Collecting Postal Stamps

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Collection of stamps is one of the oldest hobbies. The stamp collecting hobby crosses all boundaries and genres. There are a lot of hobbies that were created in a single nation, while philately is universal. Collection of postage stamps, not only provides the enjoyment for the philatelists, but also increases their awareness of many historical facts. It is a hobby for old and young alike.

The stamp collecting hobby is for people who have a good dose of patience. Stamp collectors need to gather information on stamps from different sources. A major source is the letters they receive. One of best source is having pen friends from all over the world. Stamp collectors continue and increase their friends list in order to obtain the largest number of stamps. There is no limit to the number of pen friends. Through the letters of pen friends, the stamp collectors not only receive the seal of the different countries, but also learn through the letter themselves about different cultures. It is quite possible that the stamps collected by this method have no significant value, but in the future, who knows, you could Jackpot. (Learn how rare stamps are found)

For those, who new to the stamp collecting hobby must have some good methods and tools. Before collecting different stamps, buy a stamp album. This does not necessarily have to be very fancy, but you want something solid. You can also make a simple stamp album yourself. The album alone is not enough to store stamps; buy large quantities of screens to assemble the album of stamps.  Other tools are a pair of pliers, tweezers, magnifying glass etc.

The very first lesson is how to remove stamps from envelopes. We must be very careful while removing the stamps from envelopes. Stamps received on personal mail or purchased on paper can easily be soaked off the attached paper.  The most convenient way to separate stamps from their envelopes or pieces of their original envelopes is to soak in water, twenty or thirty accumulated stamps all at once.  Never peel dry stamps off their attached paper as this will probably result in damage to the stamp. Stack the material face up for easier sorting and check for any rarities on the stamps or cancellations that may prove more valuable if the stamp is left on the envelope.  Also check for colored paper linings on envelopes and red or purple cancellations.  These colors sometimes run and this material should be soaked separately under cool, running water. Place the stamps in a large pan of cool water. Allow the material to soak for about an hour so that the gum will dissolve completely. Spread newspaper or white blotting paper in a place where the stamps can be left to dry. When the stamps have separated from their envelopes, or have soaked sufficiently to be easily separated from their envelopes, remove them from the soaking water and spread them face down on the waiting newspaper or white blotting paper. To keep the stamps from curling or wrinkling, another newspaper or piece of white blotting paper can be spread over the drying stamps, and a heavy flat object, such as a book with a plastic jacket to protect it can be placed on top. Allow several hours for the stamps to dry completely.

Stamps that are out of the envelopes are placed in the stamp album. I also saw some philately lovers store their stamps in envelopes. You want something that keeps your stamps secure while allowing the expansion of your collection over time.

There are other methods for the acquisition of stamps, like the position that issuing any new stamp issue from time to time. Due to the limited number, these stamps are still in high demand. You can always exchange double stamps in your collection with others. These stamp exchanges and trades are helpful to build best collection.

Happy philately.

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