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Collecting Stamps As A Hobby

Aug 21, 2008
The process of stamp collecting can be confusing for those just starting out because it can be hard to distinguish a valuable stamp from the others. Many serious collectors say that the best way to start a stamp collection is by not worrying about the value, instead choosing stamps that appeal to them visually, or that form part of a group or series.

Depending on the type of collection being sought, stamp collecting can become very expensive - but it doesn't have to be. Most dealers and hobby shops offer packets of stamps at a reasonable cost, allowing for a quick-start collection.

Initially, an individual should start collecting a broad range of stamps, in order to give themselves an opportunity to see what types of designs are available. It is important for collectors to develop their own taste and build a collection based on personal preference. Otherwise, they may not enjoy the collection to its fullest.

The Internet is a great place to find stamp collections for beginners. By purchasing a stamp price book, those new to the practice can start exploring basic values. It can also be helpful to connect with other collectors, whether through community groups or online. A little bit of guidance goes a long way.

On-paper stamps, which have been cut from an envelope or another form of paper, are glue-based. Many experts suggest leaving the stamp on the paper unless it will be sold or used for some other purpose, since the extra strength of the paper will help to protect it from bending or tearing.

If the stamp needs to be removed from the paper, extreme caution is required. After the edges have been trimmed of excess paper, the stamp needs to soak in clean water for about fifteen minutes. While stamp ink does not often run, dye may be released from the paper itself, so it is important to watch for changes in the water colour. Self-adhesive stamps can be easier to remove but require more soaking.

To dry, place stamps between two pieces of paper towel and then, if possible, transfer them to a stamp drying book.

Stamps should be stored in a clean, dry place, such as a shoebox. Once the value of the collection starts to increase, specially-designed tongs should be used when handling. Stamps should be transferred to a collectors' album and inserted individually, not back-to-back. Humid locations, such as basements, should be avoided in order to prevent damage.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about rare coins, stamp collections, and rare collectibles. Follow these links to find the best marketplace for rare coins, start a stamp collection, and for rare collectibles.
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