Collecting Stamps. All World At Home
Collecting is a fascinating and interesting activity involving both adults and children. One of the most popular types of collecting is philately, which is associated with the collection and study of postage stamps. These signs include: postage stamps, couplings, blocks, stamps, stickers, etc. Collecting stamps is the most popular branch of philately. Philately is an expensive and prestigious hobby. In addition, the philatelist should have a high erudition and an outstanding view of the world while collecting stamps.
The first stamp was issued on May 6, 1840 in England. One of the main philatelists of the mid-19th century was the Parisian Mansen, but in 1855 he sold his collection, including almost all the postage marks of that time, to the second-hand bookseller Eduard Laplan. Since the 1870s, National Postal Museums began to be created in some countries, where state of collecting stamps were kept. And the first society of amateur philatelists was established in 1866 in England. Collecting stamps gained its popularity quickly.
By the end of the XIX century, there were more than four hundred societies of lovers of stamp collecting. Of course, such a “boom” of philately could not be ignored, and therefore in 1852 the first exhibition of private collections of postage signs was held in Brussels. A major collector of his time was the Frenchman Philip Ferrari (1848-1917), who possesses a huge fortune and a great deal of rare stamps. His collection consisted of a large number of philatelic rarities and, after the owner’s death, was bequeathed to the Berlin Postal Museum, but in 1921-25 was sold for four hundred thousand pounds sterling. Collecting stamps was always expensive.
It is worth mentioning that in 1873 the first international philatelic exhibition was organized in Austria, Vienna, which is considered perhaps the most prominent traditional exhibition of collecting stamps in Europe. One of the famous and legendary among philatelists was the Russian collector AK. Faberge (son of the famous jeweler Faberge). His collection of unique brands made a splash at one of the international exhibitions in Vienna, but was also sold at auction in London in 1939.
One of the factors that influenced the distribution of philately in the 1860s was the release of catalogs and journals on collecting stamps – a kind of public relations philately. By the end of the 19th century, about 720 catalogs and magazines were published, some of the best publications in collecting stamps with a large number of subscribers were: “Zenf Brothers llustrierter Postwertzeichenkatalog” (Leipzig, 1892), J.-B.Moens’s Bibliothè des Timbrophiles Brussels) and “Die Briefumschläge der deutschen Staaten” Lindenberga (Berlin, 1892).
In the 20th century, collecting stamps continued to grow rapidly and remained one of the most popular types of collectibles. The International Federation of Philately (FIP), located in Zurich, Switzerland, was founded in Paris at the founding congress on June 18, 1926. Every year under the patronage of the Federation are world and international exhibitions for collecting stamps.
In recent years, we could often hear that collecting stamps would soon become obsolete. Such predictions have come true exactly the opposite, since the popularity of philately is constantly growing around the globe. Despite the fact that we live in the environment of modern technologies, thanks to which we communicate with each other on different continents without using paper mail, stamps are still being produced and are widely used in everyday life. Collecting stamps is still actuel.
In philately, as in any collection, the state of the collection object plays an important role. There are many criteria that determine the value of the brand: whether it is redeemed or not, whether all is in its place, whether it was glued to the envelope or not, and so on. Unused stamps are valued more. You should know for what you need collecting stamps. However, if this small piece of paper has an interesting, exclusive history and is a rarity, here the criteria for assessing the condition are somewhat softer. Investing finances in vintage collecting stamps often yielded good profits to its owner.
Among collectors, two types of objects of philately are valued: rare stamps and vintage stamps. In this case, even a new product can be considered a rarity, for example, the German charity brand with the image of Audrey Hepburn 2001. The circulation was withdrawn due to a conflict with the son of the actress, who took the right to print. Now this postal unit exists only in 30 copies and is the most expensive modern stamp of the world. Collecting stamps is an activity for brave.
How can you become a collector?
1) Getting down to collecting stamps is easy, the main thing is to know how to get started. At the initial stage, you can familiarize yourself with the necessary information about the basics of philately — you can find the necessary information on specialized electronic resources, in particular, on thematic forums of collectors. Collecting stamps is really very interesting. At the initial stage of involvement in philately does not interfere with the purchase of several postage stamps, thereby starting their collection. You can make a purchase from experienced collectors of postage stamps, and you should not focus only on one type or collection of stamps, it is advisable to buy different copies. It is easier and cheaper to buy stamps in series, however, in this way you can purchase a large number of same-type copies while collecting stamps. If there is a desire at the initial stage to get brands, then they should be bought separately.
2) Purchase of brand forceps is a mandatory stage of involvement in philately. Often this device is confused with tweezers. Brand tongs and tweezers are similar to each other and function in the same way, but special tongs do not damage stamp paper: the design of the tongs allows you to easily grab and lift the mark even from a flat surface. On sale you can find different models of tweezers for brands – with sharp, hook-shaped and rounded ends. Philatelists with extensive collectible experience are advised not to buy tweezers with too sharp ends, as these can damage the paper from which most types of stamps are made. Whether it is possible to do without forceps at all – the answer to this question will be negative, since frequent contact of the marks with the skin of the hands will lead to contamination of the first. You should be careful while collecting stamps.
3) No matter how many stamps a philatelist has, it is recommended that all collectible items be sorted by any attribute. Collecting stamps is a system. For example, it may be the country of manufacture or the year of manufacture. You can also sort stamps by images printed on them, and this type of collectibles will be called thematic philately. For example, it is possible to group stamps on which only airplanes or celebrities are depicted. Some philatelists sort copies solely by color (size and shape).
4) As soon as the collector has a certain number of stamps, he should take care of how the collection will be stored. Collecting stamps should be from heart. Improper storage of stamps will lead not only to their loss, but also to the loss of an attractive appearance, and, therefore, their value. How to prevent this situation? If the collector has collected a small number of copies, then for the first time you can stock up on several envelopes in which certain types of stamps will be folded. However, this method of storing the collection has a significant disadvantage – if the philatelist has to remove only 1 copy from the envelope, you will have to extract the entire contents of the envelope and look for the necessary stamp. Therefore, the best way to store a collection is to place stamps in a special album.
On sale you can find a large selection of different models of albums for storing stamps. They differ from each other not only in size and cost, but in the type of pages. However, all stamp albums have a lot in common. For example, sheets of all albums are made of soft cardboard.
Popular among collectors are albums whose pages are made of Manila cardboard. Collecting stamps should be well-done. Sheets of such albums are equipped with individual pockets designed to insert copies of the collection. In addition, albums of this type have an affordable price and excellent wear resistance. However, this model also has disadvantages. In particular, one of them is that the pages of such an album do not show the lower part of the stamps.
5) Collectors also have to buy and other inventory for collecting stamps. For example, a magnifying glass is a mandatory acquisition for a collector collecting stamps. On sale you can find loops that differ from each other not only in diopters, but also in size, as well as in the presence of additional functions (for example, it can be a magnifying glass with light or a model equipped with a stand). You can also buy a photographic bath, a press, spare albums for stamps, envelopes, etc.
6) If a person has decided to engage in philately, then he should be prepared for the fact that he will often have to communicate with other collectors. For example, as soon as the collector sorts all the copies, he will find that many of them are repeated. Throwing out or destroying such is not an option, because perhaps other philatelists do not have these brands in the collection. The exchange of stamps is a common practice among philatelists, allowing not only to get rid of extra stamps, but also to replenish their collection with missing copies. Collecting stamps is a creative hobby.
The ability to determine the value of the brand is a must for each philatelist. How to determine the value of instances:
1) The main criterion for the value of stamps is the year of their release, but defining it is not as easy as it may seem at first glance, because most brands do not indicate the release date. To determine the age of the instance can be on the image. The thing is that the release of many types of stamps is devoted to an event in history or the anniversary of them. Stamps that are at least several decades old are made of coarse paper. You should be attention while collecting stamps.
2) To determine the city and country in which the mark was issued, you should pay attention to the inscriptions depicted on the specimen. If it has inscriptions in a foreign language, then they should be translated, which will allow to “read” the history of the brand.
3) On high quality stamps the image is placed on the canvas strictly symmetrical. To assess the symmetry, you can consider the brand under a magnifying glass while collecting stamps.
4) Also, to determine the value of the stamp, one can pay attention to the sticker, which is a strip of gummed paper, which ensures the fixation of the copy on an envelope or postcard. From the point of view of philately, the most valuable are the stamps that have such a sticker preserved, and if it has the taste of peppermint, then the value of such a copy increases several times. Collecting stamps is a not any easy hobby.
5) It is possible to evaluate the brand by the features of the perforation (the perforation is done so that the specimens can be easily separated from each other). So, stamps with a small perforation of a round shape are considered old, which means that the most valuable for collectors. To measure the perforation, you can use a special tool called a tooth gauge. Collecting stamps is great attention.
6) The presence of the marking on the specimen greatly reduces its value. A stamp on which there is no such stamp will be a welcome acquisition for many collectors.
7) Those items that are collected into a collection according to criteria such as topics are also considered valuable. If brands from the same series are offered separately, their value decreases. Collecting stamps is not just hobby, it is great work.
8) Unique brands are considered valuable by many collectors. What is the uniqueness of the brand? To understand the essence of this criterion, one should know that the copies that went on sale in the last 60 years cannot be considered unique a priori, since they were produced in quantities equal to several tens of millions. But defective stamps (with incorrectly written dates, inaccurately printed images) are very much appreciated by philatelists, since there are very few such copies, which means that they are valuable for collecting stamps.
There are brands that have zero value. First of all, it concerns copies with perforation defects, as well as crumpled, torn, dirty and punctured marks.
Many novice philatelist are interested in the question of where to buy (sell, evaluate) stamps. In fact, this is not difficult, because there are a huge number of thematic forums devoted to philately on the Internet. You can find those who buy and sell brands and offer them their services. Regarding the evaluation of copies, then you can entrust this task to collectors or dealers with experience. The latter not only carry out the assessment of brands, but also for a fee, they will find for the customer a buyer of his brand or a seller offering the desired collection item. Collecting stamps is hobby for curious people.
Collecting stamps is not linked to either age or life experience. A child can collect cute pictures into an album, and gradually a children’s hobby can turn into a real meaning of life. Collecting stamps is not only an opportunity to enrich financially, but also one of the ways to become happy.
Philately is a fascinating occupation for many collectors that has not lost its popularity over the years. In addition, the hobby of collecting stamps makes people profit, which is also an advantage of such an activity. Of course, you need to know much information before and it is not the easiest hobby. Collecting stamps is a dream of millions but it is also huge work.