Collecting stamps has been going on almost as long as stamps have been made. For a long time it was regarded as a hobby just for children, until stamps began to rise in cost in the 1930’s. At that time, there was a sudden interest in collecting stamps.
Shortly after this time, companies began to make books and other tools to make the hobby more organized, and they promoted it through their advertising. Today, just about anything that would be needed to start a stamp collecting hobby can be found at your local hobby store. Here are some steps to take to get your hobby started:
Decide What You Want To Collect
Next, you need to make a decision about what kind of postal objects you want to collect. There are a number of options here. You could collect stamps by country, by subject (animals, people, events, etc.), single stamps, sets, or sheets, by date, or time period, stamps on envelopes, etc. Today, there are about 10,000 different stamps printed worldwide, each year.
Get Your Necessary Materials
In order to have the most essential tools on hand, when you start, you will need the following:
- a stamp collecting book – these come in many different forms, and the type you get will depend on your choice of deciding what you want to collect.
- hinges – these are glassine, and are used to mount your stamps in the book. They can also be easily removed. Do not glue them in – this destroys any value.
- a magnifying glass – helps you to see the stamp better, for imperfections, watermarks, forgeries, beauty, etc.
- a catalogue of stamps – this can be obtained either from your local stamp store, or from a stamp company – many varieties to choose from.
- stamps – beginner sets are sold in packages either from stamp companies, or stamp dealers (of course, the valuable stamps have been removed). More serious collectors may want to buy from the Post Office, or individual stamps from stamp dealers.
* Preprinted books – come in various sizes, and will usually have pictures of each stamp in it. Some of these are for, say, the United States, or, countries of the world, others will be divided into subjects: trains, air travel, animals, birds, etc. They come in various sizes.
* Print your own sheets with a computer printer – divide the page into boxes, and label each box with date, country, etc.
* Obtain pre-made sheets – with little plastic pockets on them – just for stamps – available at your local stamp dealer.
Invest In Your Hobby
If you are serious about a stamp collecting hobby, then you may also want to invest in the type of stamps you want. Do a little more research into the hobby, and find out what will have the most value in years to come – and then purchase accordingly. Look up the added value of collecting sheets, and block sets as well.