Monday, December 13, 2010

How do people start collecting stamps

Stamp collecting is perhaps the number one hobby around the world today (despite its diminishing trend due to more reliance on e-mail and SMSs). Normally one becomes a stamp collector early in one’s age when photos fascinate and quest for knowing different countries is high. 

To begin with, normally a potential stamp collector goes for stamps with pictures of choice. That is if one has inclination for animals and pets, one goes for stamps bearing photos of domesticated pets like cats and dogs. Some would like to collect stamps of personalities they admire or want to have a dictionary of presidents, queens, kings, pop stars, models or even astronauts. Mostly in early ages, pop starts and singers are majority’s choice. This is called theme collection, based on a particular line of approach.

As one grows, the scope of the collection broadens and one starts collecting stamps of one’s own country and then gets out of the border and start including other countries as well.

Stamp collecting is a source of very valuable information for those who start collecting stamps in their early ages. One soon learns about geography and history of various countries. Stamps also tell favourite games of a particular country or the personalities. Which flowers are grown in Holland or which birds fly in Russia?

The source of stamps varies, but main source is always the letters coming in one’s place. Then friends come in for exchanging duplicate stamps. And last is buying – I remember buying stamps from my meager pocket money and used to be so excited when adding the newly bought stamps. I can still point out stamps that I bought decades ago.

Initially, note books are used as a jump start. But then one starts buying specially made albums for storing stamps, though these are a bit expensive. Sorting stamps theme wise or country wise are the main types of arranging stamps, but it all depends on personal likings. Some add country information print outs at the beginning of each country or details of the selected theme.

No matter how people get started, philately as a hobby is very interesting, informative, exciting and a lifelong friend. Those who love philately would second me in saying so. It is sad to see this once very popular hobby dying as kids and others rely more on e-mails and SMSs rather than writing letters. And obviously no letters, no stamps…

PS: This post was first published in My Philatelic World

5 comments:

  1. Thanks to my friend, who started collecting stamps when he was 11, I now have an interest in philately myself. I particularly like to collect Great British stamps and love a nice cancellation and the London postmark. Yay!

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  2. It is sad that the art of letter writing and the use of stamps is declining so rapidly. Prince Charles recently asked his son to send more letters rather than emails when he was away from home, so that there was tangible evidence of his correspondence.

    I can't see old historic emails getting much interest at Sotheby's in years to come.

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  3. Thank you DiamondAsh for your comments. I hope you would love philately too. I agree thta we dont get to see letters anymore with stamps on.

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