Important Facts For The Stamp Collector

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Everyone knows that a stamp is a small piece of paper that is glued to the exterior of a letter or parcel sent via the post office. It is used both locally and internationally as proof of paid fee for the service rendered.

Stamps represent something more for the collector. They represent significant valuable pieces to a large imagined puzzle to be assembled physically in the collection according to the concept within the collector’s mind.

It is important to note that a distinction exists between philately and stamp collection. The philatelist both collects and studies stamps, postmarks, and related materials where a stamp collector does not study them.

Stamp collecting often begins by cutting out stamps that come from letters the collector receives. While some may come locally, others can come from friends and family abroad. Next the collector often beings going to the post office and buying stamps in bulk in order to add more to the collection.

Collecting stamps can only go so far without involving other people. A collector can ask friends and family members to also contribute the stamps that come on their incoming mail. Another option is to look for stamps offered for sale in the classified ads of the newspaper.

As usual, the Internet is an especially good source to find and obtain stamps. There exist many Web sites designed to do exactly that, making it simple to expand an existing stamp collection.

If the goal is to collect rare, old, or foreign stamps it is advisable to join philatelic exhibitions and bid at auctions. The savvy collector should be able to find some good deals that would be ideal additions to their collection.

Purchasing stamps is just one way to deal with other collectors. Another common method is to trade stamps within both collections with each collector’s goal being to create a more complete collection.

The acquisition of stamps is just one aspect of what stamp collectors do. They must also take care of the stamps in their collection so that the appearance and value of each stamp is maintained. This not only keeps the collection worthy of display, but also ensures the stamps within it are tradable or saleable if the collector should desire to do so.

The proper way to take care of a stamp is placing it in an album designed to protect stamps. Stamps should never be placed on facing pages as this can harm or even destroy them. If absolutely necessary, a plastic sheet placed over the stamps will allow the stamps to be placed on the facing page. However, a new album should be purchased in this case, as the purpose of collecting stamps is to maintain their worth, not risk damaging them to avoid the cost of an additional album.

Stamps should be handled with extreme care. Human hands are dirty and oily. Tongs should always be used when handling stamps to minimize the chance of causing damage. Tongs are a tool similar to tweezers but with thinner edges, making the safe handling of a stamp easier. Even when using tongs, handling stamps should be strictly minimized.

In order to properly remove a stamp from an envelope cut a small portion of the surrounding area and put it in water. Once the stamp is free, use tongs to extract it from the paper underneath and carefully air dry before inserting it in the album.

Many things can harm stamps. The most common culprit is sunlight. The UV rays in sunlight can change or fade the colors on the stamp and when heated the gum on the back of the stamp may adhere it to the album making it difficult to remove without damage. Stamps must always be stored at room temperature.

Food and drink never belong in the area when stamps are being handled. A stamp collection should be kept well separated from any tobacco smoke to prevent the odor from being captured by the paper in the collection. Failing to take these steps, regardless of the degree of caution exercised, can result in devastating damage from just a single accident.

Stamp collecting can be an easy and rewarding hobby for many people. The potential rewards of the hobby increase dramatically if key facts are known and care is taken to ensure the collection will be as remarkable in years to come as when each piece is added.

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