In this new age of technology, it is a rare find to come across a philatelist. Now, you might be wondering what a philatelist is? Well, in layman terms, a philatelist is basically a stamp collector.

Even though this may be surprising to you, philatelists still exist in these modern times and are often deeply in love with their hobby. It is a general phenomenon that alternative hobbies such as stamp collecting improves focus, and develops expertise.

So, if you are looking to pass your time, why not indulge in a hobby that may even help you make some money in the future?

However, stamp collecting is not randomly done. You need to be precise about the collection you want to keep.

Hence, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself before taking up this pastime.

What kind of stamps do you want to collect?

When you buy stamps online one can choose from essentially three different types:

  • Commemorative – Large and colorful, printed in small quantities only once, often to honor a person, event, or subject.
  • Definitive – Smaller, printed in large quantities more than once.
  • Special – Christmas, International rate, Express mail, etc.

Also, you may want to focus on some specific type of collecting. 

  • Worldwide – Almost 10,000 stamps issued per year, making the collection universal.
  • By country – Focusing on a specific place that interests you.
  • By topic – Choosing topics that interest you.
  • Mint vs. used – Mint stamps have never been used and cost more. Used stamps are cheaper, easily collected, and may even be collected for the cancellations on them.

The next question to think about is, where will you get your stamps?

Stamps can be bought everywhere and found everywhere. If you plan on collecting new ones then you may have to go directly to the local post office or order them online. 

However, if you are into collecting used stamps, then the venues for you to find stamps are limited only by your imagination. You can ask friends and family to help you out.

Swap with fellow stamp collectors, even become a member of stamp collecting clubs to acquire more stamps. 

There are stamp shows that you can attend, and even get in touch with stamp dealers to find the rarer stamps you’ve been trying to add to your collection.

Another question to ask yourself is, what equipment do you need?

If you happen to be a novice and only interested in collecting used stamps, equipment is hardly necessary. 

On the other hand, if you are a serious collector, then you may need the following:

  • Magnifying glass – to examine the condition of stamps closely
  • Tongs – move the stamps without causing damage
  • Perforation gauge – to measure the perforation along the edges 
  • Watermark detector fluid – to enhance a watermark, or design

You also need to be extra careful when it comes to storing these tiny treasures, so you may wonder how do I store them?

There are special albums available in the market to cater to your stamp collecting needs. You may also use stamp mounts, glassine strips with gum on one side, stamp hinges, or transparent glassine envelopes.

In conclusion, these tips will assist you in developing a rather refined habit, that is stamp collecting. It can’t be said that it is a joy for everyone, but there are a few who truly relish this hobby.

And, if you are finding it difficult to complete your collection because of a few missing items, we suggest you buy stamps online as the internet does expand the proverbial market.

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