Stamp Collecting: The World’s greatest hobby
It is an enjoyable hobby for people of all ages. It’s also the most interesting ways to learn about the people and the culture of other countries. It caught the imagination of the young and old, the ordinary and the famous: President Roosevelt of USA and King George V of Britain were keen collectors. Today, the collectors have a huge choice, because many hundreds of stamps are issued every year by almost every country in the world. Many stamps are also works of art on a small scale in themselves. There are mainly 3 basic ways of stamp collecting:
The trends of writing letters have been going on for thousands of years. Before paper was invented, messages were inscribed on clay tablets and during the middle ages on parchment. It was King Charles I, who in 1635, “opened” his Royal Post to all those who could afford to use it. His son Charles II has set the General Letter Office, which issued one stamp in 1960 to mark the 300th anniversary of the GLO. However, it was not until 1840 that the first stamp were introduced – the famous penny black and two penny blue, both of which featured the portrait of Queen Victoria. India issued Asia’s first stamp on 1st July 1852 in the province of Sind and hence, the stamp was named after the province as the “Scinde Dawk”. These were suppressed on the 30th September 1854 and the remainders were ordered to be destroyed in October 1854. Though thousands of stamps were printed and used, they still remain very scarce.
The best way to start your stamp collection is with buying large packets of stamps which you can buy from stamp shops, hobby centre’s or, from dealers. They range in content from just a few stamps from a single country or subjects to packets containing many hundreds of stamps from around the world. The other places where you can obtain stamps are from exhibitions, auctions, stamp clubs and the Post Office.
There are basically three types of stamps:
The easiest way to arrange the stamp is to keep them in a stamp album. The simplest type of album contains pages with printed headings for each country or, theme. Some have their pages bound like a book; while others have loose leaves allowing you to add pages as your collection grows.
For most serious collectors, the blank loose-leaf album is the best choice. These albums enable you to arrange the collection just as you want, as you do not need to follow any particular arrangement.
There are other albums available too for holding the covers, post cards, complete sheets of stamps and stamp booklets. These have leaves of transparent plastic pockets into which the item is slipped for protection.