What do you call a hobby that teaches so much while still offering joy and pleasure? Stamp collecting may teach you geography, biography, history, culture, and art. Stamps are small portals to the rest of the world.
Stamp collecting is a rewarding hobby with few restrictions, but it is much more than that. Stamp collecting is a method for many people to learn about the globe, its many different countries, their rich histories, gorgeous artwork, and vibrant cultures.
There are virtually few rules for stamp collecting. It is not necessary to purchase pricey sneakers or rackets to enjoy it. While collecting stamps, there are a few easy things to keep in mind. Like any collecting hobby, the equipment you'll need will be primarily determined by how much you want to specialize in your chosen subject.
Tongs or tweezers for stamping: Tongs are vital for every stamp collector since using your fingers to handle stamps can cause damage and degradation owing to the natural oils in our skin. As a starter, start collecting the "spade-end" tongs rather than the 'pointed' ones. This will cost cheaper, less than £10. After you're accustomed, you can select a style that works best for you.
With a magnifying glass: Most collectors want to examine their stamps carefully, but don't be tempted to go beyond x10 magnification (available for roughly £20), otherwise, you won't be able to view the design of your stamp in context.
A perforation gauge is helpful for measuring the number of perforations in a specific region, which may be the only variation between two otherwise identical stamps. The Gibbons Instanta is the most popular gauge among collectors and dealers for measuring perforations to the nearest decimal point.
Watermark detection fluid: Instead of purchasing expensive electronic equipment, plain old-fashioned 'watermark fluid' and a watermark tray (which normally costs less than £10) can help your watermark become apparent immediately.
Stamp books: It is a ring binder that will do to hold your stamps. They are inexpensive (typically less than £5) and allow you to reorganize your collection if necessary simply.
A color guide is a valuable tool to have if you want to determine the difference between stamps that look identical but vary slightly in shade, which may have a huge impact on their total value.
A book of stamp identification: References book and catalog will assist you in identifying each stamp and providing further information about its history, such as how it was printed and the date of issuance. The most used catalog in the United Kingdom is Gibbons; Yvert and Tellier in France; Michel in Germany.
Stamp collectors from the United States will need to consult the Scott Specialist Catalogue. Major libraries that are well-stocked generally feature a vast selection of philatelic books that you may access or borrow.
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Unless you have a unique theme in mind, a wonderful way to start your collection is to buy the largest packet of whole-world stamps you can afford. Stamps can also be obtained from friends and relatives living overseas, as well as from old correspondence. If you're fortunate enough to have received a collection of records from a kind relative, utilize it as the foundation for a much larger collection.
Whether you buy collections or packets, the quality of the stamps you collect may vary, and you are also likely to obtain a substantial percentage of relatively popular stamps. At this stage, you may decide which stamps to get, but keep in mind that unused stamps are far more valuable than new ones.
Have been used for postal, telegraphic, or fiscal purposes and have been canceled. They are frequently less expensive and easier to find.
Light postmarks with strong and obvious distinctions are preferred. Thick black cancellations that completely obscure the stamp's design are completely inappropriate. Certain postmarks, particularly early varieties (before 1920) from military camps, railroad stations, and ship cancellations, among others, are sometimes more expensive than stamps, especially if retained intact on the original cover.
One of the most enticing aspects of stamp collecting is that you can practically base your collections on anything; you can collect just yellow stamps, stamps with pictures of animals on them. Let your creativity run free.
According to Stanley Gibbons, most traditional collections are divided into one of three categories: monarchy, nation, or rarity and worth. With that in mind, we've gone through some of these points in further depth below:
Certain stamps end up in every collector's book. Several things, according to Stanley Gibbons, are iconic to the hobby of stamp collecting, signifying major historical events or new technical breakthroughs.
Monarchs represent the progression of the United Kingdom through moments of advancement and adversity. Succession, abdication, conflict, and prosperity were all captured in time by the stamps that commemorated those events.
Studying stamp designs and representations may teach you about a country's government, history, flora and wildlife, and so on. Some of the most popular pieces include Kangaroo stamps from Australia, Whale and Penguin stamps from the Falkland Islands, and Sudan's Desert Postman stamps.