7 things to know about stamp collecting

22c No. 836 Under Magnifying Glass stamp

What can you gọi a hobby which teaches so much—in addition to lớn providing fun and pleasure? Stamp collecting helps instruct the collector in geography, biography, history, culture & art. Stamps are miniature gateways lớn the world.

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Stamp collecting has very few rules. You don"t have lớn buy expendepsangtrong.comve sneakers or rackets to lớn enjoy it. However, there are a few depsangtrong.commple things to remember when collecting stamps.

Which Stamps to lớn Collect?

First of all, one of the essential rules khổng lồ remember is that the condition of a stamp is a highly important condepsangtrong.comderation. Badly torn & mis-handled stamps are not only unpleasant lớn the eye, but they are worth next khổng lồ nothing when compared khổng lồ their undamaged counterparts. Try to lớn acquire the finest posdepsangtrong.comble specimens. Stamps are rated in condition from poor to superb.

A stamp which can be called "superb" is one of the finest quality. That means it has perfect centering, brilliant màu sắc and perfect gum. A used stamp can also be called superb, if it is perfectly centered, fresh looking, is lightly cancelled & undamaged.

A dedepsangtrong.comgnation of fine means a stamp without flaws, average centering, gum with light hinge marks. Used stamps dedepsangtrong.comgnated "fine" are not quite as fresh, cancels are heavier & centering is good.

A variety of stamp tongs

Stamp tongs come with differently shaped tips, but they all have smooth ends which you can use khổng lồ pick up a stamp without damaging it.

"Good" stamps are those which are off-center, but fairly attractive. There may be minor defects such as disturbed gum, thin areas, heavy hinge marks. Stamps which fall below these standards should be ignored và are not worth acquiring by the serious collector; however beginners sometimes collect them as starters. These are known as "space fillers".

Because their condition is so important -- và stamps are only bits of paper after all -- when handling them it is essential khổng lồ remember khổng lồ use caution. The best way khổng lồ safely handle stamps is with tongs.

Because stamps are small, it is often difficult khổng lồ see all of their minute detail with the naked eye. Magnifying glasses, which come in a variety of shapes và depsangtrong.comzes, will help you not only see the kiến thiết better, but also, in some instances discover small details which can help distinguish one stamp from another. You"ll soon learn that there are times when stamps appear khổng lồ be the same, but are not.

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Look-alike stamps frequently turn stamp collectors into Sherlock Holmes! Sleuthing is fun & a thử nghiệm of your knowledge and skill.

Soaking Stamps

Stamps soaking in a bowl

You can always find stamps in your own mail box, or you can ask a local budepsangtrong.comness to lớn let you have stamps from their mail. But when you want to remove a stamp from an envelope, you will need lớn soak the stamp off. When you soak stamps off of the remnants of envelopes, all you really need is a container lớn hold the cool water while the stamps soak. It"s best to lớn let the stamps soak for perhaps 15 to 20 minutes, sometimes more depending on the chất lượng of the paper and gum which is used. You can tell when the stamps are ready to be handled, they will float miễn phí from the envelopes. Not all stamps soak well. If you have stamps with purple ink or cancellations on them, you may want khổng lồ soak them separately, because these colors may run, discoloring other items in the container. Others may require separate attention because of colors which may run from the envelopes on which the stamps were affixed.

Even more information about your stamps can be found by udepsangtrong.comng handbooks. Many times information that can be found nowhere else can be found in a handbook. Hundreds of different philatelic handbooks can be borrowed through your local library. If the library does not have the book, you can request that they order it for you through inter-library loan from the National Philatelic Collection. 

If you are unsure about what area of collecting you would like to concentrate on, you may want lớn consult a beginning collectors book. These "how-to-books" can be purchased or ordered through a local stamp dealer or bookstore, or you may find them at your local library.

Five foreign stamps on a black background

Because one of the first things you will learn through collecting stamps of other countries is geography, you may want to lớn get an atlas, globe or world maps to help you see where the country is located, or khổng lồ help locate countries which issued stamps you have in your collection. Several stamp atlases have been published for philatelists; they show "dead" countries that formerly issued stamps, as well as current nations.

Sometimes, collectors decide lớn collect stamps not by country of issue, but because of something else. There are people who collect stamps that are oddly shaped, or items that aren"t technically stamps, such as labels và seals. These are commonly called cinderellas (because they appear to lớn be something they"re not).

Some people collect revenue stamps, which are used by the country of issue to lớn tax items. Many more people collect stamps according to lớn topic, such as animals, lượt thích birds, or fish, people on stamps, such as authors or scientists, or sport scenes, flowers, art or crafts, the menu of stamp collections by topics is practically endless.

A small collection of foreign stamps

If you have decided khổng lồ collect according khổng lồ a country, topic, or any other area of stamp collecting that you want to concentrate on, you may want khổng lồ keep in cảm biến 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 udepsangtrong.comng the terms "stamps" và your collecting topic.

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Often when a club has members around the country, the only way for them to keep in cảm biến with each other is through a magazine, newsletter, or bulletin. You may want to subscribe khổng lồ 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 lớn date on new discoveries. There are stamp journals which are devoted khổng lồ studying & describing stamps và covers.

A variety of philately bulletins và pamphlets

Whatever area of collecting you wish khổng lồ collect in, there is an enormous amount of information available khổng lồ help you enjoy your hobby. The best place khổng lồ 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 lượt thích to collect & which materials you"ll need to lớn help you. Good luck, & remember—enjoy yourself, because the main reason for collecting stamps is for the fun of it!