A Guide to Get Started Collecting Stamps

Collecting Stamps
Did you know that a word for the study of stamps is philately and that stamp collectors are called philatelists? For as long as postage stamps have been in existence, people have been saving and preserving them. It’s a popular hobby that spans generations. 

Are you thinking of joining the legions of people who do this for fun? Collecting stamps can be an entertaining and rewarding hobby. If you are ready to learn more about this exciting topic, check out this handy guide to collecting stamps below.  

Know Stamp History

When starting a new hobby, it’s always a good idea to begin by learning a bit of history. The first adhesive pre-paid stamp came from Great Britain in 1840. Called the Penny Black, it cost one penny and featured the likeness of Queen Victoria. 

Learn Key Terms

The next step in your collecting stamps hobby is to learn some key terms that will help you. For example, a “mint” stamp is one that is unused while a “used” stamp has been used on an envelope and marked with a “cancellation” to show that it’s been used and can’t be reused. A “commemorative” stamp is one made for a special occasion or anniversary and is a limited run. 

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Get Supplies

Once you are ready to start your own collection, it is time to get the basic supplies. Look for a high-quality album to store your stamps in, along with a pair of tweezers, and a magnifying glass.

Choose a Theme

Before you begin looking for stamps, it is often helpful to pick a theme for your collection. You can find ones specific to certain countries, a time period, or a color theme. And just like it’s important to know coin values if you have that kind of collection, it’s equally key to know the value of stamps. 

Start Searching

If you were wondering how to collect stamps, one of the best places to begin is with your family and friends. See if they have any old stamps that they’ve saved. You can also go to antique stores, garage sales, rummage markets, or stamp fairs to hunt for stamps there. 

Try Collecting Stamps Online

If you’re interested in getting a sense of what different collections look like, you can browse online. There are many websites like the one at Apfelbaum that have examples and tips to collect stamps. Many of these sites can connect new buyers with experienced collectors and stamp collections from different countries all over the world. 

Ready To Start Your Collection?

Now that you’ve learned the basics of collecting stamps, you can start your own exciting journey. Be sure to do your homework and learn all of the necessary terms connected to this hobby. Then you can start looking at other collections to see what makes a good one, and how you should compose your own. 

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