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Stamp Collecting for Beginners

Updated April 17, 2017

Perhaps you first became interested in stamp collecting as a child, but never knew how to get started. Or maybe you have a drawer full of stamps that you've stashed away in a desk and now you'd really like to get into the hobby of stamp collecting. With a few tips and ideas for stamp collecting for beginners, you can start your new hobby.

Organization and Equipment

If you already have a box full of stamps and just don't know how to organise them, begin by choosing an organizational pattern. By country, date or theme (or a combination) are the most common ways of categorising stamps. Separate your stamps into the groups you've chosen with the plans of placing them in different stamp albums.

When you are just starting out with this hobby and have not collected or purchased any stamps, you may prefer to choose a particular category. You might choose to collect only U.S. stamps or perhaps, if your heritage is German, you may only collect German stamps. Collecting by continent is another option. Maybe you'd like to look for stamps of the 19th century. Then again, you may have a particular hobby other than stamp collection, such as quilting, guitar (musical instruments and artists), aeroplanes, gardening (flowers), dogs (pets) or history (famous or historical people).Choosing a particular subject matter when beginning your stamp collecting will keep you organised and also keep you from becoming overwhelmed.

Most stamp collectors keep their stamps in albums, using stamp hinges (sticky rectangular pieces of paper) to adhere the stamps. Other collectors use stock books, which have pockets in which to place stamps. A magnifying glass and stamp tongs are useful, as well.

Where to Get Stamps

Start your quest for stamps by notifying family and friends of your new hobby and request that they save any unusual stamps they may come across. You would be advised to keep your hobby budget low until you are certain of the worth of a particular stamp. Stamp collecting does not have to be an expensive endeavour. You can purchase new stamps at your local postal office or online. Other stamps can be purchased from eBay, stamp trading or stamp dealers. You can buy individual stamps or collections. You can also look through online stamp catalogues.

More About Stamps

You can learn more about your stamps through stamp catalogues, such as The Scott Catalog. You will learn the origin of your stamp, the year of issue and other details, once you've identified your stamp in the catalogue. The most valuable stamps are those that are in pristine condition and never been used. The more damaged the stamp, the less the value.

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About the Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.