkunde 1878 e.V., Langer Weg 16-18, D-60489 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Philatelistischer Bibliothek Hamburg e.V., Basedowstraße 16, D-20537 Hamburg, Germany
Postal History Foundation, Peggy J. Slusser Memorial Philatelic Library, 20 N. 1st Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719
Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library [RMPL], 2038 S. Pontiac Way, Denver, CO 80224
Royal Philatelic Society, London, Library, 41 Devonshire Place London W1G 6JY, England
The British Library, Philatelic Collections, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB, England
Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation, The Harry Sutherland Philatelic Library, 10 Summerhill Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4T 1A8, Canada
Western Philatelic Library, 3004 Spring Street, Redwood City, California, 94063

Philately Origin

The TIMES, the most well known English newspaper published on October 6th, 1842 a funny advert concerned with stamp collecting:

‘A young lady, being desirous of covering her dressing room with cancelled postage stamps, has been so far encouraged in her wish by private friends as to have succeeded in collecting 16.000; these, however being insufficient, she will greatly obliged if any good natural persons who may have these (otherwise useless) little articles at their disposal would assist in her whimsical project.’

That is how it started: Stamps and papers. Some time later stamp collecting became a serious hobby and from the sixties of the 19th century on more and more specialist literature like catalogues, stamp papers and stamp albums were produced.

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