Philately, or stamp collecting, is a popular yet very old hobby that is practiced by people all over the world. This is an activity that has been enjoyed by everyone from royalty to kids, and has been enjoyed for many years. Those interested in this hobby can enjoy many tools and resources that will help them to get started, such as stamp collecting clubs, books, and information online. The great thing about stamp collecting is that you can use the stamps you find in your mailbox everyday in order to start your collection, and this provides a simple and free way to get your collection started.
There are some basic tools that you will need for your stamp collection hobby, such as an album and perhaps a catalogue to order your stamps. You may also want to invest in a reference book, which can prove helpful in evaluating your stamps and your collection. It is also important to learn about this hobby as well as enjoying it, and you can do this through a variety of publications and resources, such as specialist magazines, books, and of course, stamp collecting clubs.
It is important to look after your collection and this can entail using special tools in order to minimize on potential damage that can be incurred. You will need to get some stamp tongs with which to handle your stamps, as these will ensure that your stamps do not get damaged while being handled. You will also need an album in which to keep your stamps. All of these tools and materials are available online as well as through specialist shops, so you can get everything you need to start enjoying this hobby with ease.
There are many different types of stamps that people like to collect. Some people like to collect historical stamps, other people like to collect special edition stamps, and some people will collect stamps with various flaws and oddities, which can make an interesting collection. Some people will also collect stamps that are in circulation, which helps them to gain an insight in to stamp collecting and also to get used to handling and maintaining their stamp collection.
Those interested in stamp collecting, or those that have already started a stamp collection, can enjoy networking and picking up valuable information and tips by attending trade fairs, shows, exhibitions, and local clubs. This way you can swap information with other people with the same hobby, access a range of valuable resources, tools, and tips, and even pick up some great additions for your stamp collection.
You can buy your stamps from a variety of sources, such as mail order purchases, stamp catalogues, online ordering, stamp shops, and, of course, stamp shows, fairs, and exhibitions. You can get mixed bags of stamps from some retailers/dealers, which can prove useful for starters due to their cost effectiveness. However, you may find that these bags have a great many duplicates, and therefore you may want to look for individual stamps. You can also start your stamp collection for free, using the stamps on the regular mail that you receive every day. You can even ask your friends and family to save their stamps for you. If you want high volumes of stamps, you could ask your employer if you can keep the stamps from the mail received at work, or get your friends and family to save the stamps from the mail received at their place of work.
You may also want to look at starting a mint stamp collection, where you purchase unused stamps from the post office. Post offices will also offer special edition, commemorative stamps from time to time, and these can make a valuable and interesting addition to your stamp collection.