Collecting Stamps

Do you want to know more about taking up a new hobby? Are you interested in finding collector's items that are extremely unique and valuable? If so, you'll want to know more about collecting stamps. This hobby belongs to over 20 million Americans, and you can become an avid stamp collector, too, after you find out the fundamentals of this historical hobby.

First, it is important to understand that just because you are collecting stamps doesn't mean that you have to be skilled in philately, which is the actual study of stamps. There are professional philatelists who pay attention to even the most minute details of stamps from various time periods, so that certain historical lessons or mysteries can be uncovered. So, you can simply collect stamps for the fun of it, but the more you collect, the more knowledge you should have about the stamps, so that you can truly determine their worth.

When you're collecting stamps you should know a few facts about stamps in general; for instance, the first postage stamp was issued in 1840 in Britain, and was called the Penny Black. The stamp had picture of Queen Victoria, and there were no perforations for the stamp, so each stamp had to be cut from a sheet with scissors. If you are looking for this stamp, you can find it on certain stamp collecting sites, including Ebay, but it is very difficult to find an unused Penny Black. However, the historic stamps that have been used are still very valuable.

Collecting stamps became especially popular in the U.S. in about the 1920s, and by then, there were plenty of splendid designs to choose from, both in American and British postage. In the 1930s, stamp collecting and trading started to become more of a lucrative business for some, and some modern-day stamp collectors will use stamps dating from this era from time to time when sending postage.

It is important to remember that when you're collecting stamps, you'll need to purchase a few additional accessories in order to keep your stamps in pristine condition. In order to further inspect your stamps, a magnifying glass is one of the best tools to have; this way, you can search for and recognize details that you may not see with the naked eye. You should also purchase a stockbook that has plastic pockets for the stamps--this will keep your stamps protected from water and weather damage. Stamp tongs are also essential, because they will allow you to pick up and place stamps where you want them without damaging them.

Collecting stamps can not only turn out to be a great pastime for you, but you could learn a lot about the world's history from a single means of postage.