How To Begin a Stamp Collection

If you are searching for a hobby that appeals to people of all ages and doesn't require much money or knowledge to begin, start a stamp collection.  All that is required is a curiosity about the postage stamps used around the world when mailing packages and letters.  Stamp collecting is fun and educational.

Philately is the official term for stamp collecting.  The best way to begin to start a stamp collection is to go to your local post office and ask about the most recent release of commemorative stamps, limited edition stamps that often celebrate a person or special event in history and are very collectible. Most new collectors also get on the mailing list for the free U.S. Postal Service catalog announcing what new stamps will be issued for that year.

Main branches of local post offices usually have a postage stamp store that offers books and other supplies so that you can start a stamp collection and mount your stamps on cardboard and keep them protected from dust and dirt in plastic sleeves. Start paying attention to the kinds of stamps used on letters and packages that arrive at your home or office.  Although uncancelled stamps may ultimately prove more valuable, some collectors enjoy the fun of collecting cancelled stamps from countries around the world.  Be sure to cut out the entire corner where the stamp is affixed in order to show the cancellation date and place stamp rather than just steaming the stamp itself off the envelope.

Many people who start a stamp collection begin to search for unusual, rare and unique postage stamps once they get bitten by the stamp collecting bug.  Look at the classified ads on the Internet or in your local newspaper to find stamp dealers and information about stamp collecting clubs so you can meet other philatelists.

Beginning stamp collectors can check Internet auction sites to see what rare or commemorative stamps are being offered, their asking prices and the general value of vintage and hard to find stamps versus new stamps.

The beauty of starting a stamp collection is that it's a hobby you can pursue alone without spending a lot of money. But it is also a hobby in which you can eventually meet many new and interesting friends.

As you gain experience as a stamp collector, you may eventually decide to specialize in certain categories of postage stamps, collecting only those from a certain country or those that have a specific design or celebrate a specific topic.


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