Stamp collecting is definitely a fun and interesting hobby for those who get the bug. It gives you an opportunity to collect tiny pieces of history from all over the world. You might even consider them as little artifacts that open up a new world of exploration. By following a few of these suggestions, you'll be on your way to an enriching and past time.
First, you'll need to decide if you'd like to choose a theme for collecting, such as a specific group of countries or a timeline, perhaps only stamps with animals depicted or nature scenes. It's up to you, and the choices are virtually endless. Then again, having a “general" collection of everything is a great choice too!
You may want to start out by purchasing sheets of new stamps, maybe even from specific countries. You could even ask family and friends to save stamps for you from their mail. This is a good, easy way to begin your collection. It adds meaning to your stamps too if you receive some from someone who's important to you.
Once the word is out about your new hobby, you'll probably receive gifts of stamps for holidays and birthdays. This will help your collection grow, and special limited edition and commemorative stamps may be acquired too.
You can then begin to narrow down what your preferences are. Do you prefer old stamps over new? New stamps are easier to find, but if you're up for a challenge, old stamps are exciting to try to track down. Save any you don't want to keep for trading with other collectors down the road.
Gathering supplies is an important step as well. You'll want to keep your stamps in order and in good condition. A loose leaf binder with plastic removable pockets, small glassine envelopes and stamp tongs for gentle handling are all important tools you should acquire. Eventually you'll want to have a magnifying glass to inspect stamps closely, and stamp books or catalogue with information about stamps available.
Be careful when removing stamps from envelopes. Carefully steam the stamp off over a bowl of water, and peel off with stamp tongs. Let it dry before storing it.
The internet is the single most useful resource to get started. Stamp collection clubs, organizations, blogs and classifieds are all excellent places to begin.
Once you have a collection you're proud of, show it off to friends and family! Maybe one day you can even start your own website on the subject. Have your stamps displayed with stories on how you acquired them or start your own discussion board. Whatever you do, have fun and happy collecting!
Glenn Cutforth is a writer, graphic designer and publisher of quality eBooks at Maxx Publishing http://www.MaxxPublishing.com
If you're interested in getting into Stamp Collecting as a hobby, you'll find a wealth of information, tips and resources at his website, Stamp Collecting Magic at http://www.stampcollectingmagic.com