Stamp Collecting: A General Overview Stamp collecting is a hobby that is enjoyed by many. If you are interested in enjoying this popular hobby, you may be looking for more information. After all, some of the most successful stamp collectors in the world are ones who first took the time to research and examine stamp collecting as a hobby in general. The history of stamp collecting is a topic that many professional stamp collectors and hobbyists enjoy researching and discussing. It has been noted that stamp collecting was first made popular by children, namely teenagers. With that in mind, around the 1900s, stamp collecting evolved into a hobby that was enjoyed by individuals of all ages. This increase in popularity was mostly due in part to the examination and determination of stamp values. Many later realized that stamp collecting not only had the possibility to be a fun hobby, but a profitable one at that. As previously stated, there are many stamp collectors who collect stamps for their own personal use. On the other hand, there are those who buy, sell, and collect stamps for profit. The many purposes of having a stamp collection is just one of the many reasons why this hobby skyrocketed in popularity. There are many stamp collectors who do so for the sole purpose of having a hobby that keeps them occupied, those who collect stamps to pass down to their future family generations, and those who do so solely for the purpose of making money. In keeping with the rise in popularity of stamp collecting, especially in the early to late 1900s, stamp collecting increased in popularity as it is easy to do. This hobby is one that individuals of all ages, gender, and race can participate in and enjoy with ease. Although many stamp collectors today, especially those with hopes of seeing profits, purchase stamps from dealers, there are no requirements to do so. Many stamp collectors simply just collect stamps from their mailings, the post office, or from those that they know. Stamp collecting is also enjoyed by many because it is a fun and safe activity. In fact, this is why stamp collecting is considered a great activity by parents. Many parents, especially in today's society, take comfort in knowing that are activities, aside from video games and violent movies, that their children take an interest in. The supplies needed are another one of the many reasons why stamp collecting was and still is a popular hobby for collectors. No supplies are needed to start a stamp collection, although you and other stamp collectors can benefit from using them. Magnifying glasses enable you to examine your stamp collection and possibly determine its value. Stamps albums and stamp stocks allow you to properly store, maintain, and care for your stamp collection. This safe and proper storing is important if you would like to pass on your stamp collection to future generations or if you would like to sell it for a profit later on. As it was previously stated, stamp collectors can get stamps from mailings, but many choose to purchase stamps to add to their collection. Stamps that are sought after for purchase often include older, rare, or limited edition stamps. Stamp collectors looking to purchase stamps for their collection can visit stamp collecting dealers or examine online auction websites. Online auction websites, like eBay, are a great option for beginners. Once you are more confident in your stamp collecting quest, you may want to approach professional stamp dealers. The above mentioned points are a general overview of stamp collecting. Although you and other first time stamp collectors are likely looking to get started right away, there are a number of steps to doing the proper amount of research first. By familiarizing yourself with the proper way to care for collected stamps, as well as by researching and examining stamp values, you are more likely to see success as a stamp collector, no matter what your reasons for getting started are. Stamp Collecting: A Great Hobby for Kids Are you a parent? If you are, does your child have a hobby, namely one that does not involve video games? If not, you may want to help them try their hand at stamp collecting. Stamp collecting is a hobby that has been enjoyed by individuals of all ages for a long time now. This activity is one that your child may find interesting, exciting, and well worth their time. As ideal as it is to hear that stamp collecting is a hobby that your child can enjoy, you may be wondering what is so great about stamp collecting. Truthfully, there are a number of benefits to getting your child interested in the great hobby of stamp collecting. Two of those benefits include goal setting, as well as a safe, enjoyable activity. As previously stated, one of the many benefits to stamp collecting at a young age is goal setting. If you and your child actively pursue stamp collecting as a hobby, it is likely to turn into a hobby that they will enjoy for years to come. Generally speaking, the younger you get started, the better it will be. When your child enjoys stamp collecting as a hobby, they will likely want to see their stamp collection grow, especially if that collection can be profitable for them one day. This is where the goal setting is likely to develop. As stated above, was the fact that stamp collecting is a fun, safe, and enjoyable activity. In an age where it seems as if children fill their time with video games and computer use, a simple activity, such as stamp collecting may be needed. Whether you help your child with their stamp collection or not, as a parent, you can take comfort in knowing that they are participating in a healthy activity, even just for a few hours a week. Another one of the many benefits to getting your child interested in stamp collecting is the ease of doing so. As a parent, you may take comfort in knowing that stamp collecting is a hobby that just about everyone can afford. Yes, you may want to take steps to purchase older collectable stamps for your child, but there are no requirements to do so. Depending on your child's age, they may simply be pleased with a stamp collection that is filled with stamps that come from your own mail. Speaking of using stamps from your own personal mailings, you may want to teach your child how to properly remove these stamps. Yes, you can simply cut the stamp out with a portion of the envelope attached, but there is a specific process that can be performed. Your child may find this process scientific and intriguing. To get started, cut around the stamp. Next, place the cutout in a warm bowl of water for about ten minutes. During this time, the stamp should pull away from the envelop backing. Carefully remove the stamp, as you do not want it to rip, lay on a flat surface and let dry. Since curling is a possibility, be sure to flatten all stamps, by weighting them down once dried. It may also be a wise idea to purchase a few stamp collecting supplies for your child. These stamp collecting supplies can help to increase their interest in this amazing hobby. You may like the affordability of many stamp collecting supplies. Popular stamp collecting supplies, especially those perfect for children and teenagers, include magnifying glasses, stamp collecting albums, and stamp tongs. Each of these affordability priced items make great gifts. As outlined above, stamp collecting is a hobby and an activity in general that is perfect for individuals of all ages, including children and teenagers. To help increase your child's excitement levels, concerning stamp collecting, you may want to do stamp collecting research with them. This research is ideal when performed online. Educating your child on the proper care of stamps, as well as their values may do wonder for your child's interests and goals. Stamp Collecting Tips Stamp collecting is a hobby that has been enjoyed by many for years on end. Are you interested in joining in on the fun? If you are, you may be looking for stamp collecting tips or at least information on the stamp collecting basics. If so, you have come to the right place. Whether you are looking for tips on how to make the most out of stamp collecting as a hobby or how to build a profitable stamp collection, the tips outlined below can help you and other stamp collectors accomplish your goals. The most important component of developing a successful stamp collection is that of collecting stamps. To get started, you may want to start collecting any stamps that you can find, even the stamps that come with your mail. What is nice about this approach is that you never know what you may receive. After all, a piece of mail may have a limited edition stamp that may be profitable in the future. In addition to collecting stamps from your mailings, you will also want to examine expanding your collection through way of purchases. Stamps and older stamp collection sets are easy to come across, especially when using the internet. For starters, you may want to examine the online websites of stamp collecting dealers. Online auction websites may also be a great source of affordable stamps for your collection. Aside from building your stamp collection, the next most important component of stamp collecting is research. In fact, research cannot be emphasized enough. Research is particularly important if you are looking to build a profitable stamp collection, such as one that can be sold at a later date. With research, you can know which type of stamps have the best values, conditions you should look for when making stamp purchases, and so forth. In keeping with the importance of research, is not only important to research stamp collecting in general, but it is also important to use the knowledge that you have to the best of your ability. This involves inspecting all stamps before you buy them. Never, for your own safety, take the word of someone else. When buying stamps for your collection, especially those of great value, be sure to examine the stamp collection in person. Do you notice any damage or irregularities? A damaged stamp should decrease in value; therefore, you should never pay the full value. Whether you are interested in stamp collecting simply as a hobby or for profits, it is important to take proper care of your stamp collection. You should start with storage. All stamps, especially those that are valuable or have the potential to become valuable, should be kept in a clean and dry environment. Stamps should always be heat and humidity free. In keeping with care, it is also advised that you invest in stamp collecting supplies. Although stamp collecting supplies are not required by any means, they can be beneficial to you. For an affordable price, you can purchase stamp tongs, magnifying glasses, and stamp storage books, also commonly referred to as stamp stock books. These tools, if used properly, should be able to increase the value of your stamp collection or at least maintain it. As a reminder, it is important that you be on the lookout for ways to expand your stamp collection, this is the best way to see success as a stamp collector. Of course, you will want to visit stamp collecting dealers, but you may also want to be on the lookout for full stamp collection sets for sale. This is best online and, as previously stated, online auction websites should be examined. This approach is nice as many are hobbyists who may no longer be interested in stamp collecting or those who are too old to continue on with their hobby. The above mentioned tips are just a few of the stamp collecting basics that can help you see success as a stamp collector. Whether you stamp collect for a hobby only or with hopes of future profits, these tips can help you accomplish your stamp collecting goals. Stamp Collecting Values and Their Importance Each year in the United States, there are thousands of individuals who search high and low for new stamps to add to their collections. Many of these stamps are new in the literal sense; however, will others will be new to a stamp collection, but withstood the test of time. All stamp collectors, especially those looking to one day sell their collections, are encouraged to familiarize themselves with stamp values and their importance. After all, a stamp and its value can have a significant impact on a stamp collector's ability to profit from their collection. Stamp collectors who are interested in purchasing new stamps, such as from a stamp dealer, are urged to familiarize themselves with their local stamp collecting catalogue. This catalogue often varies from country to country. For example, in the United States, the catalogue used to guide stamp collectors on which types of stamps should be collected for profits and their values, is referred to as the Scott catalogue. The catalogue used in Great Briton is referred to as the Stanley Gibbons catalogue. These catalogues tend to be released annually and most are available for sale online, locally, and copies may even be found available for borrow in libraries. In addition to using stamp catalogues as a way to estimate the average value of a stamp, there are a number of other approaches taken. For example, an easy way to determine the estimated value of a stamp or a stamp collection in whole is by scheduling an appointment with a stamp collection dealer. Most stamp collecting dealers are professional and knowledgeable when it comes to stamp values. With that in mind, if you are visiting a stamp dealer to either buy or sell stamps, use your best judgment. When looking to sell your stamp collection, it may be a wise idea to pay for an accurate appraisal and then visit other stamp dealers to sell your collection. This will prevent any low appraisals from un-honest stamp dealers who are just looking to make a profit. As important as value is and should be to many stamp collectors, especially those who are considered investors, stamp condition should also be taken into consideration. All stamp collectors are urged to take proper care of their stamps. This proper care involves carefully handling all stamps, by using stamp tongs, and storing stamps in a heat and humidity free environment. One important point that many new stamp collectors forget is that many stamps will increase in value over the years, but if those stamps are not properly cared for, their value will decrease or remain the same. For that reason, investors who are in stamp collecting solely from the profit of doing so, often go through great lengths to find stamps, especially rare stamps, that are in good condition to begin with. As previously stated, stamp values and stamp conditions are two important factors to consider when stamp collecting. With that in mind, stamp values and conditions are not the only factors that should be examined. Hobbyists have a bit more freedom when collecting stamps, as they are often collecting just for the fun of it. Investors or those looking to sell their stamp collections for a profit one day, are encouraged to do as much research as possible. This research can either be done online or with printed resources, such as a how-to stamp collect for profits guide. Stamp Collecting: What Supplies Are Needed? Are you interested in taking up stamp collecting as a hobby? One question commonly asked by hopeful stamp collectors concerns supplies. Many associate needed supplies and accessories with startup costs. The good news is that stamp collecting is a relatively affordable hobby. In fact, no supplies, expect for the stamps themselves, are really needed. With that in mind, there are stamp collecting supplies that collectors, such as yourself, can benefit from owning and utilizing. The most widely used stamp collecting tool is that of a magnifying glass. Magnifying glasses are used to examine the condition of stamps. This can assist in determining the approximate value of your stamp collection. If you intend to purchase stamps, from a professional stamp collection dealer, a magnifying glass is a tool that you will want to invest in. This tool can help to prevent you from overpaying. Stamp tongs are a stamp collecting tool that is widely used by professional stamp collectors and dealers. Stamp collecting tongs resemble tweezers, but they do vary greatly in the most important sense. Most stamp tongs have bottoms that are designed as if they were a shovel. This design enables the easy and careful handling of stamps, which is important to prevent damage and maintain value. As with most other stamp collecting supplies, stamp tongs are not required; however, they can help to prevent damage, including the transfer of oils and other debris, from occurring. Stamp stock books are a tool that is used as a way to carefully and safely store stamps. Stamp stock books, although they do vary, are similar in nature. They contain clear protective sheets that often have horizontal rows, which are often designed to fit a wide range of stamp sizes. Depending on the stamp stock book in question, individual slots in each row is also a possibility. Stock books have evolved much past stamps; however, as they are also used to store collectable sports cards, coins, and much more! In addition to stamp stock books, stamp albums are another method of safely storing stamps. This storing approach is widely preferred by many stamp collectors. Stamp albums differ from traditional stamp stock books as they are often categorized. For example, a stamp collector who specializes in collecting international stamps, would have separate pages devoted to stamps from the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and so forth. Depending on the stamp album in question, predetermined categories may be assigned or a blank space may be found where stamp collectors, like yourself, can write in your own category. If you would like assistance with increasing or at least maintaining the value of your stamp collection with the aforementioned supplies, you may be curious about making a purchase. Where you will need to make your purchases from will all depend on a number of different factors, including the stamp collecting supply piece in question. For example, a magnifying glass can be purchased from most department stores and even dollar stores. On the other hand, a stamp display book, also commonly referred to as a stamp stock book, may be harder to come across. For the best chance of success, many professional stamp collectors turn to the internet when looking to purchase stamp collecting supplies. In keeping with the purchasing of stamp collecting supplies, it is also important to examine stamp collecting kits. Although many stamp collecting kits are targeted towards children or beginners in particular, they do come in a number of different formats. Stamp collecting kits often contain a large collection of valuable stamp collecting tools, including the above mentioned stamp albums, magnifying glasses, stamp tongs, as well as valuable stamp collecting resources or guides. As a reminder, the above mentioned stamp collecting supplies may be able to assist you and other collectors in a quest to develop a well cared for and possibly profitable stamp collection. Although there are a number of benefits to owning and utilizing stamp collecting supplies, they are not required to enjoy this popular hobby. The Post Office: A Great Resource For New Stamp Collectors When many of us think of the post office, the first thing that often comes to mind is the mailing of packages. It is important to remember that the post office is actually much more. Did you know that the post office is a great way to go about buying stamps for a stamp collection? It is an especially for beginners. One of the most commonly asked questions about buying stamps from the post office is "what type of stamps are available?" One of the many reasons why purchasing stamps from a local post office is a good idea is because the stamps are all new. Although used stamps in good conditions are quite rare and profitable, many collectors and even stamp dealers prefer new stamps, as they are likely in much better condition. In keeping with the stamps available for sale through the post office or the United States Postal Service is general, many stamp collectors are surprised with what they see. Many cannot believe the selection of stamps available. Of course, the selection that your local post office has is likely limited, but you may still have a wide range of stamps to choose from. Many post offices have display cases set up to showcase the stamps that they have available for sale. These display cases are commonly filled with limited edition stamps. As previously stated, a local post office may be limited in the selection of stamps that they have available for sale. For the largest selection of stamps, collectors are urged to turn to the internet. On the website for the United States Postal Service, which is located at www.usps.com, there are even more stamps available for sale. In addition to traditional postage stamps for the normal card rates, there are also other values available for sale as well, including four cent stamps. One of the reasons why new stamp collectors are urged to examine the United States Postal Service, when looking to buy stamps for their collections, is because of the prices. Generally speaking, you will pay the standard retail price for all stamps. This isn't always the case when you buy stamps from stamp dealers and online auction websites. Since many new stamp collectors are unsure as to whether or not stamp collecting is a lifelong hobby that they would like to enjoy, this is nice affordable approach to build a stamp collection. In addition to new stamp collectors, checking the selection of stamps available for sale through the United States Postal Service is ideal for those with themed stamp collections. As previously stated, many stamp collectors are surprised with the wide range of stamps and themes available for sale. Common stamps that you may find available for sale are those that focus on popular movie or television characters, stamps that focus on the holidays, floral stamps, wildlife stamps, and stamps that support non-profit organizations or other good causes, such as breast cancer. Although buying stamps to add to a stamp collection from the United States Postal Service is a great approach to take, all stamp collectors will want to remember that it is not their only option. For older, rare, or hard to find limited edition stamps, professional stamp dealers are the often the best option. To find local or online stamp dealers, turn to the internet to get started. Valuable Stamp Collecting Resources Stamp collecting is a hobby that is not only enjoyed for personal fulfillment, but it is also enjoyed for profits. Even beginners have the potential to develop a profitable stamp collection that can later be sold for a profit. Unfortunately, this will not happen overnight. Stamp collectors who are looking to make a profit, will first want to do the proper amount of research. Knowledge is the best way to see success and profits when stamp collecting. The goods news is that you have a number of tools right at your fingertips. When researching ways to develop a profitable stamp collection or even just stamp collecting in general, turn to the internet. The internet holds a wealth of information , especially information that focuses on stamp collecting. The internet is often the best research approach for stamp collectors, as it is easy to use and navigate. You also never really know what you will find online, concerning stamp collecting. Beginners interested in stamp collecting should start by learning the stamp collecting basics online. The best way to get started is with a standard internet search. Those just getting started with stamp collecting can easily find stamp collecting tips online, online guides that often resemble or do come in eBook formats, and much more. Beginners are the ones who can benefit from the most researching and examining stamp collecting online. In keeping with the internet, the internet can also help you and other stamp collectors research stamp values. Many online websites can let you determine the estimated value of your stamps or detailed direction will highlight other approaches that you should take. These websites can easily be found with a standard internet search. Examining estimated and approximate stamp collecting values is ideal for those looking to buy stamps, as well as those looking to sell their collections. Speaking of buying stamps, the internet is a great resource to do just that. While most professional stamp collectors deal directly with stamp dealers and other professionals, you are not required, by any means, to do so. One approach that many beginners use is visiting online auction websites. Many former stamp collectors choose to sell their collections whole and online. And, unlike many professional stamp collectors and dealers, many are unaware of the valuable stamps they have in their possession. Another value stamp collecting resource, especially for beginners is that of a stamp collecting kit. A good percentage of stamp collecting kids are targeted towards children, but many adult kits can be purchased as well, particularly online. Stamp collecting kits do vary greatly, but many come with printed resources, like a small stamp collecting how-to guide, but they often come with many other needed supplies and accessories. These stamp collecting supplies may include stamp stock books, stamp photo albums, stamps tongs, and magnifying glasses. Printed resources are another great tool when looking to research and examine stamp collecting as a hobby or for profits. There are a number of books on the subject. These books can include hobby books, how-to books, stamp collecting value guides, and much more. Depending on the size of your local bookstore, you may find the best success when shopping online for printed resources. Another valuable resource for stamp collectors is that of stamp collecting events, also commonly referred to as stamp collecting conventions. Unfortunately, this valuable resource is one that many are unfamiliar with. These events come in a number of different formats. National stamp collecting events and conventions are often held at least once or twice a year. Even if you can only attend a local stamp collecting event or convention, you may still find a wealth of information. This information may include tips from professional stamp collectors and dealers, as well as stamps available for sale. As previously stated, there are a number of benefits to researching stamp collecting in general. This is particularly true for those looking to make a profit with their stamp collections. What to Do With Your Stamp Collection Are you an avid stamp collector who would like to move on? Whether you have increased in age and are looking to make final arrangements for your most prized possessions or if stamp collecting simply isn't a hobby that you enjoy anymore, you may be looking for guidance. Many stamp collectors are surprised to hear how many different options they have, when looking to part ways with their stamp collections. One option that stamp collectors have, when looking to pass on their stamp collection, is to literally pass it on. This is most often done with family members. If your age and what will happen to your prized possessions after your passing is a concern of yours, you may want to select a family member to pass your stamp collection onto. Whether you do this now or state in your will your wishes, there are a number of benefits to keeping stamp collections in the family, especially those that are twenty years or older. In keeping with passing your stamp collection on, you may want to examine close friends or family friends. This approach is a nice option if you do not feel that a relative would be able to properly care for your stamp collection, expand it, or take pride in it. If you take great pride in your stamp collection and would like to see it reach new heights, it is wise to select a new owner who would do just that. This individual would be one who has a love of the past or one who personally enjoys stamp collecting as a hobby. Another option, when looking to pass your stamp collection on to another, is to sell it. Depending on the stamps in your collection, this approach may prove to be a profitable one. Should you decide to sell your stamp collection, it is a wise idea to do the proper amount of research. Examine collection values, ideal stamp collecting conditions, and so forth. When selling your stamp collection, consider selling it as a whole set or in individual groups. If you have stamps of value, your best approach may be to arrange a meeting with a stamp collecting dealer. Donating is also an option if you are looking to pass on your stamp collection. Depending on your stamp collection, it may be of great value and not just in the monetary sense. You may have stamps in your collection that would be valuable to a historical organization or another nonprofit organization. To assist your local community, inquire locally first and then expand your search to a national level if you do not see the results you were hoping for. When donating your stamp collection, inquire about its intended use. Will it be auctioned off for the profits or will it be housed on display? As highlighted above, you have a number of different options. As for which option is best for you and your stamp collection, it is important to remember it will vary. Before deciding what you would like to do with your stamp collection, it is important to think about your decision. Are you looking to pass on your stamp collection because stamp collecting is no longer an interest of yours or are there more important reasons, such as your health? This important question should have an impact on your final decision. How to Increase the Value of Your Stamp Collection Stamp collecting is a hobby that has withstood the test of time. It has a hobby that has been enjoyed by individuals of all ages for years on end. If you have recently decided to take part in this hobby that is surrounded by tradition, you may be looking for some tips to help you see success. More importantly, you may be looking for ways to increase the value of your stamp collection. Before focusing on ways that a stamp collection can see an increase in value, it is first important to touch on the stamp collecting basics. For example, there are different types of stamp collecting, as well as different types of stamps to be collected. If you have only enjoyed stamp collecting in the past as a plain ole hobby, you may have a lot of work ahead of you to turn your stamp collection into a potential profit. With that in mind, if stamp collecting is a hobby that you enjoy, your quest to make your collection profitable may not even seem like work! Returning back to topic at hand, there are a number of steps that you can take to increase the value of your stamp collection. First, you will want to focus on the stamps in your collection. Do you have any older or rare stamps in your collection? If not, you may want to consider acquiring a few. Unfortunately, this may require a purchase on your part, but you may find it difficult to make money with your stamp collection without first spending it. To expand your stamp collection, especially in terms of rare or older stamps, you will want to consider speaking with a stamp dealer, either in person, over the phone, or online. One of the best and, perhaps, easiest ways to increase the value of your stamp collection is to take proper care of your collection. This is vital a component of developing a profitable stamp collection. For example, if you have a rare or old or outdated stamp in your collection, but if that stamp is in poor condition, its value may significantly decrease or turn worthless. Although many stamp collectors have their own storage methods, many rely on photo albums and glassine envelops. Whichever approach you choose, it is important to keep the stamps in your collection free from heat, humidity, and air in general. Stamp collectors who are looking to increase the value of their stamp collections are urged to examine the supplies used. For starters, do you use any stamp collecting supplies? Although no supplies are technically required, they can be beneficial to those looking to increase the values of their stamp collections. Stamp collecting supplies worth a close look include stamp stock books, stamp tongs, odontometers, and magnifying glasses. These stamp collecting supplies can assist with the upkeep and inspection of your current stamp collection, as well as other stamps that you choose to add to it. Proper research is another relatively easy way to increase the value of your stamp collection. In fact, did you know that many stamp collectors have semi-profitable stamps in their collection, but many do not even know so? This is most often the case with beginners who traded stamps or acquired a stamp collection from a relative. For that reason, it is important that you take the time to research stamp collecting, namely the stamp values. This research will not only assist you with determining the estimated value of your stamp collection, but it can also help you should choose to make a purchase from a professional stamp collecting dealer. The above mentioned tips are just a few of the many that you can use to help increase the value of your stamp collection. Even if you are beginner with only ten stamps in your collection, you can still develop a stamp collection that can later be sold for a profit or one that can be handed down to your future family generations for years to come. How to Start a Stamp Collection Stamp collecting is a hobby that is enjoyed by many. In fact, it is an activity that is enjoyed by individuals of all ages. When it comes to stamp collecting, one of the biggest questions asked is "how do I get started?" For more information on how you start enjoying the great hobby of stamp collecting, continue reading on. Perhaps, the first step in starting a stamp collection is developing a plan. Although a having a set plan in place is not required, it can assist you as a stamp collector. One of the first points that you will want to examine is if you want to collect stamps for profit or for the sole purpose of enjoying it as a hobby. This question is one that can enable you to determine which type of stamps you should acquire for your collection. Another point that should be examined is that of stamps. If you are solely interested in collecting stamps as a hobby, you may be interested in focusing on a particular theme. For example, you may want your collection to include limited edition stamps, stamps with flower themes, and so forth. Of course, you can sway from your original stamp collecting aspirations later on, but you may find that most of the fun is hunting for the type of stamps that you seek. Regardless of your stamp collecting goals, the first step in starting a stamp collection is collecting stamps. Even if your sole purpose of stamp collecting is to one day sell your collection for a profit, it is important to remember that all stamp collectors must start from the ground up. Simply saving and preserving all stamps that come on your mailings is a great start. Generally speaking, many beginners generate more interest and pride when they have even just a few stamps in their collection. As previously stated, saving and persevering all stamps that arrive on your mail is advised. Not only is this a great way to start a stamp collection, but you should also keep value in mind. It can sometimes be difficult now to tell which stamps may be valuable fifty or even a hundred years from now. To preserve all stamps that arrive on mailings, cutout the stamp and place it in a warm bowl or cup of water. After a few minutes, about ten to be exact, the stamp should separate itself from the envelop. Carefully remove the stamp from the water and set it out to dry. Curling is likely to occur, so once the stamp has dried, take steps to flatten it, such as by placing the stamp in between pages of a large, hardcover book. Another important component of stamp collecting, especially for beginners is storage. It is not uncommon for many beginners to simply toss their stamps in a box. Of course, this approach is more than doable, but you may find success with alternative storage arrangements. Stamp display books, also commonly referred to as stamp stock books, can be purchased. They often have individual slots for collected stamps. Many hobbyists also use photo albums to store their stamps. Properly and prominently storing and displaying a stamp collection will not only help to maintain or increase its value, but it should also give you a sense of pride. It is also important to touch on the purchasing of stamps. If you would like to expand your stamp collection with ease, purchasing stamps may be a wise idea. What is nice about this approach is the options that stamp collectors have. Stamps for collections can be purchased new directly from the post office and in a wide range of conditions from online auction websites, like eBay, as well as from professional stamp collectors and dealers. The above mentioned tips are ideal for developing a first time stamp collection. All stamp collectors are urged to keep their options open, even if the original intent is only to collect for fun, as what the future may bring for certain stamps and their values is often unpredictable. Popular Types of Stamps To Collect Are you a beginner who is interested in starting a stamp collection? Whether your purpose of collecting stamps is to one day have a valuable stamp collection to sell for a profit or if you would like a valuable stamp collection that can be passed down to future family generations to come, you may be looking for more information. One of the most commonly asked questions, by beginners and new stamp collectors, concerns what should be collected. From a stamp collector standpoint, it is important to remember that you have a number of different options. As previously outlined, stamp collectors collect for a number of different reasons, including for personal fulfillments and for profits. If your main goal is to develop a stamp collection that can be profitable, you will want to pay more close attention to the stamps you collect. On the other hand, those who are stamp collecting just for the fun of it or to have a stamp collection to pass down to their children, your options more unlimited. Regardless of what a stamp collector's goal is, they will find an unlimited number of stamps to collect. For that reason, there are many professional stamp collectors, especially those who are in it for the profits, who choose to pick a stamp collecting theme. This stamp collection theme may include a wide range of stamps, such as stamps with a flower pictured or a more detailed theme, such as stamps from the 1910s that are in perfect to semi-perfect condition. A few popular types of stamps collected, as well as their themes are outlined below. Holiday stamps are one of the most widely collected types of stamps, especially by beginners and children. Holiday stamps will always be a classic for stamp collectors. Due to their return every year, holiday stamps are generally consider worthless, unless they are limited edition special stamps or from the late 1800s or early 1900s. Cartoon and other television or related movie stamps are popular. This is most due in part to the fact that many of these stamps are issued only as limited edition stamps. This limits the amount of stamps that are in circulation, as well as the number of stamps that are collected for the purpose of having a stamp collection. For a cartoon or another television or movie related stamp to be valuable, there are a number of important factors that need to be examined. One of these factors includes the availability, how many stamps were issued? The cartoon, movie, or television show in question, as well as it age or the year it was popular, may also have an impact on value as well. The above mentioned stamps are just a few of the many types of stamps collected by stamp collectors, especially those who are new to stamp collecting. Once a certain point has been reached, either in time or at a collecting stage, many stamp collectors make the decision to expand their collections with a little bit of boldness. This may result in the hunting and buying of rare, older, or limited edition stamps from a professional stamp dealer. With that being said, it is important to never discount the stamp types highlighted above. What is nice about many stamps, especially those with fun themes, is that you never know what the future may bring for values. Collector Dealer Etc Stamp Supply Stamp collecting has been one of the most favorite legacy hobbies among stamp enthusiasts. This hobby dates back to as early as 15th and many interesting stories related to this hobby abound. Although the usual technique of collecting stamp specimens is through the conventional correspondence exchange, modern stamp collectors have found a new way of getting the items necessary to add on to their existing collections. Get Connected! The Internet offers valuable place to where you can sell, shop, and even barter stamps. The dealer and collector sections provides interested philatelists (people who collect stamps) the ability to sell their duplicate stamps and give other a copy of it. Individual inventories are sold through various means aside from the internet, usually through the more primitive means by sending hard copies of advertisements through households who have previously registered or have expressed interest in any of symposium or stamp museum exposition. Special philatelic publications and local post offices may, from time to time, provide a specific date in which local philatelist organizations meet, advertise, sell, buy and even barter stamps among enthusiastic members of the community. Be part of a Huge Search Database Database should not be misconstrued to the modern electronic database. Although this must be true in all transactions today, some, if not most, manual search database for social information are detailed in a more conventional bookkeeping, manuscript-type procedure. But it must be put into emphasis that this same search database contains substantial information in locating dealers and fellow philatelists who are interested in learning, bartering and exchanging ideas regarding the same hobby. Considering the fact that the same hobby has a long history, most people who got largest collection are typically the people with advanced age. Unless you have obtained your existing stamps as a gift from an old chap, you will not be able to gain the necessary numbers of stamps which will tell the story of how you have exerted effort in searching for them. Deal with Dealers Dealers either online or offline are valuable resources in your effort to build your own stamp inventory. If you are a beginner, you can take advantage of the services of dealers in getting the right starting collection for you. Dealers, being well connected to a large number of people who take on the same interest as you do, will be able to build connections which will allow you to make business with these same individuals without you experiencing all the hassles of searching. They will, in theory, connect you to the people who will satisfy your interest and in turn, satisfy the interest of another. For example, if John is interested in selling his spare or duplicate stamps, the stamp dealer will connect John to people who business on purchasing stamps to build their own set of inventories. Dealers and collectors benefit from a strong bond of partnership and this partnership is the same reason why more and more dealers are working hard for the improvement of services and provide services to stamp collectors without the typical hassles. Knowing the Trends and Channels in Stamp Buying With the modernization of society, the additions to the number of ways by which you can collect stamps have evolved as well. Auctions, Mail Order Expositions, Affiliations or Club, Shows, fairs and post offices all provide such service. Philatelic sites such as the American Philatelic Society provides valuable information on stamp collecting, tips and guides, if you are a beginner, on how you will go about starting the new hobby. These same Internet channels also provides sites and related links to which you can visit in order to receive information on stamp collecting. Care Stamp collecting is not all about "collecting" per se, it is also about maintaining the beauty of your stamps so that others will be able to appreciate it as well. Proper care and maintenance is the key towards this process. One way to do this is through using approved stamp supplies which helps retain and resist damage and maintain their integrity when being traveled from one place to another. Improper handling will cause delicate stamps to wrinkle and lose some their original color. In short, aside from collecting, you should also be aware of maintaining them and keeping them from the normal process of wear and tear. Tips For The Amateur Postage Stamp Collector For postage stamp collectors, "a stamp is not just a stamp". The stamp collector often sees a mysterious place as well as an interesting culture the moment one views a stamp from a foreign country that depicts a foreign landscape. "Postage stamp collecting" is a fascinating hobby that stimulates one's curiosity in people and places beyond one's borders. Here are tips for the amateur postage stamp collector: On soaking the stamps: 1. Before soaking your stamp, separate stamps that are on any colored paper, stamps having colored cancellations, particularly those with purple or red ink, stamps of very dark in color, stamps that are on poor paper quality, or those with unidentified inks that could liquefy in the basin of water and can stain other stamps. Any "unuasual" stamps should be separated and handled one by one. 2. Trim the paper of the envelope that surrounds stamp, being extra careful as not to scratch or slice the edges of the stamp. 3. When soaking the stamp, take a shallow container with lukewarm water and float in the stamps having the pictures side facing you. Make certain that there is enough room for the stamps to float not to stick to each other. Avoid soaking too many stamps all at one time. 4. Leave the stamps to float until such time that the adhesive dissolves so that the stamps easily slides off the piece of paper. Paper can rip easily so handle the stamp carefully and just allow the water to work on it. 5. Rinse off gently the stamps back in fresh clean water to so that all the adhesive is taken off. 6. Position the stamps in a manner that they are not touching each other on top of paper towels to dry, or old newspapers. 7. Leave the stamps to dry. When they should curl afterwards, place them in another dry piece of paper and place a heavy book on them. Choosing the right album for your collection: 1. Your very first postage stamp album will be an experiment, except when you have looked at someone else's stamp album and you believe that type would also be ideal for you. 2. Listen to and take the dealers advice when buying a postage stamp album; do not be completely convinced by allegations that a certain album brand is "the best." Note that a stamp album that is made by a well known stamp album manufacturer, and is expensive, does not necessarily mean that it is "the best" and is right for you. 3. When shopping take into account all features and aspects such as the albums price, appearance and format and make a wise choice. 4. Good and efficient beginners' stamp albums are widely available and should be affordable and fully characterized so to point out where certain stamps should go and some albums can even include added information, like maps and data regarding different countries. 5. If you prefer not purchasing those premium albums due to its price, choose the quality carefully. Stamp albums with weak and delicate pages can not endure the tension of heavy stamps when your collection increases. 6. Choose an album with acid-free pages. 7. When buying a stamp album similar to most things, one needs to shop around first and examine it thoroughly before buying. Also do not be discouraged when your first album turns to be not the perfect one for your needs. You always will need a temporary place to keep your duplicates as your hobby expands. Some popular stamps: 1. The "Treskilling Yellow Swedish" postage stamp is in fact the world's most valuable stamp. Likewise it is the world's most valuable "thing" in terms of volume, weight and density. 2. The "Penny Black" was actually the first in the world as an "official adhesive postage stamp"; released on "May 1, 1840" by the "United Kingdom" 3. The "Inverted Jenny" is a postage stamp from United States issued in 1918 whereby the airplane at designs center, accidentally was printed the wrong side up. There were only 100 inverts found, thus this made the Inverted Jenny among the "most valuable" stamps, now costing about 150,000 US dollars. Being a postage stamp collector offers diversity in knowledge. Indeed, stamp collecting is worthwhile hobby. Stamp Collecting Software to Choose From The traditional way of compiling of stamp collections requires more effort in arranging and distributing the types of stamps. The most common tool that is used to organize a stamp collection is the album list. Today, there are software that can easily help a collector in filing, securing, detecting, upgrading, and providing information about the stamps. These software are now used to make the collection easier to manage. There are many software that are now advertised in the market. Here are some of them. 1. StampManage 2006 can catalog and file all stamps that came from Canada, USA, and UK. This software can contain 30,000 stamps in its database and can feature 21,200 images. These are all compiled in Scott numbering system. This numbering system is standardized and was introduced by the SCOTT Company. They provided the license to StampManage to practice this kind of numbering system. The 2006 latest edition now features an integrated report designer that has the ability to document personal reports. These Reports can be transferred through HTML, PDF, and Excel. 2. The Stamp Organizer Deluxe software can recover and view all information about a stamp. The software shows great efficiency and accessibility to gather all information in a compiled data. The stamps could be arranged in various ways. The collector has his options on how he can organize his collection using this software. 3. The Stamp Collection Wizard 1.04 can create personal records and accumulate reports about the stamps origin, price value and other informative data. A collector may enjoy the benefit of being updated and informed using the stamp collection database of the program. It has also the capacity to store and track the price value and the date of all special stamps. 4. The Report Label Wizard can easily determine and print various kinds of reports listed on this software. There are specific sets of wizard catalogs that allow a user to determine the report category. The stamps can be defined according to color, graphics, size, perforation, and margins. He may also outline the report using headers and footers. To save any of these program settings, he may index it using templates. 5. Customized Display Data Software can set any settings displayed on the windows regardless of the size and amount of data information. A collector has the option to choose from what type of size, color, and font to use in compiling the collection in the organizer. He may change the information on the data entry controls by determining the customize reports on the program. 6. Stamp Collector Professional 3.0S can compile and arrange all personal stamp collections. This program helps a collector to have an organized compilation of those special and rare stamps that may have a good price value. It also identifies and shows all records and information about the date issuance, place of origin, characteristics, theme, and the price value of the stamp. 7. The Specialized Data Fields Controls can speed up any new entry records on the database. It can also create new command responses related to the data entry. Any graphical features are scanned from the List Box program, which also sets up a particular element from the first category of characters. This software also features a Date Field calendar, Email Field Integrated, and a Data Field with calculator. 8. The Organized Deluxe Designer can modify and upgrade the structure of any stamp. Similar to other organizer programs, it has the functionality to determine different kinds of data fields where a user would like to store huge number of compilations. 9. The StampManage Canada 2005 specializes on stamps that came from Canada. This program catalogs and files all information about Canadian stamps. It has a special software that determines all Canadian and provincial stamp data that features images and report data fields about the compiled information. 10. The Web ready View Page Software can update and read all record fields on a section basis. Ha may display his file collection of stamps from the database to the web page of the site. They can be featured with complete background images using the browse page to edit all the necessary information that he may add on the web page. Most software for stamps offer flexible functions and database files that can store and compile stamp collections. They can easily help a person on how to use the functionality of the software. His own style of arrangement and categorical summary will depend on how he can have organized sets of collection in a particular software. 3 Momentous Canadian Stamp Collecting You Need to Know Since its inception on May 6, 1840, "postage stamps" had been a part of history as it unfolds the greatest line of creations that the society is enjoying up to this day. By the time the postage stamps were created, the idea of collecting them came into view right after they were circulated in the market. This is because some people have grown fondness with these artistic creations that they have decided to collect them. For this reason, stamp manufacturers in Canada had realized the values that stamps could bring. That is why they have decided to make their own stamps. These stamps were previously created to reflect the historical background of Canada. From the well-known maple leaf coin down to the historical stamps, Canada has remarkable created a culture of its own, with the stamps and the coins as emblems of pure classiness. Since then, Canadian stamp collecting started. From the commonly used stamps up to those that are classified as rare and hard to find, stamp collecting in Canada is definitely a rewarding hobby. So if you are a Canadian citizen and is interested in starting a Canadian stamp collecting, there are a few pointers that you need to know first before you start collecting those miniature masterpieces: 1. The ability to sort stamps Every stamp collector, whether a Canadian or not, should learn how to sort different kinds of stamps. It would be better to sort them first before you keep them in your album for record keeping. The sorting process will based on the of stamp collecting that you are interested in. for instance, if you want to collect stamps by topic, say, historical facts, start from there. You can even sort them according to their classifications like you could separate the special delivery stamps to those of the revenue stamps, and the list will go on. 2. Learn how to remove stamps in the envelope without damaging them If you have decided to start Canadian stamp collecting, it is extremely important that you know how to peel off those stamps from the envelopes without damaging even the slightest corner of the stamp. To do this, you must learn the proper way of soaking. In this process, you will be able to peel off the stamp without any damage. This is relatively easy because all you have to do is to cut the portion where the stamp is placed, taking extra care not to cut the stamp itself. Then, soak them in a basin of water, side up. It would be better if you will use some tepid water, not hot, as this will ruin your stamps. Do not be in a hurry when soaking stamps because you might have the propensity to soak too many stamps in one just batch. The idea here is to have the stamps extra room to drift above the surface of the water. Once they begin to resurface, try to pull them out carefully and then peel them off once you can sense that they are already to be detached from the paper. Remove any traces of adhesives at the back, then, place them in between "two paper towels" to dry. Also, keep in mind that if you have a myriad of stamps to soak, try to change the water every two sets so as to ensure that the stamps would be faster to peel off. To save more time and to preserve any identifiable marks within the envelope, it is best to keep the stamps as it is placed in the envelope. This will make your stamp collecting more interesting. 3. Use the right mounting tools The nest thing to learn is on how to place your stamps in the album. It is definitely a big NO-NO to place your stamps in the album using a glue or whatever adhesives that you have. The ideal way is to have them mounted or hinged. The choice is yours, but either of the two will do. These are available from any stamp dealers in your community. Just try to choose the ones that will work best for your collections. All of these things are boiled down to the fact that starting a Canadian stamp collecting is never complicated once you know these three pointers by heart. The idea of stamp collecting is to keep all your stuffs organized. Once you have familiarized yourself with Canadian stamp collecting, you are definitely on your way to a gratifying pastime. 2 Things That Every Stamp and Coin Collector Should Know Being in charge of their busy lives, most people would find the enticement of other activities that would fill the emptiness that stress and pressures could bring into their existence. The sense of being able to create something that not all people share the same degree of gratification would simply pertain to an activity that simply entails what fun really is. This particular kind of activity is known as a hobby. Exaggerations aside, a hobby is something that reflects a person's strong inclination or interest to something. And by merely engaging into such activity, he is able to fulfill the shallowness that they sense deep within. Some psychologists on a clinical study on 50 people, who were known executives in different businesses, contend that 75% of the total respondents have improved psychologically, emotionally, and even physically after their attention had been diverted into other activities without the pressures of everyday work. Hence, most psychologists believed that hobbies were not made just for the sake of having it but were created to heal a person's soul by taking interest to something with a different view. Consequently, along with the different examples of hobbies, collecting seems to be the most preferred diversion of the majority today. Varying from different objects, hobbyists get to collect the object that suits their line of interest. The profundity and the extent of the collected works may show a discrepancy. Take for example those people who are into stamp and coin collecting. The way they collect their objects may vary according to their specific interests. Hence, it could never be concluded that all of the stamp and coin collectors have the same interests. History has it that stamp and coin collectors have started collecting their "things" since its inception. For instance, stamp collectors were born during the birth of the stamps. Coin collectors, on the other hand, have started collecting coins during the 14th century when capitalism was still the main focus of the economy. It was during this time that people collect coins not because it is a hobby but because they wanted to save their money for future use. It was only during the moment when Francesco Petrarch, acclaimed as Father of Humanism, had seen the value of the coins beyond its capitalist environment that coin collecting started. After Petrarch had started this wonderful hobby, many people were enticed to lead the same leisure pursuit. From that time on, numismatics and philatelist, although both referred to the study of coins and stamps respectively, have been used and associated with coin and stamp collectors. With the sophistication that stamp and coin collecting can bring, more and more people are enticed to join this circle of collecting enthusiasts. However, not everybody who had tried was able to achieve something. Hence, for those who wish to be coin or stamp collectors someday, here are some tips that you should know before engaging into the wonderful world of stamp and coin collecting. 1. Know you leisure pursuit Experts insist that it is not enough that a person becomes interested into stamp and coin collecting. What matters most is the kind of knowledge about his interest that a would-be collector must learn. To do this, one should try to learn updated facts as well as the historical data of the stamps or the coins through books, magazines, and any other reading material that could provide the right information about the hobby. In fact, most of the experienced and successful stamp and coin collectors have asserted that education is the single most significant factor that will trigger the success of the hobby. 2. Collect for the true motivation Most of the stamp and coin collectors who have failed explained that one of the reasons why they did not succeed in this kind of leisure pursuit is because they were not able to identify the true reason why they started collecting in the first place. Some of them contended that they started collecting because their friends enticed them. It is as like everybody seems to be doing it, so why would not they. This is where the problem starts. What matters most in stamp and coin collecting is to have the real reason to commit one's self into this kind of hobby, and the only real reason that would drive an individual to stick to this kind of hobby is for him to love the activity. It is his ardor for the activity that he would be interested to find the rarest, buy the item even if it is expensive, and learn things as if it is some object under study. These are two of the most important things that every stamp and coin collector should know. This is because from these two things, the achievement is clearly defined once a person has a clear distinction between what he really wants and what he thinks he should have. These are two different things: the first refers to the feelings of a true collector, while the second one refers to the person who just wants to go with the flow or trend. How Collectors Price Their Stamps Stamp collecting is not exactly a new trend sweeping through the world; In fact, philately (or the study of stamps), and stamp collecting have been of interest to many enthusiasts for over centuries. In fact, the American Philatelic Society (APS), which is the biggest congregation of philatelists and stamp enthusiasts in the world with over 40, 000 members, was established in the year 1886. However, the standards by which the marketability and collectable worth of stamps have more or less remained constant. Stamps, generally, are determined as worthy of being collected on the basis of the quality of the stamp and rarity. Under the qualification of quality is firstly the physical wholeness of the stamp. In effect, it must not be creased, folded, and must still have complete perforated sides. In addition, considerations on its centeredness have the capacity to jack the prices up or drive them down. Centeredness means that the design is placed in equal distances from the perforated edges on all sides. An alternate definition for centeredness is that the perforated area under the design is much larger in measure than the one at the top. Color also plays a huge factor in the quality of the stamp. Consistent exposure to the sun and wrong storage methods can cause the color of the design to fade. Moreover, many amateur stamp collectors make the mistake of soaking stamps to remove them from the paper without taking into consideration the ink used to print the stamp and the ink of the cancellation on a used stamp. Stamps issued before the 1940s were printed using fugitive ink, which runs in water. Other times, a used stamp will have a cancellation that runs on water. Soaking the stamp will cause the cancellation's ink to run into the design, completely compromising the quality of the stamp. Aside from that, the condition of the gum or adhesive film at the back of the stamp is also taken into consideration. A stamp with its gum more or less still intact is much better than one that has been severely damaged by licking and sticking. As for rarity, this is rather obvious. How rare it is would more or less imply the degree of difficulty posed upon a collector to acquire the stamp. A mint or unused stamp has equal chances of being as expensive as a used stamp, and this is best determined by the availability of the stamp. A stamp with lesser propensity of being used on letters would be more expensive if it were acquired as a used stamp; a stamp, on the other hand, that was used in letters in huge volumes would obviously be much more expensive in its mint condition. The exception to this general rule of thumb is stamps that were already acquired at a steep price. These stamps, acquired expensive even when they are used, will likely to have prices hiked if the great demand to acquire it continues to increase. However, there may be great difficulty in trying to assess objectively the possible market value or worth of a stamp. Expert philatelists who are connoisseurs in stamp valuations are most likely able to objectively assess the worth of the stamp. These expert philatelists are not very hard to find. They are usually some of the stamp enthusiasts who've had much experience in trading, selling, and collecting stamps. Their services are made most accessible to members of philatelic clubs of which they are part. Some associations that afford their members the services of expert philatelists include the American Philatelic Society (APS), and its member organizations in various states and cities. On the other hand, other options are of greater accessibility especially to amateur stamp collectors. Across the country, most libraries have more or less an extensive collection of stamp catalogues that help guide stamp enthusiasts in finding out the various stamps issued under a particular theme or subject classification. Moreover, stamp catalogues contain a wealth of information as regards a certain price level for which these stamps are sold in the market. Usually, stamp prices are a little bit higher than how they would be sold by individual sellers. Nonetheless, these catalogues are useful guides when it comes to at least being aware of what price range the stamp would fall under. The most commonplace stamp catalogues available in the libraries include the US-based Stanley Gibbons, Britain's Michel, and Germany's OCB. The Encyclopedia of US Stamps The art and craft of stamp collecting is widely shared by millions of stamp collectors all over the world. This fact is very much recognized. The popularity and worth of the stamp collecting as a past time can not be disputed anymore. When it comes to stamp collecting, the United States ranks among the first. In US alone, the population of dedicated stamp collectors number to at least 20 million. This love for the hobby is passed on to the other members of the household. No wonder that despite the onset of the Internet and email technology, collecting stamps lives on and continues to spread. Actually, the Internet even paved the way for stamp collectors to meet together and propagate their enthusiasm. The US Postage Stamps Given that millions of stamp collectors reside in the United States, it is inevitable that a huge chunk of that millions will also desire to collect US postage stamps. The United States Postage Stamps The US postage stamps share and showcase as much history as the nation itself. As such, the stamp collectors are offered a huge selection of models and designes to choose from. It is one fact that makes stamp collecting a more interesting and challenging hobby. The first postage may not be issued in the Unites States. Still, the US postage experienced many points too. It was in the 1920's when stamp collecting became so widespread. At the same year, the stamps issued in United States that time had been given considerable value. This led most Americans in the 1930's to hoard mint US stamps. They hoped to sell this later on for a higher price. This never happened. Up to present, stamps issued in the 1930's are still of the ordinary value. They are even used by some in mailing letters. Since then, most of the stamps issued are generally of ordinary value. Yet, every now and then, high face value stamps would come out. This made the stamps more interesting and definitely worth more money. Some of the sought after stamps are the souvenir sheets, those with errors in printing and hard to find plates. Today, there are still many to look forward to. Plate blocks of US postage stamps are still bestsellers. They even are what most collectors really aim for, especially the traditional ones. Another hard-to-find type of US stamps are those that come in pairs ang groups. There are older United States postage stamps that can be acquired for very affordable values. Cancelled ones are also available. Definitely, those blocks of stamps that were barely cancelled are valuable still to the collection. The Encyclopedia of United States Stamps and Stamp Collecting This encyclopedia is not only good but a comprehensive almanac of the United States postage stamps and stamp collecting. It leads the reader to the a full scope of everything related to the US stamps. The Encyclopedia of United States Stamps and Stamp Collecting begins with the 'stampless covers' or those mails sent before the stamps came about. It then progresses to introduce the various stamps, starting from the first one issue, the 1845 Postmasters' Provisional down to the stamps of the 21st century. It gives details too of the history of the Postal Service as well the different stamp printers. There is even a section allotted for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The almanac also showcases the stamps issued for special delivery, revenue purposes and postal stationery. Even more interesting is the feature on the technological innovations in producing the stamps, the history of the movement of the mails and the markings, meters and machine postages. This is presented and made possible by a non-profit organization, the United States Stamp Society. The organization is dedicated to the study of everything related to US postage stamps, being the successor of Philatelic Plate Number Association. The United States Stamps and Stamp Collecting encyclopedia is definitely worth your money and time. It consists of 62 chapters usually set according to the historical era. The hard-bound book has 730 pages in it complete with colorful illustrations and materials. It is a worthy for the serious stamp collectors and very helpful for the beginners. More than being a good book on stamps, it is actually another view of the American history, its politcis, values, technology and culture. The Encyclopedia will be available starting June. Better secure an order now, to be the first to get hold of it. It can now be ordered online. Do not hesitate. Grab hold of this worthy resource. Why Collect Postage Stamps? Many people consider stamp collecting as a personal hobby. To get started in collecting stamps can be fun and exciting. It is important to be sure what type of stamps to search and look for. He must also know how to secure and preserve them so that he will be able to present them in a very organized and well-presented compilation of stamp collections. A mail cannot be delivered if it has no postage. It is a small square or rectangular piece of paper pasted on the right part of a mail. Postage stamps are very important to make a letter or message inside the envelope delivered to a person or organization at a certain location. Postage stamps can feature many designs. Printings like, cars, flowers, landmarks, animals, persons, places and events are the most common themes of these stamps. One of the main reasons why many people go for postage stamp collecting is because of the price value. The most famous items that are still available are the sports collectors' stamps, icons, landmarks, places, and famous celebrities. One of the most out sought collection stamp is the 1993 Elvis Presley postage stamp. The philatelic collectors have popularized it by insisting to include the image of Elvis from postage stamp circulation all over the country. Other famous celebrity postage stamps that followed are the sexy pictorials of Marilyn Monroe issue in 1995 and the James Dean stamp of 1996. There was also success for releasing cartoon postage stamps especially those with featured images of Bugs Bunny in 1997 and the peanuts postage stamp in 2001. The world of sports also has its share for issuing stamps that were widely accepted by sports enthusiasts like the Centennial Olympic stamps of 1996 and the Summer Olympics stamps in 1992. The Post Office also gave importance to the American community when they issued the Black Heritage series of postage stamps in the 70's. They featured great African Americans like Otis Redding and Harriet Tubman. These postage stamps are still widely recognized as collectors' items. Other postage stamps may seem to have valuable costs aside from these special commemorative postage stamps. Some of these stamps are valued because of the some errors in making these stamps. The United Post office may have released them and they have considered them collectibles because of the errors in the images and probably the imperfections on the stamps. The uniqueness of these postage stamps makes them valuable and considered special editions of stamps. For those aspiring stamp collectors, they may want to avail of some limited edition stamps from the main United States Post Office that have released commemorative stamps since early 2005 and is still making these featured postage stamps. The value of an average stamp is less expensive than a commemorative stamp. The difference with the price value is obvious. To most collectors, the ideal collections are the stamps that were not used yet for the mail. Most used stamps in mails may have been creased or torn already. However, a collector who goes for collecting because of the fun and pleasure may accept used stamps. Others may still go for the stamps that are not yet used because they are after the profit and price value of limited edition stamps. For those collectors who want to pursue their interest of making money out of these collections, they should remember some important thing to make the price value of their stamps increase in price value. A collector should know how to keep the stamps clean and keep them away from dirt and creases. If a person is lucky enough to avail initial release stamps, he should preserve the new issues with plastic coverings. He may also secure them with wax paper bags that he can buy at the post office. He should make sure to secure and preserve the postage stamps properly. He must find a place where he can store them. Stamp albums should help him organize and compile the items safely and have them presentably displayed. He must make sure the album is acid-free to ensure that it will not alter any sensitive prints and markings on the postage stamps. It is advisable to store them on a cool and dry place. How to Keep Stamps Fine-and-Dandy! Collecting stamps, for some people, is more than just a hobby -- it's a lifestyle. In fact, the world has been witness to decades upon decades of stamp collecting. Case in point: the American Philatelic Society (APS) with its 44, 000 members -- the biggest membership in the entire world -- was founded as early as 1886. The passion for collecting stamps is rooted in a variety of reasons. Some collect stamps because it helps them connect to a bigger historical identity of their country. Others collect stamps simply for their aesthetic value. Still others collect stamps because of its capacity to assist in educating people about history, culture, and events. Others partake in the tradition for the thrill of chasing that rare stamp, and at times, even gaining profit from the sales of a stamp that another collector is looking for. However, the greatest challenge faced by collectors is the storage and care of these stamps. The storage of these stamps, first and foremost, will help in the manageability of the collection. A stamp collection that is well organized and catalogue provides the collector with much ease in monitoring what stamps he or she already has or otherwise, and locate duplicates that may be sold to other buyers who may be interested in the same design. Moreover, stamp collections of huge volume are most preferably stored using minimal space, as much as possible; philatelists recommend that stamps are rather stored upright than laid out. However, the most important of all is protecting the quality and longevity of the stamp. As they are, stamps are printed on paper and are therefore perishable. This subjects them to a huge variety of natural conditions that can make or break the worth of the stamp to the collector or future prospective buyers. Protecting the stamp begins with proper handling; some professionals use tongs to handle stamps, keeping the natural oil found in the hands away from the stamp. This natural oil can corrode the stamp over time. More importantly, stamp collectors face the greater challenge of protecting the stamps against natural conditions like moisture, dust, heat, decay, and the like. The capacity of stamps to retain moisture that hastens the decaying process makes humid and warm places unfit for storage. Some of the places that must not be used to store these stamp collections include basements and attics that tend to get extremely warm on some seasons. In relation to moisture, heat has the very strong capacity to discolor and destroy the quality of the stamp. Continued exposure to the sun's rays and to heat will cause the colors to fade over time, making the design's details close to unnoticeable. Dust and other dirt particles have the corrosive property of damaging the stamps. Moreover, dusts pose the threat of becoming smeared unto the face or design of the stamp, compromising the design centered on it. As such, it is completely necessary to find adequate cases and storage solutions for stamp collections. While waiting to transfer stamps into more permanent albums, philatelists recommend the use of glassine, a very thin transparent paper that protects stamps from dust and air. However, glassine must only be temporarily resorted to; it should be of primary importance to find a suitable album for stamps. These albums, as much as possible, should be free from all forms of plasticizers. These plasticizers tend to chemically react to the components of the stamp, especially under high humidity and heat. The stamp may be completely ruined, or may stick to the album permanently if plasticizers are not avoided. However, at the end of the day, an album is not sufficient protection for a stamp collection that spans a lifetime of years. Usually, collectors make their cases dust-free by putting albums inside dust covers before storing them; others store their stamp albums in cabinets with doors or glass covers to minimize any other ulterior exposure to dust. While it is important to maintain stamps dust-free, it is also imperative that the stamps are not stored in an airtight container. Airtight containers leave no room for the stamp to 'breathe', and may cause accelerated aging to the stamp. In an airtight case, the stamp being protected from dust and moisture will most definitely turn to dust over the long run! Tips on Collecting Canadian Stamps Stamp is one of the most popular hobbies among Canadians. Canada has great respect on Stamp collecting which dates back to as early as the 17th century. Canadian Stamp collecting is no different than stamp collecting of other countries. The only difference is that, most Canadian stamps depict intense social issues and such is one of the hallmarks of Canadian stamp collecting. These social issues translate to understanding among various social events in the community, the country, and the world as a whole. Canadian stamps tell stories about these events without bias for they promote understanding and resolution. This apparent uniqueness among Canadian stamps is what makes Canadian stamp collecting an enjoyable one. To appreciate the value of Canadian stamp collecting the article uses the cardinals in exposing various information regarding collecting inventories and start possessing some of the most-sought stamps of the world. The Cardinals The purpose of this article is to enrich reader's views regarding stamp collecting, especially collecting stamps the Canadian way and how these information will affect you in your future decisions regarding this hobby. Possession is the rule of the game. Most people would have to spend thousands, while others could spend more, just to get the latest releases and "antic stamps". On May 10-12, an auction will be held for the mint collection of Sir Gawaine Baillies of British North America which will be held in New York. More than 1400 stamps dating from 1851 to 2000, will be featured in this auction and the estimated revenue for this grandiose stamp sale will reach more than $23 million. With this information at hand, it is best to answer the following cardinal questions and provide substantial justification as to how, why, when, where, and what you can get form this wonderful hobby. What First, one must realize that philately should not be treated as hobby alone. Stamp collecting provides you skill which will help you connect to the history of a specific location or person, animal or a thing. The type of stamps a person collects will speak, on a larger part, his behavior, personality, and personal standing on almost all issues. Stamps depicting floral and scenery are peace loving while people who love collecting psychedelically colored and abstract-themed stamps are revolutionary and argumentative. Why Stamps, especially, Canadian stamps are on of the best there is in the world. Possession of Canadian stamps puts you on top of other stamp collectors. Not just because they are one of the most popular but they are just some of the oldest there is in North America and the rest of the world. Where Canadian stamps are mostly auctioned and showcased in expositions and museum all throughout America and Europe. They are among the most-sought stamps in Europe and America. The legacy and memory that this stamp provides will entangle your love history to that of stamp collecting. If you are a beginner, it is always good to go over some reference catalogues (those that are considered standard by the Canada Philatelic Society) such as Unitrade Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps and Darnell Stamps of Canada. Various portals in the vast World Wide Web and the net alone is enough to give you information on stamp collecting, selling, dealerships and maintenance or caring tips, especially for Canadian stamps. Internet channels such as the Canadian Stamp News is also a wonderful resource if one is looking for information, tips, literature, history, significance and news related to stamp collecting, recent ad future auctions, happenings in the world of philately and club functions and events. When Age is no boundary in collecting stamps. Perhaps, among all hobbies in the world, stamp collecting is just one among the interesting and most flexible and can be take on as an additional hobby among adults and children alike. Collecting stamps can be fun and exciting but the pursuit can be most challenging if you are to start your own searching. Dealers can help you tips and information on how you can start your searching and start building up your collectibles. Collectibles can be a good investment if you are a serious collector. You can collect something that you take interest on or something which reflects your personality. Remember that people who are passionate about what thy are doing are the most who are always successful. Taking Care of Stamps Using an Album In order for the hobbyist to maintain an existing collection, this should be stored in a safe place free from dirt and other problems. Some people encase it in glass while others put it in a shelf. For people who collect stamps, the best place to preserve it is in an album. The first stamp album was made by Mr. Stanley Gibbons in the 19th century. Though this was primitive back then, this was the best way to take care of it. The problem was removing it since these did not have plastic slips to hold it. After addressing this problem, the modern album evolved. The album used for stamps is different from those used to hold photographs. Each page has layers of plastic slips on it which can hold a number of stamps per page. An album can be purchased at the local hobby store or in the bookstore. Since these only have a few pages, it will be a good idea to buy the type that can add more pages later on. Since the price of albums may be a bit expensive, perhaps ordering it from the internet can save the person some money. Some albums can only hold a few stamps per page. This is because placing stamps on the opposite side could damage it. Since this does not maximize the number of pages per album, it will be better to get the kind that has a plastic cover in between the pages. There are many ways to arrange stamps in the album. Those that belong to a certain year can be placed together. If the person has a lot of certain kind, this can also be placed in the same manner. Some stamps are also grouped in a certain collection. By finding all of these and putting it the album, other collectors will pay more for it since it takes to complete. Proper care should be given when transferring the stamps to the album. This will require some special tools such as a pair of tongs and magnifying glass to transport it safely especially when it is from an envelope. Another way to get stamps will be buying it in rolls then transferring it to the album. Proper care must be given at all times so the collector can sell it at a good price. The stamps inside the album should not be exposed to direct sunlight for a long time and must be stored in room temperature to prevent it from discoloration. The best kind of album to preserve stamps is the kind that has hinges or mounts on it. This will make it easier to take out when the collector wants to trade it with a fellow hobbyist. Some albums come separately with the pages that are used to hold the stamps. By picking the right kind that will suit the needs of the hobbyist, the person will have a good time making the collection get bigger. The album is something that is easy to carry around. Being lightweight, the person will able to bring it to exhibitions and conventions that are venues to trade stamps. This is better than holding the stamps in the folder or an envelope that could fall or get damaged when it is carried around. Stamp collecting is a hobby that takes time to expand. As the collection gets bigger, the person has to buy more albums. By finding a reputable supplier, the hobbyist will be assured that the stamps are in a safe place until such time that it will be sold or traded with other kinds. There are many companies that produce albums for hobbyists. By doing some research on the quality, the person will find the right one to handle the stamps. People who decide to pursue something like a hobby should be prepared with the responsibility that goes with it. Since taking care of it will require some money, the person has to think of the bigger picture. The album can make it all happen. By inserting the stamps properly in between the pages, this will really count when the time comes that the collector decides to trade it with other people or sell it and make a decent profit. Tips on How to Get Started with Your Stamp Collection Collecting stamp is a very famous hobby. It is a very easy activity that provides fun to many. If you would like to start your own collection of stamps, here is how to get started: 1. To get started with the hobby, you need to decide first on what kind of topic you would like to use for your collection. It is also recommended to start general but it is more exciting to choose a specific theme for your stamps. If you would like to collect postage stamps from other countries, you may start narrowing down your collection from stamps coming from a specific country that interests you. 2. You may also start by buying new stamps from the market. You can start the collection by choosing a specific country that you would like to choose. This will help you get a good start on your collection and this will also prevent duplication of your collection. Buying a whole pack will give you different designs that will make it interesting for you and motivate you to collect more. 3. If money is limited while starting the collection. You may want to consider asking your friends and relatives to give stamps that they are no longer using. They can also help you in asking their friends to donate their stamps to you. This will also be exciting since the stamps came from people who are special to you. This will make you value the stamps more because of their sentimental values. 4. Once your friends and relatives have learned that you are collecting stamps, you will learn that they will give you stamps as gifts for any occasion. This will make the collection easier for you. Some may even exert the effort of getting special editions or commemorative stamps to make you happy. 5. You may then narrow your collection by considering whether you like new or old stamps. Many people prefer old stamps in their collection. New stamps, on the other hand, are easier to find and manage. Once you have decided on what stamps to keep for your collection, you should not throw away the others since you can still exchange them with other collectors. 6. One benefit of stamp collecting is that you will not spend much money for the hobby. You may buy inexpensive tools and supplies needed for your collection. For starters, an album is the first thing to acquire. The most popular kind is the loose-leaf album. A loose-leaf album has a binder that has removable sheets. This will make the stamps easier to manage and compile. 7. It is also important that you should know how to remove the stamps from envelopes before you can place them in your album. You may cut the stamp from the envelope around the stamp but it is important to still leave a space between the scissors and the edges of the stamps. You can then place the stamp with the face turned down on a bowl of warm water. You may then peel the stamp, let it dry and place it in the album. 8. There are many resources where you can get information about stamps and stamp collecting. The Internet is the most effective way to search for stamps and determine where you can get the cheapest and even those that are hard to find. You can also make use of the Internet to make friends with other stamp collectors. This will help you become more interested in the hobby and they ca help you in finding the stamps you are looking for. You can also exchange stamps with one another making your collection bigger and more exciting. The best part of the collection is displaying them to your friends and loved ones. Once you have your own collection, you can show them to your friends and families. You may even have your own exhibit in the future. One way to let people know about your collection is by putting up your own website. You can make the website a place where you can exhibit all your stamps and you may also provide stories about the stamps and how you got them. Essential Supplies for the Stamp Collector Collecting stamps is a widely loved hobby all over the world. Stamps are pieces of history which has value that is sought after by the whole world. Collecting stamps is also a hobby that most people can engage into because of the minimal expenses that it requires. From the time of the birth of the stamp, people have been engaged in stamp collecting. The first stamp was introduced in 1840. After twenty years of stamp circulation, more than 70 countries have adopted the postage stamp system. There is an estimated 200 million collectors of postage stamps all over the world. There are around 125,000 stamp collecting supplies dealers and a handful of organizations and clubs which are centered on stamp collecting. The value of a stamp depends on the maintenance of its integrity and quality. The proper handling and care for stamps is necessary if one is to engage seriously in stamp collecting. There are several stamp collecting supplies that are available out there in the markets which can be availed to ensure proper handling of stamps. Here are some of them: Stamp mounts and stamp hinges Stamps are stored in albums or books. These books contain spaces where the stamps are placed using stamp mounts and stamp hinges. The stamp mount is used if one is paranoid in damaging the original gum of the stamp. Mounts have sleeves where the stamps are inserted and this eliminates the need to attache the stamp into a gum-coated hinge. The stamp mounts are more expensive than stamp hinges and are usually used to hold the more expensive stamps in the collection. Stamp hinges are the small rectangular pieces of paper or glassine which are coated with gum. They are primarily used to attach the stamps into the pages of the stamp books or albums. They function like a door which is held by hinges. The good thing about stamp hinges is that they are very inexpensive and one will not spend more than a few dollars to buy a thousand of these stamp holders. Stamp albums Stamp albums are very important in collecting postage stamps because they are used to secure the stamp collection. They allow the collector to be able to organize his stamp collection and display them in a very neat manner. Knowledge about the kind of stamp album which will be suitable for holding the stamp collection is a good thing to have. A good stamp album would have thick pages and can hold a lot of stress and withstand faulty handling. It must have ample space for the stamps so as not to get them too crowded. The binding of the album must be sturdy and strong enough to hold the pages more effectively and secure the stamps properly. The pages must be acid-free to avoid damaging the stamps. Stamp tongs Stamp tongs are comparable to ordinary tweezers. However, stamp tongs are usually made from plastic or stainless steel. They are primarily used to handle the stamps to prevent any damage from occurring. The use of tongs is a must for expensive stamps because a simple touch can decrease the value of a stamp. Magnifying glass A collector will examine his collection one time or another. In examining the stamps, one must use a magnifying glass so as to have a clear view of their conditions. Examining stamps is necessary to spot stamp tears, damages or errors and most especially, they are important for appreciating the beauty of the stamps. Perforation Gauge Perforation gauges are used to identify a stamp from a set of identical stamps. Perforations are a stamp's way of identifying itself. Every stamp has different perforations. The number of curves can be measured using a perforation gauge. They measure curves every two centimeters. Watermark Detector The use of a watermark detector will allow a stamp collector to see the patterns which are embossed on the stamps. The patterns indicate the time when the stamp was issued. Although not all stamps are embossed with watermarks, it sure is useful to have one at hand. There are many other stamp collecting supplies that are essential in the art of collecting stamps. If one is involved in stamp collecting, for any reason at all, he must have the proper tools to be able to make the experience fun and exciting. Buy and Sell Stamps Stamp collecting is considered to be one of the most popular hobbies in the world. This is despite the fact that there is not that much money that can be made from it even if the person has some of the oldest stamps dating back to the 19th century. Even if there isn't that much money that can be made, there are individuals who take advantage of it and buy a lot of stamps then sell it to people who want it for a little profit. It has made these people both collector and dealers of stamps. Just like the regular hobbyist, the dealer has to be careful in handling these. Should any dirt, oil or any damage happen to the inventory, it will be difficult for the person to sell it at the desired price. The dealer will need the proper tools to handle it. This includes the tweezers to transport the stamps from one place to another. It will really come in handy when the person passes it to the hobbyist who will pay some money so that it can be added to the collection. Since the dealer has to get stamps from other people to be able to sell it again, this person also needs a magnifying class so the true value of the stamp can be assessed and proper pricing for those want it can be made. Storing the stamps till people come and buy it must be stored in an album. The dealer can get this from a variety of places and the nearest are those sold in the local bookstore and at some specialty shops. Since the contents inside are fragile, this should be stored in room temperature and away from direct sunlight. Dealers need to practice how to use these instruments. Using an old letter with a stamp on it is a good exercise similar to the real thing. By practicing the proper way of handling it, the dealer can make a profit by selling these in good condition. This begins by putting it the part of the envelope with the stamp in water. When the two begin to separate, the dealer should use the tongs to pick up the stamp. This should be dried using the air and no water must be present anymore when it is placed into the album. Another place where the dealer can get stamps is at the post office. Since these are sold in rolls and some people are too lazy to go there, the person can buy it then deliver it to the collector with a little profit. The collector and dealer of stamps can also be found at auctions and exhibits of these small goods. These people can sell a set or in bulk to those who are willing to buy it at the right price. Another way to get customers will be to advertise in the newspaper by leaving some details and contact numbers. Since there is a demand for stamp collecting, calls will start coming in and deals can be made. The internet is another venue where the dealer and collector can advertise to hobbyists. By using everything at the person's disposal to get in touch with those who want to expand the existing stamp collections, the individual will be making a good income that will be used to buy more stamps and make this cycle continue. The dealer must have a price catalogue at all times. This will make it easy to get it from other suppliers and give the person an idea how much to sell it to the hobbyist. This can be bought at the local specialty store which gives its standard value in the market. Stamps are easier to acquire now compared to how it was years ago. By knowing what the hobbyists want regardless if it is old or new and finding the means to get it, money can be made. Stamp collecting will continue to flourish as long as people need to send parcels and documents to different places in the country and in the world. This will provide the dealer with something to buy and sell with and in the process make some money. Collecting Specialty Stamps Many stamp collectors observe the price value of special stamps and limited edition stamps. They take it as an important source for their investment and profit. Specialized collectors limit their interests on searching only the stamps that they may think have great values and price. A normal collector does not mind whether his collections are special or average. On the other hand, specialized collectors consider stamp collecting as a source for investment and income. These people limit their coverage of collecting different kinds of stamps. They only search for those stamps that are rare and limited. There are specialized collectible stamps that are available in different post offices in the country. One of those famous avenues for collectibles is the postage stamp. These are stamps considered as tokens that a person may have paid. They indicate a particular country or a specific date or event that may have been significant in the history of the country. Another avenue for collections is the postal stationery. It is a small piece of postal paper, envelope size that has a postal card and a letter sheet on it. Some also prefer the government-released postcards also known as the aerogram stamps. These are letters, which are sent through airmail. In addition, one of the most popular early issued postal stationery that traces the roots of the first stamps are those stationeries that came from the Kingdom of Sardinia and were issued on 1819. The revenue stamp is pasted on government packages to present that it is government tax revenue. Sources can vary from different areas of search, like the federal Duck stamps which are considered postage due stamps. This is a special edition stamp that denotes a U.S program for duck hunters of those near oceans and seas. Another special issued stamp is the Ding Darling stamp. This was first released in 1934 where a yearly competition is being held in making new designs for the duck stamp. This annual competition is participated by wildlife artist all across America to have the chance to win the prestigious award and being an instant artist in creating the new duck stamp. These duck stamps are very famous among the wildlife hunters. They avail these stamps on their local government post offices and their states main post offices. These stamps also serve as their license to hunt in the wildlife. Many collectors also look for those souvenir sheets. Postal government offices sometimes issue stamps in the same form similar to sheet of paper that has a large image on it. The different parts of the souvenir sheet are torn into small pieces for the purpose of using the torn sheets as postage stamp. Sometimes they associate these souvenir sheets to souvenir cards but they are totally different in form and in use. The first day ceremony programs are brochure or folder like stamps distributed to the participants or attendees of a first day ceremony program. They are featured as postage stamps that show the event message or images on the ceremony. Most collectors find their way to have a signature of the organizer or the main speaker on that special occasion. This could increase the price value of the postage stamp that has signatures. The souvenir pages are also interesting to collectors because these are pre-cancelled stamps from the brochure page of ceremonies or occasions that contains all the issuing subscriptions, design, and printing. They may have similar features with the first day ceremony postage stamps. Collecting specialty stamps can be associated to philatelic collections. They only narrow their option for searching and finding only stamps that has a special theme, postmarking, or coverings from the sources. For some people it can be very hard to collect commemorative and special stamps but for a philatelist, it can be thrilling and fulfilling especially if he profits and earns on investing his effort in collecting these stamps. For most people collecting stamps, they find it only as their hobby and they do it for fun. Every collector's interest depends on the stamp. Many find it as an inexpensive hobby and investment. A person can purchase a stamp without even spending hundreds of dollars to come up with an album of collections and commemoratives. Getting Stamps from a Reputable Supplier The internet has changed how people send mail. Until such time that technology finds a way to transport packages in the same manner, stamps will still be used to get documents and parcels from one destination to another. Stamps are not just used for packages when it goes through the post office. People also collect it for the artwork and detail on each which has historical value. This is the reason that a lot have made this into a hobby even if there is not that much money that can be made. Since the collector cannot always rely on mails being sent to the home and people don't trade it often, it is best to find someone who will supply the hobbyist with it to expand the collection. This supplier is someone who collects stamps and sells it off to other people at the same time. This individual should be knowledgeable about the subject since other people know what to look for when conducting business. A lot of these individuals can be found in the classified ads of the newspaper. These people always have sufficient stock and are willing to trade with those who have appreciation for stamps. There are also websites in the internet that act as a supplier to the hobbyist. Some of these only deal with local stamps that have been around since the 19th century. Others offer both local and foreign that also dates back to the same period. The supplier also has a price catalogue that is carried at all times. This is the basis where the person will decide how much to sell it to the hobbyist. Since this can easily be bought at the local specialty store, the stamps have standard value in the market. In terms of taking care of stamps, these people are no different than the hobbyists. The suppliers have to make sure that these are handled carefully. Dirt, oil or any elements must not damage the inventory since this will make it difficult to sell at a good price. The suppliers also handle the stamps with care which includes the use of tongs in giving the stamps to its new owner. The magnifying glass is also another tool these suppliers use to make sure that these were given in good condition and no one can complain after the transaction has taken place. Suppliers store these surplus stamps in room temperature storage areas. When the times comes that a deal will be made, this is the only time it is brought out for the prospective client to look at. There are two ways that transactions happen. The first meeting the supplier at the desired meeting place. This person will be carrying a few binders that the hobbyist can look at then arrangements will be made for the deal to push through. The second is meeting the supplier in the office. This is because that person can only carry a number of binders during a sales meeting. It will be good idea for the hobbyist to visit the office to see other designs that are worth adding to the collection. Suppliers also get some stamps from the post office since these are sold in rolls. These people get it at a discount for ordering in bulk then profiting from it when the hobbyist orders a page or two. These people also frequent auctions and exhibits. Since this is like a business, the steady flow of customers will ensure the success of being a supplier to the hobbyists. There are many stamp clubs around and asking fellow members how to get in touch with the supplier will help a lot in making the collection bigger. By using everything to get hold of the supplier, the person can be sure that the stamps are of good quality. This is a win-win situation since everybody gets something out of it. Stamps are easier to obtain now compared to how it was years ago. This is because the circulation of these items is more commonplace. By finding someone who can be trusted to get it from, it will not be difficult for the hobbyist to expand the collection that already exists at home. Grab Free Stamp Collecting Catalogues Stamp collecting is a worthwhile hobby. Stamp collecting and philately as well are popularly shared by many people all over the world as their favorite past time. It is one educational endeavor where a person can spend considerable effort and time. What Is Stamp Collecting? Stamp collecting is concerned with saving postage stamps from the letters. It involves earnest efforts to search out old stamps. It also includes the collection of objects related to stamps like envelopes with stamps on them. The stamp collector is very likely to find a another stamp collector just about everywhere due to the popularity of the past time. In United States alone, the population of stamp collectors reach 20 million. Stamp collecting, however, must not be confused with philately. Philately is the study of the stamps. Studying the stamp does not necessarily include the collection, nor does stamp collection necessitates the study. Most collectors simply enjoy the act of acquiring stamps. Ways of Collecting Stamps Most serious stamp collectors are not just into accumulating the stamps. They choose a certain aspect or detail and focus on it. There are just so many ways by which a stamp collector may narrow down his or her focus. One way is to collect only the stamps of a certain country, it may be of the own country or a foreign one. Some would be interested with the illustration featured in the stamp, for example cats, butterflies, airplanes or religious figures. There are people concerned only with stamps released on a certain year, like the year they were born or when a certain historical event took place. This can be more challenging yet still very much rewarding. The Challenge With the onset of the email technology, people now are less likely to receive a letter in their mailboxes. Thus the chances of acquiring more stamps are lessened. Still, the search goes on even if one cannot convince enough distant family and friends to communicate through snail mail. The Stamp Catalogue A stamp catalog or also stamp catalogue is a list or directory of postage stamp types. This will simply consist of a register of descriptions and prices of the stamps. This is not to be undermined. This is an essential tool for any serious philatelist. Initially, this catalogue were just used to help the dealers with the prices. Stanley Gibbons for one, still uses the stamp catalogues for that purpose. As time went on, philately as a past time developed as well the function of the stamp catalogues. The catalogues started featuring additional details regarding the stamps. It can include the date the stamp was issued, the color variations and many more. Philatelist recognized its significant purpose that it cannot help but to become widespread to most people. Stamp catalogues have different coverages. Only a handful is out there that cover the worldwide coverage: Michel catalogue, Stanley Gibbons catalogue, Scott catalogues and Minkus catalogue. This worldwide coverage is very considerable given that there are thousands of new stamps released every year from different countries. Each new stamps will have to be described. Furthermore, the prices of the stamps must also be taken into account. For some publishers,the prices are determined by collecting the data from dealers and auctions. Some catalogue publishers even give out specialized volumes. These contain additional details, most of the time according to nationality. Most countries would have their own catalogues or their 'national catalogs.' The postal administrations may come up with these catalogues. The experience with them however is that they do not supply the full details of the stamps featured. The leading dealer or publisher in the country can also initiate the effort to put up a catalogue. Some examples of the 'national catalogs' are the Brusden-White in Australia, Ma catalog and Yang catalog in China, Facit in Sweden and Anfils in catalog in Spain. Stamp shops have stamp catalogues that can be purchased. At present, thanks to the Internet technology, stamp catalogues can easily be accessed for purchase online. Most web sites on stamp collecting can link to another site that offers these stamp catalogues. The price range would usually depend on the kind of stamp catalogue. Discounted rates can also be offered by some web sites. Take note however that the discount may only apply to certain catalogues, usually those that covers a certain period only. What may sound better is a free stamp catalogue. Free stamps are usually offered by stamp companies or even a particular web site on stamp collecting. Some would offer free copies of their catalogues. The free stamp catalogues may not be as comprehensive as the worldwide catalogues but they can still be very useful resources for a dedicated stamp collector. One can easily avail of these free stamp catalogues offer as they are often used to promote the web site or to serve as a token for being a regular in the web site. So, simply grab the chance of this offer. There is nothing to lose only a free stamp catalogue to gain. The USPS and the World of Stamp Collecting Even before many philatelists thought up the hobby of stamp collecting, it is rather obvious that the act of exchanging letters through a centralized system that would recognize stamps as payment to cover carriage costs would have to be put in place. The American Philatelic Society (APS), which is the biggest convention of philatelists and collectors in the entire world, is predated by the United States Postal Service. For more than two centuries now, the United States Postal Service has delivered mail-letters and cards-in huge volumes to all its mailboxes situated in all of the states, including Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the American Virgin Islands. It serves 7.5 million customers daily through over 37, 000 postal offices, and providing employment for more than 700, 000 career employees. While the numbers are overwhelming, the huge network of the USPS only means one thing to stamp collectors and philatelists-this means the issue of a huge volume of stamps with great variety delivered to millions of homes daily. To approximate more closely, the USPS delivers 212 billion pieces of mail on average to over 144 million houses. The USPS caters to philatelists and stamp enthusiasts in other active avenues other than simply delivering letters to them. In fact, the USPS is the primary source of stamps that are continuously being collected by philatelists in the United States of America, and subsequently, the rest of the world. However, the USPS and the stamps it issues every year is not the singular pulse of the staff of USPS. Instead, every year, the designs issued on USPS stamps beat the pulse of the entire nation, thus reflecting American history at its best. Every year, the postal service receives thousands of design proposals from Americans on thousands of themes that may be featured in stamps. Through what is known as the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC) goes over this huge volume of submissions in order to recommend to the Postmaster General educational and interesting subjects for consideration. Because the CSAC employs no assistance or staff for its purposes, it takes a huge amount of time before a stamp is taken into regard. Subject submissions must be done in writing to provide each submission an equal opportunity of being reviewed and selected. A design proposed for a particular year must be submitted three years in advance of the proposed date of issuance. If the stamp proposal meets all the requirements of CSAC, it may at the end be chosen as one of the subjects forwarded for the approval of the Postmaster General. Otherwise, submissions may undergo to courses of action-either they will be rejected completely or put for future consideration. However, if the stamp is indeed chosen among thousands of submissions, it will be one of the 25 stamp proposals recommended to be made into commemorative stamps, alongside the extensive line issued by the Postal Service each year. If the proposal is set aside for future consideration, the submission will be put into file for the Committee to refer to in the future for when the submitted proposal is relevant. As for the translation of these proposals into designs, the Postal Service employs the services of trained stamp artists to bring these stamps to life. These commemorative stamps, alongside the regular issue stamps of the Postal Service, are made accessible to the public and to the philatelists through the various USPS postal offices as well as the convenient USPS Postal Store. In the Postal Store, the general public is offered stamps for mailing and shipping purposes, for leisure purposes, for collecting, and for education. Under the various items for collecting are the traditional first-day covers, commemorative panels, state quarters and stamps, and uncut press sheets. Non-stamp items include miniature mailboxes, which may be used to store stamps, lapel pins with stamp designs, as well as collecting supplies. First-day covers are stamps attached to envelopes and are cancelled on the same day that they are issued. Commemorative panels are a number of commemorative stamps in an attractive layout, including information on the event, state, or person being commemorated by the stamp. Stamp quarters and stamps is, collectively, a portfolio containing a number of quarters of the state and some stamps featuring the state, alongside pertinent facts and information. Alongside these collectibles offered by USPS, they also cater to, of course, the provision of the most basic and most important part of stamp collecting-the stamps. This would include 39-cent First Class stamps, the regular 37-cent stamps, additional stamps, priority stamps, and stamps in coils, panes, or stamp books. At the end of the day, the USPS fuels the continually growing hobby of philately and stamp collecting. Through its help, Americans and enthusiasts worldwide are given access to a continuous supply of stamps, and are given assurance that the stamps will keep on reflecting the strong and vibrant American spirit. The Land of the Free and Happy Philatelists Philately, or the study of stamps, is a huge field of study that has captured the attention of many Americans over the years. This fascination with stamps and the history that surrounds them has led to a hobby related to philately, which is collecting stamps. Usually, stamp collection begins with the acquisition of a first couple of stamps and the choice of a particular classification of stamps where the collector will concentrate his or her efforts on. The continued acquisition of the stamps for the collection is done either through personal letters, the postal office, trading with fellow collectors, or collectible stamp dealers, rare and high quality stamps under the chosen classification. However, while it may seem that a philatelic hobby is far too difficult or obscure, it actually is not. The collection and study of stamps is not a completely novel idea; over 110 countries worldwide have a sort of society for philatelists (or stamp collectors and enthusiasts). In the United States of America, philatelists banded together in the year 1886 under the umbrella of the American Philatelic Society (APS). For more than a century now, the APS provides its members not only an avenue to meet fellow enthusiasts, but also various services and informational programs to assist in the pursuit and enhancement of the collecting experience. Over this huge span of time, the APS has been kept alive by donations, sale of its various publications, receipt of payment for its services, and receipt of its members' dues. The community of APS is not a small one that may be overlooked. In the country, there are more than 44, 000 philatelists formally part of the APS. There are many others who are new to the trade, or are yet to find their way to APS. This huge number is proven by the fact that various states hold annual philatelic conventions for enthusiasts in the area to meet and convene. Another philatelic association in the United States known equally for its expertise is the Philatelic Foundation. Various classifications and concentrations of collection are available. Some of them include postage stamps from other countries (particularly those of age), postage stationery (including air letter sheets, government-issued post cards) that preceded the printing of the first stamp in the form we know today, revenue stamps, or first day cover stamps. However, one particular stamp category is more or less unique to the United States of America (and its adjacent territories, including Canada). These are Federal Duck stamps, which are used basically for licenses for duck hunters. These were created with the primary goal to conserve ducks and their immediate environment. This was evident when a well-known conservationist by the name of Ding Darling designed the first Federal Duck stamp, which was released in the year 1934. These stamps slowly became a tradition, with annual competitions participated in by many wildlife artists. At the end of the day, the winner ends up having his or her design printed on the year's Federal Duck stamp, alongside the instant fame and prestige coming with having the winning entry. The U.S. government, through the Department of Interior and local state agencies, spearheads the sale of these Federal Duck stamps. Revenues from the sales of the stamps go to the acquisition of wetlands, home to these ducks, with the intention of protecting and preserving them. First-day covers (FDCs), which are increasingly becoming popular with stamp collectors, are stamped envelopes cancelled on the very date the stamp is issued. The later designs of FDCs bear the theme of a particular stamp's issue, otherwise known as a cachet. Known philatelist George W. Linn cacheted the first FDC in the year 1923 for the Harding Memorial stamps. Today, cachetmaking is considered an art, and is achieved by various methods. These methods include drawing directly on the envelope, lithography, block printing, and laser printing, among others. Today, the U.S. produce huge volumes of cacheted stamps through the services of known cachetmaking companies like Artcraft, Colorano, and House of Farnam. However, stamp collecting in the United States was not always a smooth road. In the period of 1920s, the value of U.S. stamp issues increased significantly in value. This caused many Americans to collect mint U.S. stamp issues in bulk, with hopes of re-selling them some years down the line for a higher price. However, due to the fact that there are too many available in the market, among other reasons, these stamps are priced only a little over their original face value. Whatever the case, the trend of philately and stamp collecting in the United States may continue to grow over the years. Critics predicted a decrease in philately with the dawning of the Internet and email. However, the continued demand for stamps and the volume and frequency of turnover of stamp design continually increase over the years, bringing much excitement and celebration to the world of philately. The Pros of Stamp Collecting Albums Since the dawn of postage stamps, stamp collecting had been one of the most popular hobbies since then. With over 20 million of stamp collectors in the United States alone, stamp collecting is definitely a solid form of leisure pursuit that nobody can easily eliminate in the American history. As more and more people are still adding up to the number of stamp collectors in the U.S., experts believed that the number would continue to grow especially now that different tools and devices were created to make stamp collecting easier to manage. Experts contend that stamp collecting is simpler and more enjoyable if you have the exact devices and tools to assist you in identifying, evaluating, handling, and organizing your stamps. True blue stamp collectors have different stamp collecting tools that assist them in collecting different kinds and classifications of stamps with pleasure and the expertise. With the advent of the Internet, there are some software programs that were technically designed to aid the stamp collectors in organizing, evaluating, and monitoring their stamps. For some people who are not such tech-savvy, there a re tools that can also give you the same efficiency and reliability that these technological advancements can give you. Hence, if you are a newbie in stamp collecting, and you would like to learn how to keep and organize your stamps in such an easier way, you need to obtain a stamp album. Stamp collecting albums are one of the best storage tools that you can have without having to compromise your money. Why? Because as far as stamp collecting is concerned, stamp collecting albums are the best and the most affordable means of keeping track with your stamps. Stamp collecting albums are not just built for the sake of having them. In fact, stamp collectors do not just buy albums for their stamps but they also find some stamp albums worth collecting themselves. This is because most of the stamp albums these days are artistically designed to fit the tastes of stamp collectors like you. Here is a list of some of the advantages of stamp collecting albums. Go over them and see for yourself if these types of albums can really work for you. 1. Optimum protection Unlike coins, which are also one popular collecting hobby, stamps are more vulnerable and remain defenseless against damages and wear and tear, especially if they are on their own. This is because, as we all know, stamps are made from paper material; hence, it is susceptible to any damage even if it was unintentional or just by accident. For this reason, placing or keeping your stamps in a stamp collecting album is a perfect idea in protecting them against the harmful elements in the environment such as dirt, water, dust, or other perils brought about by animal or human activities. 2. Easier handling Stamp collecting album provides easier handling. This is because these albums contain different ways on how to keep or hold stamps. Generally, stamp collecting albums have two ways of handling the stamps. It could either be mounted or hinged. When opting for a mounted stamp, you can clearly see and easily identify each stamp because they are placed in a transparent plastic casing that can be opened on both areas. Using mounts is so easy because all you have to do is to put in the stamp into the mount, and then, fasten the mounts to the pages of the stamp collecting album. Even though they are a little costly than hinges, mounts offer better protection against moisture, dirt or dust, and air. On the other hand, hinges refer to see-through plastics or paper with unique "gum" on a particular side of the hinge. Hinges are glued at the back of the stamps, and then, the hinges are the ones that are attached to the pages in the stamp collecting albums. This type of securing stamps in the album is preferred by the stamp collectors if the kinds of stamps that they want to keep are those that are classified as "mint stamps." This is because with hinges, the adhesives or the gum is easily peeled of once the hinges are detached. 3. Affordable Most stamp collecting albums are more affordable to obtain than the other kinds of stamp collecting tools. Hence, almost all of the stamp collectors are opting to use albums, especially those who are still at the beginning stage of their hobby. Given all that, without these kinds of protective tools, stamp collecting may have never flourished up to this point in time because stamps would have been easily worn out as time has passed by. The Truth Behind Stamp Collecting and Value As the old adage goes, you will never see or realize the value of something unless it is gone. In stamp collecting, stamps do not have to disappear or go kaput before somebody knows or understands their value. In fact, people had long been knowledgeable about the value of stamps that is why stamp collecting was born in the first place. Simply put, if not for the value, stamps would have remained the usual miniature section in the envelope that bears no significant value except for the charges that a person has to pay before their letters will be sent. However, history has it that the value of stamps had been inclusive since the postage stamps were born in May 6, 1840. From that time on, stamp collecting had gradually transformed into a more profitable hobby as more and more people find the value of the stamps increasing as the years pass by. Most of these valuable stamps are rare and hard to find, hence, most stamp collectors consider them as authentic collector's items. Hence, they are more than willing to buy the item even if it will cost them lots of money. Since then, stamps had undergone many enhancements. From the original stamp that was first created in 1840 up to the latest design of stamps, stamp collecting continues to put up with the demands of the society, as they remain valuable in history and in the society. For this reason, most experts contend that stamp collecting is not just a simple example of a hobby. For most, it is one good way of diversion or relaxation. For others, stamp collecting is a highly profitable venture that they even converted this hobby into an extremely profitable business. In this context, stamp collecting is seen as a tool for financial advancement. Because of the value that the stamps hold, many people are finding their way into earning more money simply by trading some rare stamps or those that have higher value than what others think of. With the value that goes with it, stamps are deemed as valuable as the coins. In fact, additional features on the stamp surface add more value to the item. Such additions were perforations and artistic designs. Since July 1, 1845, the value of stamps have increased from 5 cents with over 300 miles travel distance and the letter's weight amounting to 1/2 ounce, to 34 cents, the 2001 value of stamps based on the 1st ounce. As it values increases, so thus its economic value. As a matter of fact, many economists claim that stamp collecting puts more value to the country's economy more than any kind of hobby available in the society. Here is a list of some of the reasons why stamp collecting is deemed valuable in the community: 1. Good investments Stamp collecting is considered by most businesspeople as something that triggers good investment opportunities. This is especially true when people are into rare stamp collecting. Rare stamps are more valuable than the ordinary stamps. The reason behind this is that the more the scarce a particular stamp is, the greater the demand for that stamp. Consequently, if the demands are higher, contrary to the law of supply and demand in economics, the value of the stamps increases. This does not necessarily mean that the older the stamp is, the higher the value. This is a common misconception among stamp collectors. The main idea here is that by the time old stamps are no longer seen or are hard to find these days, their level of scarcity increases. But what most collectors do not know is that the value of the rare stamp will still depend on the amount that is associated with it back in history. For instance, a "used copy" of a $5 stamp can almost cost a stamp collector $2,000, and because the production of these stamps back then was only limited, the level of scarcity is increased and will continue to increase as the demands for this particular stamp continues to grow. 2. Good sources of revenues Stamp collecting is considered as a good basis for revenues especially on countries that have inadequate or restricted production of stamps. This is because since stamp collecting is very popular, most stamp collectors would try to find their way to more valuable stamps in just about anywhere. Hence, small countries are able to generate more profit by simply creating more stamps that are not necessarily used for postage stamps. Most of these stamps are solely made for stamp collecting. Indeed, stamp collecting is a highly organized activity that generates benefits and profits not only for the collectors but for the whole community as well. The Excellent Tradition of Postage Stamp Collecting Stamp collectors, enthusiasts, and philatelists take so much interest in stamps because of the interesting story told by each stamp, and even by each stamp issue. There are a huge variety of things that may be collected in relation to stamps, and each individual collector can make a choice over categories when starting to collect. When collecting, some opt to collect state quarters and stamps. These are commemorative folios featuring the state, its quarters, and a group of usually 4 stamps in an attractive layout. State quarters and stamps pose very little challenge to a collector as they come almost ready for display and storage. Others opt to collect for non-stamp collectibles, like stamp lapels, or miniature mailboxes. Stamp lapels are commemorative pins issued by a particular company or country in connection to a historic event or person. The lapel, obviously, contains a stamp featuring the relevant theme. Miniature mailboxes, sold at the USPS Postal Store, are small tabletop USPS mailboxes that may be used to contain a small amount of stamps. However, as is evident, majority of stamp collectors opt for the most vital yet simplest thing -- postage stamps themselves. Postage stamps are stamps used as proof of payment for the service rendered by a postal office to provide carriage for a piece of letter, card, or mail equivalent to its pre-determined destination. However, because of the fact that stamps have been collected for decades upon decades, postage stamps are collectible in both their mint and used conditions. Used stamps usually come cancelled, and are found in letters already delivered to their rightful destination. These may be personally acquired from correspondence with other people within the locality or abroad. However, to increase the volume of the collection, collectors at times opt to go out of their way to buy kiloware. Kiloware is the collective term used to refer to the used stamps attached to a portion of the envelope they were originally attached sold in bulk or batches by companies and organizations that receive huge volumes of mail from all over the world. Other times, postage stamps are acquired used from other collectors selling or trading their wares. Another form of used stamps available are first day covers (FDCs), which are stamps cancelled on the same day that they are issued. Some opt to keep their used stamps still attached to the envelope that it came attached to in order to avoid damaging the stamps; those with more experience can afford the risk of personally soaking or lifting the stamp off its attachment. Soaking and lifting stamps pose the risk of completely damaging the stamp when done improperly and without adequate knowledge. For example, stamps issued before the 1940s were printed using fugitive ink, which run in water. Soaking these stamps will inevitable cause the design to fade and even completely disappear! Moreover, cancellations on the stamp may use water-soluble ink that can run onto the design when the stamp is soaked in water. Mint or unused stamps, however, may be purchased in postal stores in various forms. They may be bought in numbers as preferred (4s or 6s, depending on preference), or in panes, which are blocks of stamps. Other times, mint stamps may also be purchased in coils. Stamp coils are in reels used in slot machines in postal offices. Smaller coils are available for individual purchases as well. Do mint stamps hold more value than used stamps? Or is it the other way around? There is no actual objective measure that says a mint is better than a used stamp or vice versa. Instead, however, the law of demand and rarity explains best the assessed relative value that one would have over the other. Mint stamps are more expensive should it have been the trend to use these stamps in large volumes when it was issued. On the other hand, used stamps that were so rarely used in postage during the time of its use are more expensive than mint ones. Collecting postage stamps will never be likely a definitive and decisive collection. As it is, more than 212 billion pieces of mail are delivered every day in America. Moreover, the Postal Service issues a huge variety of stamp designs per month, with 25 citizen-proposed subjects alongside the already extensive line of regular stamps produced. However, stamps are historical pieces of note, and collecting postage stamps is taking part in a hobby that has a history all its own.
The Ultimate Price Guide in Stamp Collecting Stamp collecting is the act of gathering the stamps. Stamps are basically the labels placed on the letters as charge for the postal delivery. They are issued by the country or by the post office. It is considered as the one of the most popular hobbies in the world. This is an undisputed facts. Millions of stamp collectors share the enthusiasm and desire. In the United States alone, there are at least 20 million Americans who pursue the hobby. Philately is another endeavor related to stamp collecting, although not to be confused. The goal of stamp collecting is to simply collect. Philately on the other hand is the study of postage stamps and other matters related. This does not necessarily includes the act of collecting stamps nor does stamp collecting necessarily includes the study of it. Stamps The first stamp was issued in United Kingdom. The idea was put forth by an English civil servant Rowland Hill as a postal reform. This suggested for a uniform prepaid rate in the postage of letters. This is to make the system more efficient and less expensive. It was 1840 when the first one-penny stamp was issued in the UK. It was called the Penny Black and it displayed a monarchy, Queen Victoria. After the issuance of the first stamp, the country witness a large increase in the amount of mails sent. The quest to collect stamps came next, just some time after the first postage stamp was issued. It was claimed by some that the act of collecting increased when when the first lists were issued in 1861. Major collectors then began to consciously pour their efforts into acquiring more for their collection. The good thing about collecting stamps is that apart from their aesthetic appeal, they give a lot when it comes to history. They are in some way records too of the many aspects, like geography, politics, art or religion, of a certain civilization. Ways of Collecting Stamps It is fairly easy to collect stamps. Simply collect all the stamps used in the mails sent to you, especially those coming from other countries and you get your first collection with no expense at all. Once you have started, you will have a glance of different stamps, their various sizes, illustrations, countries of origin and colors. From this point on, some would choose to narrow down their choices in collecting. Some would go for stamps of a particular country. Some would collect only stamps of a particular decade. Others would be more interested with the hard to find ones. If there is enough number of stamp collectors in your network, you can easily make trades for the ones you have. You can exchange whatever you have in doubles. You can also ask from other people who are not into collecting. They can simply give to you the stamps used in the mails they received. The usual way by which serious and advanced stamp collectors acquire the additions to their set is to purchase stamps. Stamps can be bought in stamp shops, auctions and even from other people or collectors. Purchasing Stamps Definitive stamps are the common type received in the mail. They are generally printed daily. They can be easily bought from the postage service. There is no need for price guide for these stamps. They are indicated by the face value. The special type is called the commemorative stamp. It is issued only for a limited time. Commemorative stamps are issued to celebrate an event or anniversary or honor a person or historical figure. They can be acquired from stamp dealers. Stamp dealers are point persons you can ask questions about the stamps, including the price of certain stamps and even the valuation of your collection. The prices however will vary when it comes to commemorative stamps and some can be really expensive, especially the hard-to-find ones. Stamp Price Guide Any serious stamp collector would know that the stamp catalogue is the ultimate guide when it comes to postage stamps details and especially the price. Comprehensive stamp catalogues could provide the prices of old stamps to the ones recently released. The stamp shop is the traditional refuge when searching for the stamp catalogues. It can even have its own price list or price guide for the local stamps or for any special stamps the shop may choose to showcase. There are also further options now, especially with the help of technology. The Internet is a good resource to know the prices of stamps. Stamp catalogues can be purchased online already, some even for free. Web sites dedicated to stamp collecting offer also features like viewing the stamps and indicating their prices. Some can even go as far as classify the stamps. With the encouraging environment given now by technology and by other stamp collectors to the market, it is not difficult anymore to start the hobby of stamp collecting. Price guides for one educate enough a beginner to know what to expect when buying stamps for the collection. Despite the changes brought about by technology in communications, definitely stamp collecting is still here, to stay. Stamp Collecting is Fun! Stamp Collecting may start on a simple gift of stamps given to another person. This can give him the interest in becoming a stamp collector. He could also start collecting by considering it as a hobby. It is considered as one of the most popular hobbies that still exist in this modern time. Since earlier periods, stamp collecting has been popular among royalties in Western Europe. There was a time when all kinds of people became interested in stamp collecting and treated it as their personal hobby as well. Some people may wonder, why collect stamps? The reason they may point out is that stamps are only pieces of papers or pictures of some significant persons or events. Many people may think what would a person benefit and acquire in collecting these kinds of items. There should be many reasons why people collect stamps. People collect stamps because they find it really fun and enjoyable. The designs of stamps are appealing to every collector. They have very attractive designs with different colorful pictures and backgrounds. Aside from the attractive designs, it also gives a person the information about a significant person, event, sports, and everything a person could find interesting. Nevertheless, the most common stamp collectors collected are those with people, places, and events in the stamps, which may represent some valuable information regarding the history of a certain country or group. Stamp collecting provides resourceful knowledge while a person is having fun. He may not realize that he is learning and allotting some time to value such collections. For beginners, here are some tips on how to collect stamps: 1. A person can be a generalist and start collecting a variety of stamps that may feature everything. In this way, he may have an idea on what type of stamps he may specialize in collecting. He may place all his collection in an album and categorize each stamp according to topics or themes he has chosen. 2. If he loves to travel in different places, he may start collecting stamps from those places he may have visited. There are particular areas and locations that offer stamps that feature the history of the place and significant persons that may have lived in the place. 3. He may pursue collecting stamps he finds interesting. He may focus in collecting stuffs that he truly enjoys and stuffs that intrigue him. He may find those stamps that feature his favorite sport, sport icon, cars, fishes, and many more. 4. One advantage of collecting stamps is that a person can save more money and time because these items are affordable and easy to find. Unlike with other collections, the hobby may cost him more money and may consume much of his time in finding the collection that interests him. 5. He may join a special organization or club that have occasional gatherings and whose themes apply to his interests. He may meet people who are collecting the same stamps that he collects. He may trade his other stamps with other stamp collectors and they may give him tips and advice on how to take care of his stamps. 6. He may collect stamps with friends that are fond of this kind of hobby. He may enjoy it by sharing the stamps he collected and citing the information that is represented in the stamp. He may also ask his friends information on where to find more stamps that are related to his collections. 7. He may collect on his own by searching the Internet to find more stamps with the most affordable price available. He may look for stamps anytime he wants. It is considered as a passive hobby where he can relax and reduce stress. It also gives a person the feeling of accomplishment. 8. He may find that stamp collecting is a lifetime hobby. There is always something to know and learn about collecting stamps. It has a wide coverage of different things and persons. He may change the theme into other topics that he may think can bring another dimension to his stamping collecting. There are many ways on how to collect stamps. It is important to do something that really interests a person. It is even recommended to start collecting at a younger age and he will be surprised of the many things he may learn from this hobby. Coins and Stamps: A Favorite for Collectors People have different hobbies because people have different interests. There are people interested in sports, in arts, in crafts or even in games. What matters in choosing a hobby is that it keeps you interested. It makes idle time worthwhile. It tells a lot about the passions of a person. That is why most people are interest in collecting, collecting stamps and collecting coins. What Is Stamp Collecting? Stamp collecting is all about gathering stamps and anything related to it like the mails and the envelope. Stamps through the years have showcased more than mere pictures and illustrations. Important figures, historical and cultural events and artworks as well are featured in the stamp. It gives the hobby more relevance and significance to the collector. Stamp collecting however is often associated with philately. This two must be differentiated for the latter is concerned mainly in the study of stamps and anything related to it. Collecting stamps does not necessarily entail the study of it and vise versa. What is Coin Collecting? Coin collecting is concerned with the study and collection of coins. It can also involve paper money bearing the official design of the country and the monetary value. Coin collecting is also known as numismatics, taking from the Greek word nomisma, meaning coin. In the past centuries, coins have very high value. They do not only represent a value of money, they have their own value. Each coin contains an amount of gold or silver. This is one aspect that makes the hobby extra expensive, especially if it concerns old coins. However, the trend now in most nations is to replace the old coins with new ones made of inexpensive metals. Coins today have no intrinsic value anymore. This hobby requires caution. It is not all about collecting coins that will come your way. It has to be a genuine coin. It is part of the coin collecting hobby to physically examine the coin to know the grade, see the problems and make sure that it is authentic. This way, the value of the coin can be easily evaluated. It is important to identify the coin. It is important to know which country it came from and what is its face value. It must have a denomination, or else that coin must be a mere token. The authenticity of the coin will often require the opinion of an expert. Frauds have taken opportunity of many coin collectors before. Thus, before purchasing a valuable coin, it is a must to seek the help of an expert. The grade of a coin is the summary of its overall condition. The market value of the coin depends a lot in the grade. Cleaning is an important aspect of the hobby. A used coin will often be scratched, holed, altered, dinged or corroded. This is not pleasing to the eye. The coin should be kept clean and made attractive. What Is at Stake for Both? Stamp collecting and coin collecting, just like any hobby will require the effort and dedication of the collector. They both have to inquire into necessary information to get the worth of their money when purchasing. There is the danger of getting into fraudulent transactions. This must be avoided as much as possible. Both stamp collecting and coin collecting require particularity with the details as this will determine a lot the value of a piece for the collection. Both kinds of collectors refer to a catalogue to guide them through the different aspects of the collection. For the stamp collector, a stamp catalogue will provide the price details, date of issuance, country of origin, material and even the historical background of the stamp. This way the stamp collector will easily know which of the stamps should be included in the collection. This is also a good resource to know the price to bargain for in purchasing a stamp. For the coin collector, the coin catalogue will definitely help in ascertaining the price of the coin. The market value will also be influenced by the condition of the coin. The catalogue will also be a good resource to learn more information about coin collecting. The Collector and the Modern Technology Computer technology also helped the endeavors of the stamp and coin collectors. Collectors would often rely on database programs and spreadsheet templates to make an inventory of their collection. They also use it to list out the things they want and aim to collect. The computer software can also be used t print out albums with all the important details included. The internet also proves to be a haven to most collectors. They can meet fellow collectors and enthusiasts online. There are web sites available also that will provide information, updates and offers that stamp collectors and coin collectors will enjoy. The perseverance and dedication that a stamp collector and coin collector can showcase can be very amazing. That is why collecting is more than just a habit-forming hobby. Collecting can also teach values. That gives more worth to the money and to the collection. Some Things One Should Know About Stamp Collecting A stamp is a small piece of paper that is glued to the envelope whenever a document or a letter is sent via the post office. This is used both locally and internationally as a fee for the service rendered. There are two ways to send mail. The first is buying postage stamps then sending it using the mail box. The other is going to the nearby postal office and having the postal worker do it. People have found another thing to do with stamps. Instead of mailing it, some have turned it into a hobby now known as stamp collecting. Some people mistakenly think that an individual who is known as philately is the proper name for someone who collects stamps. This notion is wrong since this title is for those who study stamps. Stamp collecting can begin by cutting out the stamps that come from letters the person has received. Some may come locally while others can come from friends and family abroad. Another way to add stamps to the collection is going to the post office and buying it in bulk. Collecting the stamps can only go so far without the help from other people. The person can ask friends and family members to also give those coming from the letters. There are some who also sell these in bulk. A good place to find these is in the classified ads of the newspaper that can offer the collector a good bargain. The internet is also a good source to obtain these small objects. There are websites that do the same thing making it easy for those to expand the existing stamp collection. These are just the regular stamps. For those who want to specialize in old stamps or want to collect those from other countries, it will be a good idea to join philatelic exhibitions and bid at auctions. By looking at it closely, the person might be able to find some good deals which will be a good addition to the collection. Using money to acquire stamps is one way to deal with other collectors. This can also be done by trading what the person has with something of interest that the other collector possesses. Acquiring stamps is just one of the things that stamp collectors do. The other is taking care of it so that if the person wants to part with it in the future, some money can be made. The proper way to take care of a stamp is putting it in an album. Only one side per page should be used to avoid destroying or harming the others in the collection. If the collector has no more space, putting a plastic sheet over the stamp will allow the individual to put some stamps on the other side. Stamps should be handled with care. Since the hands may be dirty or oily, it is a good idea to use tongs when handling it to avoid causing any damage. A tong looks like tweezers but it is not the same thing. The edges of this object are the thinner making it easier to hold a stamp. The proper way to remove stamps from envelopes is cutting a small portion of the surrounding area and putting it in water. After some time, the collector should use tongs to extract it from the paper underneath, hold it in the air to dry before inserting it in the album. There are many things that could do harm to the stamps. The most common is sunlight. The hot rays of the sun may change the colors and the gum at the back may stick to the album making it hard to remove. This makes it important to always store it in room temperature. When working, it will be a good idea to not bring food or drinks in the area since it could damage the stamps. Smokers should also refrain from doing in the room since the smell could be transferred to the collection. Stamp collecting is a nice hobby that anyone can engage in. This activity is known as one of the most popular in the world. The person should just devote some time and effort in looking out for old and new ones and taking proper care of it. The Real Deal about Stamp Collecting Prices Stamps have been a ubiquitous part of everyday life. After all, stamps are one of the ingenious ways devised by the postal services in order to facilitate payment for the delivery of letters, mail equivalents, packets, and the like. Because of the ubiquity of stamps, it is inevitable that many individuals over the years took interest in collecting these stamps. As many stamp enthusiasts and scholars (otherwise known as philatelists) would argue, stamps are one of the best ways in order to study the history of any nation. Individuals who collect stamps have, over the years, banded together in order to help each other ease whatever external difficulties would be had in collecting stamps. As early as the year 1886, American philatelists already came together to establish the American Philatelic Society. To date, it is the biggest congregation of stamp enthusiasts in the world with its over 44, 000 members. The reason they banded together, aside from trying to get together people with similar interests, was to alleviate difficulties in stamp collecting. Admittedly, there are true benefits both financial and emotional to stamp collectors; however, they do come at a cost. Stamp collecting, as a start-up hobby, may not be half as expensive as the stamp collecting practiced by those who've taken it to heart. Usually, amateur collectors only go as far as collecting the various stamps attached to the letters they receive daily. Therefore, in the level of acquisition, there's very little expense incurred. However, while building a bigger and more comprehensive stamp collection, an amateur collector may find that the daily mail delivery may have turnover rates too slow to say that there is significant progress in building a collection. This is where it's important to know where to go to look for cheap sales of used stamps. Usually, organizations and offices that receive huge amounts of mail from all over the world sell the stamps in bulk, known to stamp collectors as kiloware. Kiloware is the collective term used to refer to stamps attached to a small portion of the original envelope where it was used, and sold in batches or bulks. This is one of the cheapest ways to build collections, as the stamps are sold at prices less than their face value. Moreover, companies aren't really intent on making huge profit out of enthusiasts, but just to make some money out of stamps, which they would have otherwise thrown away. Soaking or lifting stamps in order to remove them from where they are originally attached is a relatively costless process that would require more skill than money. However, in order to properly care for stamps, there are some overhead costs that must be covered. For example, many collectors do not handle their stamps manually. Handling of stamps is instead done with the aid of a trusty pair of tongs. This is because the hands secrete a natural oil that may prove damaging to the stamp in the long run. Moreover, part of the requirements of stamp collecting is proper storage and care. Stamps, unlike books or CDs, cannot be stacked or left lying around a room gathering dust. It has to be contained in a case that will allow the stamp to breathe (an airtight container will cause the stamp to deteriorate to dust). Stamps must also be protected from dust that can damage the stamp, and fluorescent light and direct sunlight that can cause discoloration in the stamp's design. Another important factor to be considered in storage is that the storage facility must not cause the stamps to stick against each other (and in effect, humidity must be controlled in some way), or destroy the gum at the back of the stamp when it is lifted or removed from containment. Moisture and water are enemies of stamps as they are perishable in nature and would obviously be ruined with continued exposure. If one were to collect huge volumes of stamps, it would also be important for storage to occupy a limited space. Glassine envelopes, which are see-through envelopes, are available at relatively cheap prices and may be used to temporarily contain stamps until one is able to transfer them to an album. Albums free with any form of plasticizers are perfect investments for stamp collectors because even if they would come at a higher price than other ordinary albums or storage books, these would help ensure the safety and protection of the stamp. When buying, selling, or trading stamps, be guided by stamp catalogues like Stanley Gibbons. These stamp catalogues, found in most libraries, contain information about various stamp issues, alongside a good estimate of the worth of a stamp. Usually, dealers sell well below catalogue price, so it is important to be knowledgeable of this estimate. Philatelic clubs and associations, for a minimal membership contribution, provide for services that greatly reduce collecting costs and prices. They afford the services of expert philatelists to its members, and provide access to stamp shows for its members to meet other enthusiasts and get good bargains on their collectibles. At the end of the day, the price to be paid in stamp collecting may be small compared to the fulfillment it would bring. However, it won't hurt knowing how to cut back costs to better enjoy the experience! What Makes a Good Stamp Collector? Stamp collecting is one hobby that is loved all over the world. Aside from the wonderful experience that stamps give to the collectors, it is also a very inexpensive hobby. Stamp collecting does not only involve collecting stamps per se but also other stamp-related pieces such as envelopes and packages which contains the stamps. Would one believe that stamp collectors are revenue-generating agents for countries which make limited edition stamps? There are collectors who are involved in collecting stamps for the sheer fun of it. There are those who have taken stamp collecting into a higher level and have taken a philatelic way of stamp collecting. Philately is basically the study of the intricate details of a stamp. Many have become philatelists because they have seen the value of the stamps. If one is starting to collect stamps, he can ask his immediate family members or friends for their stamps if they are not into collecting. Many people just throw away stamps without realizing that there are people who might be interested in them. One might want to ask his grandparents regarding stamps, they may have saved some stamps from years ago. Older stamps are harder to find and most probably more expensive than the common ones which are produced today. There are certain basic things that a stamp collector needs to be able to do. These things will make someone enjoy stamp collecting and preserve the integrity of his stamps. Whether a collector is a casual stamp collector or a philatelist, these are must-do things in stamp collecting. A good stamp collector: - keeps his collections safe Collecting stamps or anything in general is not about gathering all the items and leaving them somewhere in the corner of a room for it to catch dust or cobwebs. In collecting stamps, the items should be safely kept in a container (usually an album) which will keep them from being damaged or destroyed. The slightest tear or scratch on a stamp will definitely decrease its value. -has the right supplies In relation to the previous trait of a good collector, he must have the proper tools to be able to keep his collection safe. Having the right tools doesn't mean spending one's pockets out. Stamp collecting supplies are relatively inexpensive and one can avail them without digging too much into there pockets. -knows what to collect There's nothing wrong with collecting any kind of stamp in general, especially if one is just beginning to collect stamps. However, there would come a time that a collector feels the need to specifically target a certain set which he would want to collect. There are many different kinds of stamps which are out there for collecting. There are postage stamps, postal stationery, revenue stamps, first day covers and other stamp collectibles. If there are duplicate stamps, one might consider selling the duplicates or exchanging them for other kinds of stamps. This will avoid redundancy in the collection and allow it to expand. -knows how to assess the value of his stamps Stamps can be very valuable. One needs to have basic knowledge on how to appraise the value of his stamps. He can start by reading stamp catalogs and other detailed informational materials. Stamp catalogs list the price of different kinds of collectible stamps, they also give some nifty facts about certain stamps. One can also ask the help of expert stamp collectors about the values of certain stamps which are not included in the catalogs. These are just a few traits of a good stamp collector. No matter how one collects or what he collects, the important thing is that he enjoys what he does and finds meaning in it. Beginner's Guide To Stamp Collecting And Stamp Values Through stamp collecting, one discovers educational information about sports, science, history, arts, currency, animals, rituals and customs of different countries and their people. The hobby of collecting stamps, also recognized as philately, is among the world's most interesting and popular hobbies. Collectors find them attractive and fascinating at the same time educational. Some collect traditional stamps or "by the country" and others collect topical stamps which are stamps by design and some collect copies of only one kind of stamp (specialist), and there are some who collect stamps from all parts of the world or all types of stamps that they can find (worldwide). It all really depends on one's interests. For example, when one is fascinated with boats, one can collect stamps of boats and ships. Or any theme that interests you. There are a lot of stamp collectors that specializes in collecting presently existing "commemoratives" as their past time. Commemoratives are special stamps which are released for a restricted time by the "post office". They generally commemorate or celebrate special events or people, such as artists, wild life, antiques, and many others. A beginner philatelist or collector can start collecting stamps that arrives on the mail. To take off a stamp the envelope, cautiously rip the envelope away surrounding the stamp, careful that the stamp is well preserved. Then soak it in warm water and the piece of the envelope that is attached to it will just turn loose and allow you to carefully lift out the stamp with the use of tongs. On a piece of absorbent paper, set the stamp and set down a thick book over it when dry so that to flatten it. As a hobby, collecting stamps requires neatness and precision. Place the flattened and dried stamp in your album with hinges, or store it inside small "glassine envelopes" designed for stamp collecting. Stamp values: Stamps do not become automatically more valuable or expensive as they age. Valuable stamps are types of stamps that have been always holding a high value; in time, these can possibly increase their value, however ordinary stamps, common ones and of no or low value will stay in that low value regardless of time. Collections of valuable stamps (one's having high value) will be the ones which are considered precious or expensive today. Simply put, if the original stamp collector was purchasing stamps that were valuable and expensive before then up to now, the stamps will hold a great value. You can usually tell what kinds of stamps are displayed in the collection by just simply looking quickly at the collection's presentation. When presented in a careful and meticulous manner, then there is the possibility that some stamps in the collection are valuable. So if one has some commercially ordinary stamp albums with several gaps omitted on its pages, you do not have a "valuable collection"; whereas, if your albums have crafted pages with many complete sets as well as duplicates with "minor variations", etc then most probably, you have a good collection of valuable stamps among them. Perhaps you have inherited a collection of stamps that you have no interest with and just want to sell them, sad to say, you will get just a very small amount for it, and certainly much less than how much you think it would cost. Almost all stamps of most countries, especially Russian stamps, are of very little value whether used or new. Certainly, you can purchase unused, extremely old mint, "US postage stamps" for not more than their "face value". Used stamps usually are worth much less than new stamps, though old stamps with clear mints can at times add to the used stamp's value. If a collection of stamps are all sold at one time, the value may sometimes depend on how the collection are displayed and stored. If the collection are displayed and kept in such a manner that every stamp is assigned with a catalogue number, then, this becomes easy for somebody who is buying the collection to view it and know what they want to add in their collection. When the stamps are loose, then they are of very, very little value. In stamp collecting, the most basic rule is to just enjoy what one is collecting, to get satisfaction and pleasure from it. Value is not necessarily a factor here. So go ahead and collect whatever stamps that interests you and display your collection in whatever manner you like. Postage Stamp Collecting Stamp collecting has become one of the most loved hobbies of people throughout the world. A stamp contains a piece of time and a piece of place and that's why people love collecting them. Stamp collecting can also be a very inexpensive hobby and this is one of the main reasons why people join the stamp collecting bandwagon. Postage Stamps The first postage stamp was issued by Great Britain as a way to pre-pay for the cost of the delivery of mail. The first-ever stamp was issued on May 6, 1840. Sir Rowland Hill first came up with the idea of postage stamps as part of Great Britain's standardized postal rates. The first postage stamp was referred to as the Penny Black. It assisted in the elimination of certain problems that are associated with mail delivery. Twenty years after the stamp was introduced, it became so popular around the world that 70 countries adopted the postage stamp system. Stamp Collecting Postage stamp collecting was born basically at the same time that the first stamps were issued. Around 1860, there were already thousands of collectors and businessmen became caterers in terms of the desires of these collectors. The stamp madness swept Europe and the European colonies all over the world. People collected stamps in different ways. Some of them even went to cover their rooms with sheets of stamps which were issued. Business Businessmen found a niche in stamp collecting. They opened businesses that catered to the needs of the collectors. They started to sell different stamp collecting paraphernalia such as stamp books, hinges, coverings, etc. They also specialized in selling stamps. The oldest business which specializes in selling stamps and supplies is "Stanley Gibbons" in London. It was created back in 1856 and is still growing! Popularity Stamp collecting is continuously garnering popularity. In the United States alone, an estimated 25 million Americans collect postage stamps. Around the globe, there is an estimated 200 million stamp collectors. There are around 125,000 stamp dealers, manufacturers and other businesses that are connected with stamp collecting. There are also numerous associations, clubs and stamp-oriented organizations. There are also around 4000 shows and exhibitions about stamps in the United States annually. Taking Care of Stamps Many collectors house their stamps into specially-made albums and stamp books. The stamps are encased in special plastic which prevents them from being damaged. These plastic encasings are usually hinged so as to minimize contact with the stamps. There are other supplies such as stamp tongs and magnifying glasses which are useful in handling stamps. The value of a stamp is mainly dependent on the preservation of its condition. A single scratch on the stamp can render a stamp worthless. Ways of Collecting There are several ways of collecting stamps. People collect stamps according to their countries of origin or according to the time periods when they were issued. Some people like to collect stamps according to a certain sub-topic, such as collecting stamps which contain cartoon characters or perhaps their favorite animal. Postage stamp collecting is not only limited to collecting postage stamps per se. In general, stamp collecting refers to collecting stuff that are connected with stamps such as stamp covers, envelopes and containers which contain the stamps themselves. Philately Collecting stamps is not quite the same as philately. Philately is commonly associated with stamp collecting but it is actually the study of stamps. A philatelist may not necessarily be a collector and a collector need not be a philatelist. Economic Activity Stamp collecting has generated substantial revenues for small countries which create limited edition stamps. These stamps are designed to attract the collectors and are made for profit. Future for Stamp Collecting Some people argue that postage stamp collecting is nearing its end because of the advent of the different hi-tech communication systems such as the electronic mail or e-mail. However, nothing would beat a personalized mail coming from a dearly beloved friend or family member. People will never stop sending mails and packages to other people. And even though the need for postage stamps would decrease, the need for collecting stamps will not diminish. People will be more interested in collecting stamps especially under the assumption that they will become more and more difficult to find. Collecting postage stamps should not be clouded by too many rules and restrictions. Even though these stamps can actually be means of earning money, the real value of stamps come from the sheer fun that they give when one is collecting them. Stamp Collecting 101 Thanks to the advent of technology that has made almost any chore less time consuming. Now, more people can indulge more on various hobbies. One age-old past time that never loses its luster is stamp collecting. Are you one to start a plethora of stamp collection, too? It's easy. Here are some tips for newbies to get started: If you have none, buy some. Some assorted stamps from all over the world are available from stamp dealers or hobby shops. With just a few dollars, you can be an instant collector. If you are lucky enough to have access to stamp shows, you can even buy more than a handful of stamps in just a few bucks, as well. Just be in the know of stamp resources. A good bit of advice in starting out a stamp collection is to become a general stamp collector at first. This is for you to be able to amass thousands of stamps that will eventually make you an informed decision of what kind of stamp collector you plan to be. When you get the hang of it, you will develop a certain inclination to a few kinds of stamps that allow you to single out the kind of stamp that you really would want to focus on. Collect them like a pro. There's no safer way to collect stamps, safe in a sense of preserving them, than to collect them on paper. This means that if you collect stamps that are from mails, you have to cut the mail with the stamp. Stamps on paper are easier to handle since it prevents them from getting creased, torn or lost. One tip is to never try to pull the paper backing of a stamp as chances are it will get damaged. To be able to get the stamp in good condition, cut first the paper around the stamp with a sharp pair of scissors. Take care not to cut the perforations or edges of the stamp. De-paper them. It will be advisable for a newbie stamp collector to do this process with an expert as it will require soaking stamps into water that might make the color of the stamps run if not done properly. Of course, dry the stamps after soaking and taking off the paper backing. Even the drying part necessitates utmost precaution, too. After drying, flatten the stamps with any clamping device, a book can be an improvised clamp but there are really some customized stamp drying books that can do this job quite well. Sort them out. It will be helpful if you sort your stamps according to countries. Aside from identification purposes, it will also help in knowing what really makes you tick with your stamps. If stamps from a certain country enamor you, keep a mental note of that. Store them well. A stamp belongs to either an album or a stockbook. They are for holding your stamps. One can easily mount stamps on an album. The other perk of stamp collecting is getting stamps for free. Here's how? Solicit from your kins. What's hard with announcing that you are now officially a stamp collector and that all of your relatives are requested to save all the stamps they get from mails? If you don't have too many relatives, befriend! Also, if you are still one of few who get snail mails from distant friends, you can simply ask them to use more special stamps, e.g., commemorative stamps, to vamp up your collection. Your grandma might even have mails back in the olden days which have stamps that were made available when you were not yet born. Penpals can help. It's easy to look for pen pals. Go surf the Net and you will find a lot of people looking for others who prefer the old way of communication -- snail mail. Vary your pen friends, much better if you can speak other lingos as it will widen your horizon and consequently your stamp collection. Look for international business offices or government offices that receive foreign mails regularly. If you know people who handle the mails that go to those offices, it's easy to ask for some of the stamps. Just ask. Rummage through paper waste baskets near P.O. boxes. Since people who get mails from P.O. boxes usually discard their mails' envelops on the nearest trash cans, chances are you can a few stamps from those supposed to be garbage cans. Talk about one's waste can be one's treasure! Trade or swap. This is one way to widen the variety of your collection. Ask other stamp collectors to trade with you some of their duplicate stamps. Or if you know some more experienced collectors, ask if they can give you some of their duplicate stamps. Definitely, there will be some good-hearted folks who would be more than willing to give you a piece or two of their duplicate collections. With that rundown of basic know-how's of stamp collecting and some "begging" techniques, becoming an expert collector would be a cinch for you in no time. Collecting Both Coins and Stamps People who have plenty of time to spare can do a lot of things. Some suggest of getting of getting into sports while others can get a hobby. Those who want a good challenge can do more than one hobby at the same time. A good challenge will be in two of the most popular hobbies in the world namely coin collecting and stamps. To those who have not done this before, it will good idea to do some research. This should include the tools that are used to preserve it and where this can be acquired. A good place to get information is in books, asking those who are doing it as a hobby and resources that are available in the internet. The best thing to do is to focus on a particular time period then get working on it. The difference between the two is that the person can make more money in coin collecting. Should the person find one that is in good condition and has historical value, the value of it is more than twice what is on the coin. Another thing that makes coins more valuable is the fact that some are no longer in circulation. Silver coins were used until the 1930's and after that, these were converted into copper. Stamps on the other hand don't have a high value in the market. This is because even old ones are still being used on parcels and packages. For the person to know the value of the existing collection, coins and stamps have a price catalogue that can be obtained at the hobby shop which serves as guide to its value in the market. Both coins and stamps need an album to preserve it. This will keep these items in good condition which can be passed on to the next generation or traded for a collection of better value in the future. This is available in the hobby or book store and can be ordered online. The person should get the refillable type. This will save money in buying an additional album as the collection gets bigger. Coins and stamps need to be handled with care. This will prevent it from being damaged or discolored that will decrease its value in the market. The proper way of handling a coin is at its edges. The surface must not be touched by hand since fingerprints can smudge it. Cleaning the coins should be done in water and held in the air to dry. Polish must never be used since it could also damage the coin. Stamps on the other hand need special tools. A pair of tongs which is similar to tweezers must be used so that oil or dirt will not damage the surface. There are many venues where the person can collect stamps and coins. This can happen in conventions and exhibits. All the collector has to do is bring the album then talk with fellow hobbyists who may want to trade. An auction is another place where business can happen. The only problem is that it will cost a lot of money to bid for a coin. Stamps on the other hand are cheaper because of its availability in the market. People who do this as a hobby can also do some trading online. The person can advertise the collection on the net and trade it with other items or sell it off and make a decent profit. Stamps have dealers that make it easy for the collector to add new ones to the collection. These people can be found in the classified ads of the newspaper or online. Coins on the other don't have dealers. The best place to deal with it so through contacts in the hobby shop in the club that the person belongs in who may want buy or exchange it for something else. Stamp and coin collecting have similarities and differences. There are people who have waited years before being able to complete an entire collection. If the person has the patience and the determination to succeed, then this hobby is just right for the person. The individual should just be aware of the rules that go with engaging in it. Getting Stamps from a Collecting Company Stamp collecting is an interesting hobby. The person can start this at any age and have a collection of both local and foreign postage. There are a lot of places where the collection can begin. The first place is usually through the mail that the person has received over a period of time. Since this is a slow process and other ways of acquiring stamps have to be done. The person can but this from the postal office, become a member of a stamp club, check out exhibits and auctions or simply find a stamp collection company. There are many stamp collection companies in the internet that can provide a large collection both local and foreign that date back from 1800's until the present. Some of these are no longer in circulation which makes it difficult for the collector to acquire it from other sources. Aside from stamps, accessories and other equipment use in preserving the collection are also available. These include tongs that enables the collector to safely transfer it from the envelope to the album after it has been cleaned. This helps avoid the occurrence of smudges, dirt or oil on any part of the stamp that will make it lose its value. A magnifying glass is also needed to check on the quality of a stamp before buying it or trading it with a fellow collector. This will help check if the stamps are still in good condition and all the perforations are intact which will ensure the person that it has never been used. The stamp collecting company also sells albums. These special binders at times are of better quality than those sold at the local bookstore or at some specialty shops. Since the collection is very delicate, it is important to find something strong for it to be stored in. The stamp collecting company offers a lot of things to its members. Since some stamps are really hard to find, the stamp collecting company also provides assistance to its members in searching for it. The person should just type the kind of stamp then press the search icon. Within a few seconds, the site will provide the collector leads as to where these can be acquired. The member can also post an ad in the site to trade an excess quantity of a certain stamp in exchange for another kind that other members are willing to give up. The value of a certain stamp is higher if it has some historical significance connected to it. Since these are no longer in circulation, the stamp collection company that has a lot of these sometimes gives out special offers to its members. If the market value of these could reach a $100, the company can sell a bunch to the member for half the price. The stamp collecting company can also help the hobbyist assess the value of the stamps in the collection. By bringing the album to the office or taking pictures of it and uploading it into the computer, the person will know how much it is worth and perhaps sell some to get better stamps for the collection. The stamp collecting company is not only found in the internet. Some of these are in the neighborhood and looking through the classified ads or asking someone from the hobby store will help out a lot. Most of these offer the same things and the difference among these groups is the collections that are present and how much it would cost to get it. The collector can be a member of more than one stamp collecting company which will really be good in order for the person to expand it. This will mean more albums to get a bigger storage area for it. Though stamp collecting may be an old hobby, there are still those who give support to those who want to have one. This is even as technology has allowed people to send messages faster via the internet than through snail mail. As long as people still send packages and other documents using the post office, stamps will still be produced. Collectors can still add these to the existing collections making it still grow through the years. What Supplies Do You Need for Your Stamp Collection? Compared to other collectible items, stamp collections only require inexpensive supplies and accessories. These tools are essential in securing, protecting, and preserving any kind of stamps. Each stamp should be handled and cared using these tools to ensure that stamps would last a long time. A collector should exert the effort of availing these items. He should learn how to value the importance organizing and preserving the items he has collected. One true trait of a special collector is the way he preserves his collections by attending and being concerned with the safety of his stamps. It is important to preserve and secure the stamps because these items are only pieces of papers. They can easily be torn or may lose their designs when they are not properly attended. Here are some basic tools and accessories that are essential in securing a preserving stamp collections. 1. Stamp tongs are similar to tweezers that are designed and specially made to hold, and pick up the stamps. It is important to handle the stamps with the use of tongs. These are used especially for those stamps that have higher value and have limited edition versions. They may come in stainless plastic or stainless steel. He may want to consider buying the plastic tongs, which are more affordable than the stainless steel tongs. He needs to make sure that the tongs do not have sharp or pointed edges. 2. A watermark detector will allow a person to see the transparent prints and embossed markings that were intentionally made to value the price of the stamp. He may be able to detect those prints using watermark detectors and identify some forged stamps that are used for illegal purposes. 3. Magnifying glasses are helpful in examining and determining what kind of inscriptions and special prints are featured on the stamp. It may also be used to identify the condition of the paper, if it is a special or ordinary stamp. It also spots small wrinkles like spots or printing errors on the paper. These spotted markings may influence the value of the stamp. 4. Stamp hinges and mounts secure the stamp on the album. Stamp hinges are folded and rectangular in shapes, which are made from glassine paper wrapped with glue to hold firmly the stamps on the pages where they are pasted. These items have low prices and a person can purchase thousands of hinges for only a few dollars. On the other hand, stamp mounts also hold the stamps from the pages without altering the original glue of the stamp. The face of the stamp mount features a transparent plastic sleeves where the stamp will be placed. A collector can preserve and prolong the designs and marking in the stamp using these hinges and mounts. 5. Stamp catalogs are helpful in identifying the current value of a particular stamp. These items are also responsible for giving reference and information regarding the stamp's value and additional information about the stamp. There are catalogs available in libraries if he may not able to purchase these items. 6. Stamp albums are very essential to a stamp collector. Almost all stamps that are collected are placed in albums where they could be displayed and secured properly. A collector can organize and he may arrange his stamps according to the category or types they represent. He may choose what size of album he may purchase. There are albums that have large spaces and can accommodate thousands of stamps safely. 7. There are tiny aligned holes in the stamp that are called perforations. The purpose of the perforation is to allocate the individual stamp from those collective stamps. The use of the perforation gauge is to measure the tiny holes by 2 centimeters in length from the blocks to the perforation. Most of the time, stamps can have similar features and prints but one thing that separate their similarity are the perforations. These perforations serve as the identifying factor that will distinguish the difference between two identical stamps. These supplies and accessories are commonly used in stamp collecting. A collector can enjoy exhibiting and displaying his stamps on a well-organized album using some accessories that can make the stamp collection presentable and safely secured. A Guide to Stamp Collecting Supplies Stamp collecting is a hobby which is loved worldwide. In the United States alone, there is an estimated 20 million stamp collectors. It is a long tradition that has continued and will continue to exist. Why is stamp collecting so popular? It is a hobby that doesn't need many expensive tools or equipments. However, there are some basic tools that a collector must have to be able to further enjoy collecting and preserve the stamp in good condition. These tools are usually inexpensive and can be purchased easily. Here are some of the supplies for stamp collecting: Albums These albums are very significant in the whole stamp collecting hobby because it secures the stamps and allow the collector to be able to organize the stamp collection and at the same time display them in an attention-grabbing way. One must be able to know what kind of albums to use for his stamp collection. A good stamp album would have thick pages which can hold a lot of handling and stress. It must also have ample space for the stamps so as not to get them too crowded. The binding of the album must be sturdy and strong to hold the pages more effectively. Last, but not the least, the pages must be acid-free. Mounts and Hinges The small rectangular pieces of gum-coated paper or glassine are called stamp hinges. They are used to attach the stamps to the pages of the stamp album. They work like ordinary door or cabinet hinges. These hinges do not cost very much. In fact, one can purchase a thousand of them while spending only a few dollars. Another tool can be used to attach the stamp into the stamp album pages, this is the stamp mount. Unlike stamp hinges, stamp mounts do not damage the gum of the stamp. Mounts have sleeves where the stamps are inserted, therefore eliminating the need to attach the stamp to a gum-coated hinge. These mounts costs more than the stamp hinges and are usually used to hold the more expensive kinds of stamps. Tongs These are comparable to ordinary tweezers. These tongs are usually made from plastic or stainless steel. They are used for handling the stamp to prevent damaging it. Using tongs for expensive stamps is a must because a simple touch can destroy or decrease the value of a stamp. Magnifying glass In collecting stamps, one of the greatest thrills is examining the items. A magnifying glass is needed in order to effectively assess the stamp at hand. This will allow a collector to spot certain tears, damages or errors on stamps. Envelopes Thin translucent envelopes made of glassine come in different sized and are used for storing and sorting the stamps before they are placed in the stamp album. These can also be useful in mailing the stamps to other people. Watermark Detector This will allow a collector to see the embossed pattern that was printed on the stamp which indicates the time when the stamp was made. Although not all stamps are embossed with watermarks, having a watermark detector sure is handy. Catalogs These are good references for one to be able to assess the value of his stamps. Usually, these catalogs give some useful information or interesting facts about certain stamps which they feature. The world of stamp collecting is an exciting and wonderful one. Stamps tell the story of the world and its history. Having the proper stamp collecting supplies can make the whole experience of stamp collecting more intense and fun. 3 Things to Do When Stamp Coin Collecting Becomes Profitable Ever since the world began, humans were born to get busy. This is the main reason why most of the people are engaged into different activities life sports and different hobbies especially if they have nothing to do. One of the greatest and most preferred types of hobby is collecting. It is one form of hobby that entails the acquisition of certain items, particularly those that have value especially as it gets older. Take for example stamp and coin collecting. Most of the people who are engaged into this kind of collection sees and knows the value that is entailed within the coins and the stamps. The collectors know that as they collect their stuffs, the value gets higher especially for those rare items. However, the focus of the collection is not basically centered on the value itself. Most of the stamp and coin collecting activity has its focal point based on the interest of the collector. This goes to show that the vastness of the scope and the gravity of the purpose of stamp and coin collecting may vary from one person to another. By the time the passion for such collections grows deeper, some stamp and coin collectors were known to have their stuffs enter a trade with the other collectors. That is the time when they see the real value of this kind of hobby. As soon as they start collecting money, they finally realize the extent of income-generating potential of their collections, and so, they convert their stamp and coin collecting hobby into a more profitable endeavor. Therefore, what was once a mere hobby becomes a business in the end. However, engaging into such kind of activity can be very risky for any one who is into stamp and coin collecting. With so much fraudulent activities happening in the society these days, getting into a stamp and coin collecting trade can put the collector in a very unsafe situation. Nevertheless, once they get the hang of it and as soon as they were able to know the important things to consider when opting for a more profitable aspect of stamp and coin collecting, profits will surely start coming in. In order to ensure safety in every transaction, here is a list of some tips that every stamp and coin collector should know before engaging into a trade: 1. Make sure that the trader is trustworthy That is the best assurance that you can get. With all those unscrupulous people lurking around, looking for some victims, you just have to learn to find someone who is trustworthy enough for your trade. The best way to do that is to identify if the stamps or coins presented for trade are authentic. This kind of skill can be very tricky for the beginners, but once you get the hang of it, evaluating and identifying valuable, real coins and stamps would be very easy. Just keep in mind that it would be safer and definitely better to buy or trade your items from somebody who had been in the business for quite some time now. 2. Verify the state of the coins and the stamps In trading, it would really do you god if you will be able to identify and confirm the condition of the stamps and the coins that you are about to buy or trade. Take note of dented coins or the absence perforations. This will definitely degrade the value of the item. Hence, it is definitely a useless trade. But if you still want to have them just because you know that they will still be an added feature in your collection, be sure that you will be getting them for a lower fee. 3. Learn to spot a good item from the bad one Identifying a stamp or a coin during trade can be very difficult especially if you do not know anything about the proper classification of stamps and coins. Knowing these kinds of classifications can really affect the market value of the items. Hence, if you are into stamp and coin collecting, and have not been engaged in any kind of trade or has not yet been able to classify your stuffs, try to do it now. There is no better time for learning how to classify stamps and coins than today. Boiled down, stamp and coin collecting can be a very profitable hobby once you know its Ins and Outs. But until then, get more facts, study more. Once you have the confidence and the knowledge to join such transactions, go ahead and earn yourself some dollars. Stamp Collecting as a Fun Activity Many consider stamp collecting as a fun activity not only for older people but also for kids. It provides a person the pleasure of collecting different types of stamps that he may find in ordinary binders or through his received mail. Some people consider it an exciting hobby. For a beginner, he may be fond of compiling different kind of stamps from his album until he realizes that he could specialize in collecting the these stamps. It is indeed a fun hobby because a person may enjoy and learn different kinds of information from collecting stamps. A stamp features everything that may come into every person's mind from places, persons, sports, historical events, cars, and many more. He may find it rewarding in the future for having enough compilations and albums where he may display and exhibit his collection. He may also realize that he may profit from these items. There are special stamps that may feature an important event or a person. The price value of these special stamps can be expensive depending on their rarity and the limited versions of the releases. They can be similar to other commodities where a collector may find a dealer that can provide the possible price value of a particular stamp. A better option for him to profit more from his collection is to find stamp collectors that may show interest in some stamps that he may also be possibly collecting. He may advertise his collection in newspapers and magazines that conduct special advertisements for rare and special stamps. He may also make use of the Internet in joining auction sales for his stamps. He may also be ensured of an updated value of the stamp by comparing the offered value from current advertisements from the Internet. The price value can vary depending on the production and supply of the item. The increasing number of collectors that specializes from those rare stamps and limited edition stamps may motivate him to be more competitive in finding these items. There is also an increase on the price value because of this high demand. Nevertheless, they are more than just earning and profiting. Most stamp collectors consider it as a fun hobby. He may never compare the pleasure he feels every time he find those stamps that interested him. There could be many reasons why people collect stamps. In addition, one good reason they may answer is that it is fun and can give satisfaction of accomplishing something. It is also helps a person to be informed on different things. Most of these items feature insights about the landmarks and history of a country. This is one reason why it very popular and famous among other collections. A person can never get over the enthusiasm of learning and discovering new things. If he would like to pursue this hobby of being a stamp collector, here are some few things to keep in mind. 1. He should know what things that interest him. He may start finding for collections that can have special meanings or importance to him. He may have the option of choosing from simple stamps that he may receive from mail and postcards from binders. 2. He may join clubs and gatherings to interact with people. He might be able to meet people that are collecting items as well. He may ask the person that may have some collections related to these stamps. In this case, he may be able to trade some of his stamps in replace of that particular stamp. 3. He needs to make sure that he knows how to maximize his time in places where he travels. He may find places that he can possibly find stamps with the theme that he collects. 4. He may access some sites in the Internet that can provide information on where and how to look for rare and special stamps. 5. He may continue doing this hobby for as long as he is having fun. There are many topics and themes to choose from. A collector will not be limited on a certain topic. A stamp collector should always remember to take importance of the things that makes him fulfilled and pleased. He should take proper care to these kinds of items. Stamps are very sensitive. They are only pieces of paper but they have significant value and importance. How the Stamp Collector Should Work Stamp collecting is a very old hobby and is considered to be one of the most popular hobbies in the world. Though there is not that much money that can be made from this hobby unlike collecting coins, some people just do it for the fun of it. This hobby involves delicate work. A little smudge, dirt or oil on any part of the stamp loses it value. This will make it hard to trade it with other people should the person want to trade it in exchange for something else. The first thing that a person needs when working with these little objects is the proper tools. Stamps should be handled using a tong. This is similar to tweezers but has a flat edge. This will make it easy for the collector to transfer it from the envelope to the album. A magnifying glass is also needed to check on the quality of a stamp before buying it or trading it with a fellow collector. Stamps of good quality should have all the perforations intact which is the way of making sure it has never been used. The album is a special binder that is used to store stamps. This can be bought at the local bookstore or at some specialty shops. Since the contents inside are very delicate, this should be stored in temperature and away from direct sunlight. The best time to practice using these instruments is with letters that the person has received from people. The stamps are usually located on the upper right hand side and to get it out; the area around it must be cut out and placed in water. After some time, the envelope and stamp will separate. Using the tongs, the person should pick up the stamp, dry it in the air to make sure all the water has been taken out the inserting it in the album. This practice should be done every time there is a need to extract it from a glued surface. Another place where the person can get stamps without using a pair of tongs is by buying it from the post office. This can be bought per sheet and taken out later should the collector want to trade it with something that another collector has. There are also people who do business like this that can be found in the newspaper and in the internet who sell stamps in sheets for a price. It just takes some time for the individual to look around and find it. In order for the collector to have a wider network that can aid in the stamp collection, it will be a good idea to join a club. The benefits of being a member allow the person to trade with other members and stay informed about upcoming exhibits and fairs where further exchanges can be made. Stamps can also be acquired at auctions. All it takes is for the person to know when it will happen and be ready with some money to bid for it. The best way to determine if the stamp that is about to be bought is at a good price is by checking a price catalogue. This can be bought at the local specialty store which gives its standard value in the market. Stamp collecting is both a hobby and a business. Should the person have a lot of a certain kind, to be able to get others to add for the collection, this can be sold just like how other people do it to make some money. The best place to do it is the internet. The person can advertise it and have sort of an online auction. This can also be exchanged for other stamps. Stamps these days are circulated more often that it was years ago. Because of this, there is not that much money to be made even if the person has a very good collection. The internet and other ways of sending messages have made snail mail obsolete. Though this has not erased the use of the postal office or of stamps, it is still used in places where technology has not changed things. Stamp collecting is fun and looking some through old letters could be the beginning of something big. How to Become a Stamp Collector Stamp collecting is one of the most popular hobbies of many Americans and other cultures. It may be weird to some people who do not understand the joy people get from collecting stamps. Stamp collectors find it satisfying to see their huge collection of stamps from different countries, each depicting their own origins and purpose why they were produced. If you have a hobby of collecting different items, stamps may excite you the same way coins do. People who engage in collecting stamps do not just enjoy the hobby. They learn at the same time. They gain knowledge on art, history and stories about different places. If you want to be a serious stamp collector, you may want to consider collecting commemorative stamps. These stamps are produced by a certain country to depict a memorable event, a person or an important object that may be a part of their history. Why would a person want to be a stamp collector? Anyone can be a stamp collector. People of all ages may try this hobby. One main reason why collector choose stamps is that it is considered as one of the most affordable hobby. People may collect coins, cars, tags, pins and many more but stamps are considered one of the most inexpensive way of collecting. Stamp collectors come in all ages. It is not limited to certain type of group or age bracket. Even kids can become stamp collectors on their own little ways. Stamp collectors even start this hobby at a young age. What is important is the passion you have for collecting stamps regardless of their price and origin. A stamp collector may find old stamps that he can include in his collections. You may even get these stamps for less than a dollar. There are few collectible items that you may consider as inexpensive, and stamp collecting is one of them. A stamp collector may also benefit from learning from the stamps he collects. Collecting a stamp may interest a collector to research about the stamp, why it was produced and the events that are featured on a specific stamp. You will enjoy and at the same time learn many things from them. Being a stamp collector is not a difficult task. There are many places where you can get your own collection of stamps. Postage stamps used for airmail may also be used. Stamp collectors compile them depending on the country they came from. There are also sites and message boards in the Internet that features stamp collecting. You may even earn friends through these sites. People may also exchange stamps and some make use of these sites to display their collections. Others even consider selling their stamps thus making the hobby as their source of income. If you would like to be a stamp collector, then you should know all information about stamps. It does not necessarily require people to know everything. One important thing to remember is to know how to take care of ones collections. Stamp collectors are very disciplined when it comes to taking care of their stamps. That is because stamps are very fragile since they are made from paper and other thin materials. It takes responsibility to become a stamp collector. Stamp collectors are also considered as artists on their own way. And if you think you are not gifted with that talent, stamp collecting will help you discover the art that is within you. Stamps come in various colors and images. Some of the images may be considered an Art. Choosing from these many stamps will enhance your artistic skills and will develop your creativity and imagination. If you would like to be a stamp collector, you should also have the necessary supplies needed. If you are a beginner, the album is the first accessory needed. This will compile and organize all the stamps that were collected. The album will also ensure that the stamps will be safe from dirt and moist. Stamp collecting may be considered a skill to many. However, everyone can be a stamp collector if they wish. It is an educational and informative hobby that even kids will benefit from it. It does not only give fun and knowledge but it is also a way to discover the artistic side of every person. 8 Reasons Why Collectors Need Free Stamp Collecting Software Stamp collecting is one of the most well liked diversions or sidelines in the world. According to some statistical reports, from the 20 million stamp collectors in the United States, the numbers of collectors just keep on growing, as more and more people from around the globe are enticed to engage into this gratifying activity. On its basic context, stamp collecting involves a highly organizational skill that is absolutely required in order to manage a myriad of stamps. Considering the fact that there are as many varieties and classifications of stamps as there are stamps, managing these items can be very confusing especially if they are already too many. Getting an album or any tool to keep them intact would not be of much help once you have too many for your collections. However, with the advent of the Internet, things had definitely been easier for stamp collectors. With the arrival of stamp collection software programs made available for downloads, organizing stamps had never been so easy. Therefore, for those who are not yet aware of the benefits of stamp software collections, here is a list of some of its advantages and see for yourself if it works best for you: 1. Amazing organizer Since stamp collecting involves a lot of organizing and monitoring hundreds, if not thousands, of stamps, having a free stamp collection software is a definite plus. One of the best things about these free stamp collecting software programs is that they are capable of recording stamps by design. Once you have this software, the only thing you have to do is to encode a "stamp catalog number" and the rest, as they say, is history. 2. Value identification If you are not so much familiar on evaluating the values of the stamps, then, having a software program to do that is an advantage. The free stamp collecting software can absolutely evaluate the values of your stamps. In these way, it would be easier for you to locate which stamps would be great for trade-ins and which are best kept in secret! 3. Stats and more stats With free stamp coin collecting software, obtaining a statistical report of your collection is never hard to accomplish. Statistical reports can provide you accurate information regarding your stamp collections. With a good list of stamp compiled in a very reliable database, you can be sure that getting all the data for future reference will never be hard again. With this kind of software, numbers and figures really do matter. 4. Information overload With free stamp collecting software, all you have is an information overload. This is because, aside from being a good organizer, these kinds of software programs also include everything you need to know about stamp collecting. Best of all, there are thousands of United States stamp icons with their detailed profile. This could be very handy especially if you are just new in stamp collecting. 5. Friendly user interface One of the best things about these free stamp collecting software is that most of the programs are built in such a friendly user interface that anyone who is not technically expert in computers and software can actually use the program without any difficulty. Changing, editing, arranging, and organizing the stamps are relatively easier to do with stamp collecting software helping you finish all the transaction in a snap. This goes to show that with stamp collecting software, organizing stamps is so easy with just one click. 6. Printable information These kinds of software programs give you the option to print all of the information that you need. In turn, you would be able to keep a record of your stamp collecting in hard copy, which makes record keeping more reliable and dependable over time. 7. Online discussion group Most of the free stamp collecting software have online discussion group. This enables you to check on with the other stamp collectors. You get to ask other people about some information on stamp collecting as well. What's more, with the online help of this software, you can ask for any solutions once you need to troubleshoot your program. 8. They are free The greatest benefit that you can obtain from these kinds of software is that they are absolutely free. Imagine that! Without any frills, you can get remarkable and dependable software without spending any money. Given all that, obtaining a free stamp collecting software is unquestionably the best tool any stamp collector could ever have. Stamp Collecting Freeware The world is just getting smaller and smaller. With the onset of the Internet technology, the email correspondences and the cellular phone, miles and miles of distance seem to be an issue only of yesterday. However, it is not only the means of communications that makes the world smaller. Sharing something with other people in the other parts of the world is a better way to have some sort of connection. If there is one endeavor that proves to be worthwhile and interesting in this regard, it is stamp collecting. Stamp collecting is a popular hobby. It is shared by millions of people worldwide. People of different ages, nationalities and languages are able to share the sentiments over their favorite past time. They all partake of the longing to look for more stamps to add up to the collection. What is it really about stamp collecting that make people love it? Stamp Collecting Stamp collecting involves the act of saving stamps from the mails and searching further to gather stamps. The stamp collectors can look for very old stamps of other civilizations or simply acquire high-valued ones. They represent more than the value of the postage service in delivering the letter. It also provides one way of looking into the history, culture, politics and art of a certain civilization. Collecting Stamps Collecting can be very inexpensive in many ways. Simply gather all the mails in the household and collect the stamps attached. Some people pursue having pen pals abroad to start on their foreign stamp collection. It will not hurt also to ask other friends . More often than not they will be willing to give the stamps from their mail stack. Simply seek for another stamp collector and trade with one another. There may be stamp clubs in the vicinity or in school that one can choose to join. Another way for collectors to gather more stamps is to buy from stamp shops or from the postal service. The ordinary stamps will not cost much, they can be purchased at face value. Some items for advanced collectors and the high-valued stamps can be very expensive. Still these stamps are really worthy, so for a serious collector, the price is nothing. To get a guidance in stamp collecting, it will be very helpful to get a stamp catalogue. This will showcase the stamps with its details and even the price. It can also be a good way to know the value of the stamps in the collections. Stamp Collection Equipment Stamp collecting will have to entail the care of the items. There are actually little equipment required to support this hobby. A stamp collector needs only a stamp album to accommodate the items. Some mounts can be acquired to properly attach the stamps to the pages. Other stamp albums have plastic strips where the stamps can be easily inserted. Tongs and tweezers may also prove to be helpful in stamp collecting. They are good tools when removing the stamps from the letters. These stamps are not to be forced away from the paper. There is a proper procedure to remove the stamps at the same time ensuring their preservation. It is best to tear away the part of the envelope with the stamp in it from the rest of the mail. Then soak this in water for a few minutes. The stamp will then separate from the paper as the gum gets dissolved in the water. Use the tongs to pick up the stamps and to mount it to a proper place. Serious stamp collectors also consider inventory of the stamps as an important element of the hobby. These written inventories can prove helpful to keep track of the collection and to know the details and valuations of the stamps acquired through the years. Stamp Collecting in an Advancing World Many people feared that stamp collecting may dwindle as the Internet technology give less reason to send a mail to a correspondence. This was expressed before when telecommunications was feared to overpower the mailing system. Still, stamp collecting remained and flourished. The Internet technology may even actually be a good thing to for the stamp collector. It may be a good way to meet people who share the same interests. It may even bring stamp collectors together. Stamp Collecting Software One good thing about the Internet is that it provides another resource for the serious stamp collectors. It can provide numerous information about stamps all over the world. It can even be a venue to purchase stuff like stamps, stamp catalogues and more. Some stamp enthusiasts with web sites even developed some software that is something for a devotee to enjoy. The stamp collecting software contains the important information and images and they are all about stamps. This is also the best tool to organize the collection. It can also serve as a good stamp inventory software. With this, you can easily keep track of those stamps, their numbers, date of issuance as well the purchase prices. Another better thing about the online community is that you can have such wonderful software products for free. Some web sites dedicated to stamp collecting allow their regular members to have this as freeware. Sometimes, all you have to do to get the software is to give your email address to receive future updates and information. Nothing to lose at all. So, as you proceed with the stamp collecting hobby, make sure that you grab hold of the stamp collecting software for free! What's the Buzz on Stamp Collecting? In most states and counties, it is common to find a variety of groups catering to the hobby of collecting stamps. People engage in stamp collecting as a general interest; other times they are in it because of the possibility of profit in collecting rare stamps. This profit comes from the fact that stamps hold a degree of history of a community, or even an entire country. While some people collect stamps without regard for its quality or details, the more dedicated stamp collectors who understand this profitability pay attention to a variety of details that would determine the worth of the stamp. CONDITION The first and most simple rule of thumb is -- if the stamp is damaged, it's likely to be worth very little, or worth nothing at all. The condition of the stamp plays a huge factor especially with dedicated collectors. A used stamp in excellent condition is one with its complete set of perforated edges and is not torn, has the design centered in the stamp, still retains a degree of vibrancy of color as when it was issued, has a very light cancellation stamp (as with used stamps), and the gum or adhesive of the stamp as close to intactness as possible, and is not creased or folded in any way. A stamp without its complete set of perforated edges has lesser value than its counterpart with less physical damage. Meanwhile, a stamp with equal spaces placed between the perforation and the stamp's design is considered 'centered'; its value marginally decreases when it is poorly centered, and greatly decreases when the perforation runs through the design. The vibrancy of the colors of the design, on the other hand, is affected by the soaking or lifting method used on the stamp to remove it from its original envelope attachment, or by exposure to sunlight. Obviously, the more vibrant the colors are, the greater the value of the stamp. The cancellation of a used stamp plays a vital role because if the stamp is too heavily cancelled, there is a huge possibility that the visibility and clarity of the design is compromised. Lastly, a stamp with the gum or adhesive as close to being intact has greater value. Hinges, or the marks left by heavy licking and attachment to paper, greatly affect the value of the stamp. A lightly hinged stamp would be of higher value than one that is heavily hinged. Unless one is an expert in stamp lifting or soaking, many stamp collectors opt to keep their stamps attached to a small portion of the envelope they were originally attached to. The first reason for keeping the stamp attached is the fear of tearing or damaging the physical wholeness or condition of the stamp, which may happen when removing the stamp with insufficient or no soaking at all. Another possibility is that of the ink of the stamp running. This happens usually with stamps issued before the 1940s. During this period, fugitive ink, which runs in water, was used to print the designs on the stamps. Some of the ink used in canceling stamps may also run in water onto the design and completely ruin the stamp completely; therefore with the difficulty of identifying the ink used in stamp cancellations, stamp collectors either resort to stamp lifting or simply keeping the stamp in its original form. Soaking stamps may also cause the design to fade and lose its vibrancy. UNIQUENESS The second consideration that must be put to mind is the uniqueness of the stamp. The profitability of the stamp comes from the fact that many collectors seek out particular designs. A unique stamp may be three things -- a stamp from a much earlier period, and thus holds a great historical value, a stamp that was released in limited numbers over a short period of time, and a stamp that features a particular historical or social event of note to collectors and the general public. The fewer of the stamp available for acquisition in the free philatelic market, the likelier the stamp enthusiasts will bid higher for it. In relation to this second consideration is the DEMAND for the stamp. This is usually indicative of the market value that a stamp can go for, and is usually revealed in stamp catalogues. Stamp catalogues, which are accessible from most libraries, will not only reveal the possible selling price of the stamp (although most sellers mark their stamps at a lower price), but also how many of the stamp was issued, where it was issued, and how it may be classified. Some popular stamp catalogues available in libraries include the Scott, Stanley Gibbons, Michel, OCB, Hibernian, and Sakura catalogues. The price quoted in the catalogue will clearly imply how much collectors are willing to pay to get that stamp. At the end of the day, a professional stamp dealer may help in the valuation of the stamp. The valuation of the stamp may be subject to the experience of the professional dealer and his or her knowledge of its demand; however, he or she will still return to the basic three listed above. This is because among all else, these are universal standards by which a stamp's worth is measured. What is in a Stamp Collecting Merit Badge that Makes It So Special? It must have been a confusing part for people who are not so much into stamp collecting when some people say that they have acquired their first sets of stamps during their scouting years as they tried to gain some merit badges. Basically, merit badges are reward or honors given to the "Boy Scouts of America," based upon the different activities required for them to accomplish. Each activity is centered on a particular "area of study." The object of this activity is to finish all the actions that were called for. Once accomplished, a particular merit badge is awarded to the concerned person. Every merit badge that is given to a particular buy scout includes a leaflet or a booklet that entails all the information regarding the merit badge as well as the requirements for that particular award. There are instances wherein some badges should be obtained by a member of the Boy Scouts of America in order to achieve the "highest rank" in the organization -- the Eagle Scout. Consequently, among the many subject areas that are included in the long list of merit badges is the stamp collecting. The stamp collecting merit badge was created in 1932 and has continuously been updated ever since. In fact, it was just in January 1, 2001 that this particular merit badge was updated. In the updated edition of the stamp collecting merit badge, most of the changes were focused on the requirements stipulated in the merit badge. Some of the notable changes are purely textual in nature. Here are some of the examples: 1. In the 5th requirement for this particular merit badge, wherein the scout is required to show the functions of at least 3 of the given "stamp collector's tool," the letter "s" in the word "magnifier" was omitted. 2. In the 8th requirement, where the scouts are required to "mount and show" some given requirements based on a stamp album that was "homemade" or was bought at a local stamp collector retailer. The requirement on showing and mounting a "collection of 75 or more different stamps on a single topic," the word "scouts" as one of the given topics was change to "scouting," and instead of the inclusion of the term "etc." it was also omitted. These are just the known changes in the updated version of the stamp collecting merit badge. They may seem minor in details but they could have been made for some purposes that were not disclosed. For a gist of the requirements stipulated in the stamp collecting merit badge, here is a list, though, not in full details just to give you an idea what stamp collecting merit badge is all about. 1. Stamp collecting merit badge requires a scout to explain how history, people, geography, etc. was better understand through stamp collecting. It was also required by the merit badge that the scout should be able to know the development of the U.S. postal system as well as its difference with that of the other countries. 2. They were asked to describe the concept of "topical stamp collecting" and the different classifications of stamp collections. 3. Scouts are required to present some examples of the different kinds of stamps like the perforated stamps, coil stamps, etc. 4. Scouts were required to prove the link between the "catalog value" and the equivalent market value of the stamps. They were also asked to give details on the definition of the word "condition" when associated or linked with the stamps. 5. In order to gain stamp collecting merit badge, scouts were also required to show "at least three" of the given "stamp collector's tool" like the stamp tongs, envelopes, hinges, and magnifier. 6. Certain activities were also required to be performed by the scouts such as the proper way of mounting stamps in a stamp album. Then, they were required to talk about ways on how to contribute in the preservation of the stamps and the accessories that go with it. 7. Scouts were also required to perform any two of the given actions stipulated in the merit badge such as writing a review on a particular article from a magazine, book, or a newspaper about stamp collecting or learn to plan a stamp. 8. Lastly, scouts were asked to "mount and show" any of the given requirements in order to complete the task such as "a collection of 250 or more dissimilar stamps" taken from no less than 15 countries. Once the scouts were able to finish all of these tasks, they will be awarded with the stamp collecting merit badge, in which they can brag about. The bottom line is that stamp collecting merit badge, just like the other merit badges, were created to entice the scouts to explore and learn more on the area of their interest in the same way that they learn to value each skill that they learn in the "Scoutcraft." One of the best things about these merit badges is that these become the trigger that lures the scouts to engage into a particular interest and eventually make them a lifetime hobby. Art Collectibles as Hobbies in the Form of Stamps and Coins Life is an art. And so goes a saying. But where people find things of profound interests, experts say that it is a form of art as well. By definition, when an object is considered as a work of art, it simply means that the object is the result of a creation of an item using the valuable application of a mass of expertise along with an array of talents and cleverness. It is on this context that experts consider collecting as one form of artistic endeavor in the sense that the mere acquisition of objects that is limited to the interest of the person who acquires them is already artistic. This means that not all people were born to collect coins, stamps, or any other items that may not be valuable to other people but to some, they are almost priceless. Consequently, most experts contend that the hobby of collecting some explicit objects are generally based on a precise area of interest of the person involved. Because the interest of the collector is the primary purpose of this kind of leisure pursuit, many people consider collecting stamps and coins as an art collectible hobby. Why? Because based on the definition of art collectible hobby, the mere acquisition of stamps and coins based on the personal attention given by the collector to the items are already artistic in nature. In short, when a person is attracted to a certain thing, the object becomes an art collectible. Moreover, the basic features of the coins and the stamps are also one of the reasons why it becomes an art collectible. This is because coin and stamp designs are not just created by anybody who knows how to draw some lines or shapes. The designs that are engraved or sketched in the surface of the stamp or coin are made by people who were gifted with the talent to draw things imaginatively and creatively. Take the stamps for example. The creation of the designs in a particular stamp undergoes a detailed process of brainstorming, evaluation, analysis, and good decision making in order to come up with a truly creative design. In fact, a group of 12 to 15 people forms the Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee, which serves as the body that will recommend the ideal designs to be included in stamp production. Every year, the committee contemplates on about 50,000 designs and then advocates at least 35 of it to the "postmaster general" for the production of "commemorative stamps." This just goes to show that the selection of the design is such thorough process that the value of the item is clearly identifiable. For this reason, stamp collectors and coin collectors, particularly those that focus more on the rare items, know that the value that goes with each item is almost priceless. So for those who still cannot understand why many people are into art collectible hobby of stamps and coins, here is a list of some of the reasons why these enthusiasts are so much engrossed in collecting: 1. Art collectible hobby provides various areas of interest When a person have decided to start an art collectible hobby of a particular item such as coins or stamps, this reflects the kind of object he is interested in. for instance, in stamp collecting, if a particular stamp collector focuses more on the rare stamps rather than the ordinary stamps, this could mean a lot of things. He could be interested with the rarity of the stamps, or he could be interested with the income that he can generate by trading the stamps to other collectors. 2. Art collectible hobby may trigger the desire to accomplish something While most of the collections are focused on the mere acquisition of various items such as different kinds of stamps or coins arranged according to the interest of the collector, there are some people who opt to collect stamps and coins and aim to complete the whole set. This means that additional art collectibles are obtained to fill in the missing spaces in between stamps and coins. Once completed, the collector usually feels the unexplainable satisfaction that other people cannot feel. Given all these premises, it can be concluded that art collectible hobby of stamps and coins are not just mere samples of leisure pursuits. On its broader context, stamp and coin collecting can be considered as new forms of arts as well. Coin Collecting: A General Overview Coin collecting is an activity that is enjoyed many, including individuals of all ages. In fact, coin collecting is more than just a fun and enjoyable activity; it is considered a hobby. This hobby is one that many people wish to enjoy and learn more about. Please continue reading on for a general overview of the great hobby of coin collecting. The history of coin collecting can date back to when coins were originally issued. Coin collecting was commonly referred to in the past as the "Hobby of Kings." This is due in part to the expense of coin collecting back in the older days. Many of the individuals able to coin collect were royalty, literally. As for more modern coin collecting, it took off in the early 1900s in the United States. Although coin collecting was enjoyed well before this point in time, its popularity increased drastically when it was clear coin collecting could be profitable. Coin collecting is considered a popular activity, as it is one that anyone can enjoy, including children. In fact, coin collecting is a hobby that many parents and professionals in the field of education encourage children to enjoy. In this sense, coin collecting can not only be profitable, but it can be educational as well. Also, coin collecting is a hobby that is relatively easy do. For many coin collectors, especially children, the startup costs are low or are non-existent. The purpose of coin collecting is another reason for its success and increase in popularity. There are five main types of collectors. These individuals include investors, hoarders, hobbyists, dealers, and inheritors. Those who collect coins for a hobby do so for personal fulfillment, not necessarily profits. Those who are considered inheritors often inherit coin collections from hobbyists. As for investors, they are in it for the money. Hoarders usually examine their coin collections for value, but many tend to just collect as many types of coins as possible. Another likeable aspect surrounding coin collecting is that of the supplies needed. Often times, little or no supplies are needed, especially for children or hobbyists. With that in mind, there are many benefits to using professional coin collecting supplies. The good news is that many supplies, including coin folders, coin albums, coin holders, and magnifying glasses, are affordably priced. The options that coin collectors have, when looking to expand their coin collections, are another reason for its popularity. Coin collectors have a number of different options when looking to expand their collections. Many hobbyists stay on the lookout for rare, limited edition, or older coins that they or those that they know may receive on a daily basis. Other coin collectors, especially those looking for rare or other valuable coins, often turn to professional coin dealers or the internet. In keeping with the acquisition of coins, coin collectors have freedom to collect whatever they want. While coin collectors looking to make a profits, also commonly referred to as investors, tend to stick to rare, outdated, limited edition coins, and other coins of value, there are no requirements to do so. Hobbyists, as well as children, tend to collect any coins that catch their interest, either in date, value, condition, or size. No specialty requirements are necessary; however, it may add to the excitement of coin collecting. Coin Collecting for Beginners Are you interested in enjoying coin collecting as a hobby? If you are, you are definitely not alone. One of the many reasons why coin collecting is a popular hobby is because it is relatively easy to do. With that in mind, if you are looking to develop a coin collection that makes you proud or a coin collection that can later be sold for a profit, there are a number of important points that you will want to take into consideration. Perhaps, the most important step in creating a coin collection that you can later sell for profits or a coin collection that you can be proud of involves research. In fact, you will want to research, research, and then research some more. Some of the most successful coin collectors in the world are those who have taken the time to research and examine coin collecting as a whole. Topics, concerning coin collecting, that you will want to examine include the history of coin collecting, the types of coins that can be collected, coin values, recommended coin collecting supplies and much more. Beginners may want to start out collecting as many coins as possible. You may want to save all coins that come your way until you are able to further examine them. This is a great approach for beginners, as many are unaware of what they have, especially if coin values and conditions were first not examined. When taking this approach, it won't be long before a large collection of coins has developed, possibly too many. At this point in time, coin collectors are encouraged to examine their collection and separate the valuable coins from the not so valuable ones. From there on out, after some experience has been generated, it is often a wise idea for coin collectors to change their coin collecting habits. Once a coin collection has been developed and that first set of coins and been examined and sorted, it is important to take storage into consideration. Unfortunately, many new coin collectors make mistakes concerning storage. Many simply toss their coins into a jar or a box. These two approaches will definitely store coins, but they may result in damage. If you have rare, older, or limited edition coins that may increase in value later on, proper care is important. Generally speaking, coin holders are not advised, especially for long-term storage, but they are great for displays. For long-term storage of a coin collection, coin folders and coin albums should be examined. Knowing before you buy is another important component of developing a coin collection that you can be proud of or one that can later be sold for a profit. Many coin collectors, possibly just like you, are in search of rare or valuable coins and the best way to find these coins is through purchases. Most professional coin dealers have an accurate view and understanding of how much their coins are worth. This means that you generally do not have to worry about being scammed, but it is still wise to first examine coin values, conditions, and to use your best judgment. Always research a coin that costs more than $20. In addition to coin dealers, many coin collectors looking to expand their collections turn to the internet, namely online auction websites. This is a great approach for beginners, as it is easy. What you may find may surprise you. Many former coin collectors sell their whole collections online. As previously stated, when buying coins it is important to use caution. Many individuals who sell coins through online auction websites, as opposed to through a dealer, do not know the full value of their coins. This often results in over estimating the average worth or value of a coin. Without having the proper knowledge, this can result in overpayment. The above mentioned tips are just a few of the many tips that new coin collectors will want to take into consideration. Should you later decide that coin collecting isn't right for you, use your best judgment with the coins that you have acquired. Before simply giving away your coins or actually using them, take a close look at your collection, your coins, and their values. Is there anything that you can sell for a profit, even just a small one? Coin Collecting Tips for Beginners Coin collecting is a hobby that originated solely for the purpose of hording valuable coins. Over the years and in today's society, coin collecting is now considered a respectable hobby. Yes, many coin collectors still have hopes of creating profitable coin collections filled with rare and valuable coins, but many coin collectors, even those in it for the profits, still appreciate the art and history behind this great hobby. As stated, coin collecting is an activity that is enjoyed for recreational purposes, as well as for profits. Regardless of why you are interested in coin collecting, there are a few basics that you and all other coin collectors should know. These coin collecting tips, a few of which are highlighted below, can help you see success, whether that success is personal fulfillment or money. One of the best ways to start a coin collection is to always keep your eyes and ears open. Many professional coin collectors and dealers know that rare, valuable, and limited edition coins can turn up anywhere and at just about any point in time. Always examine the change that you receive while out shopping. Also, be sure to ask your friends or family members about the coins in their possession. This is particularly true for older relatives who may have their own coin collections or at least a bank filled with older coins. Although keeping your eyes and ears open at all times is a great way to get started with coin collecting, there are additional ways that you can acquire coins, particularly those that are rare or semi-valuable. One of the best approaches involves meeting with a professional coin collector who is interested in selling their collection or a coin collecting dealer. Often times, you may find the best success when doing business with dealers. These are professionals who specialize in the buying, selling, and trading of coins, especially coins of value. Contact information for coin dealers can be found online with an internet search. Speaking of the internet, the internet is another approach that many coin collectors use to acquire coins. If you are interested in taking this approach, be sure to examine online auction websites. Many coin collectors who no longer wish to participate in this great hobby choose to sell their collections online. Many even sell their collections for one affordable price. This is a great way for you to save money. It is also nice as many beginners are unsure or even afraid of dealing with professional coin collecting specialists or dealers. A large part of coin colleting involves acquiring coins for your collection, but there are other important components of this hobby. For example, coin collectors who would like to one day sell their coins for profits should familiarize themselves with proper care and storage. If not properly cared for, an otherwise rare and valuable coin may decrease in value or essentially turn worthless. Coins should not simply be tossed loosely into a jar or a box. They should properly be stored, especially coins that have the potential to become valuable one day. In connection with the proper care and storage of coins, it is also important to touch on needed supplies. Coins themselves are the only supply truly required to start a coin collection. With that said, there are a number of coin collecting supplies and tools that professional coin collectors and hobbyists can benefit from owning and using. These coin collecting supplies include coin value books, coin collecting how-to guides, magnifying glasses, coin holders, coin folders, as well as coin albums. The above mentioned tips are just a few of the many that coin collectors, especially beginners, are urged to keep in mind. These tips can assist both coin collectors who collect for a hobby or those who are looking to later make a profit with their coin collections. As a reminder, if the original goal of coin collecting is solely for hobby and personal fulfillment, things may change. That is why all coins should be well cared for and properly stored. Coin Collecting Dealers: What Are They and How to Find Them Coin collecting is a popular hobby that is enjoyed by individuals of all ages. When it comes to coin collecting, many coin collectors have different goals and purposes. Those goals may include coin collecting purely for a hobby or coin collecting with the hopes of one day owning a profitable and valuable coin collection. Regardless of your reasons for coin collecting, you are likely interested in expanding your coin collection. To do so, you will want to take the time to examine professional coin collecting dealers. As many can likely gather from the name, coin dealers are individuals who specialize in the buying and selling of coins. While anyone can become a coin collecting dealer, most are considered experts in the field. Many professional coin dealers not only buy coins themselves and turn around and sell them, but many take the time to do the proper research. One component of this research involves examining the condition of each coin, often with the use of the Sheldon System. The Sheldon System rates coins on a scale of 1 to 70, with 1 being coins that are barely able to be identified. One of the many reasons why coin collectors are encouraged to do business with professional coin dealers is because of the knowledge they have. Of course, you will always want to proceed with caution, but, generally speaking, you are less likely to fall victim to a scam or a financial trap when dealing with professionals. This is because professional coin dealers do not estimate the value of the coins they own or their condition. Many do the proper amount of research first. Yes, this may increase the amount you have to pay for a rare or limited edition coin, but you will likely not find yourself paying too much money. When it comes to doing business with professional coin dealers, you will find that you have a number of different approaches. Many coin collectors like to see coins in person, with their own eyes. If this is the approach that you would like to take, you will want to find a local coin collector to do business with. The best approach when doing so is using your local phone book or the internet, to find the contact information of a local dealer. You may also want to visit one of your local hobby shops, as many double as collectable dealers or they can at least get you started on the right path. Many coin dealers also attend coin collecting conventions and other events. In addition to doing business with a local coin collecting dealer, you also have the option of doing so online. There are many coin dealers who operate their businesses online or with a combination of both online and offline business. These types of dealers can easily be found with a standard internet search. To get you started, it may be wise to search with phrases such as "coin collecting dealers," "coin dealers," or even "buy coins online." As a reminder, coin collectors, such as yourself, have a number of different options, when looking to buy coins to add to their collections. With that in mind, many coin collectors, especially those aiming to create a valuable and potentially profitable coin collection, often see the best success when dealing with professionals in the field. Common Coin Collecting Themes Coin collecting is a popular hobby that is enjoyed all around the world by individuals of all ages. What many collectors, especially beginners and children, like about coin collecting, is the wide range of options. Although many coin collectors have coin themes that they choose to follow, there are no requirements to do so. Although coin collectors are able to collect any type of coin that want, many find benefits to picking a coin theme. One of those benefits is the hunt. Many coin collectors report that the most fun in coin collecting is finding coins, especially those that are rare or valuable. If you would like to theme your coin collection, you may want to checkout a few of the examples below. A number of popular coin collecting themes are highlighted below. Coin collections with a country theme are a popular theme for coin collectors. With country coin collections, there are two main options. For example, many coin collectors choose one country, such as the United States, and only collect coins from that country. On the other hand, there are coin collectors who have goals to collect coins from every country in the world! Many coin collectors also theme their coin collections based on a coin's mint mark. A mint mark is defined as the inscription on a coin. Although many coin mint marks have stayed the same in the United States for a few years now, there are many mint mark variations for other countries and from coins from the past. Year themes are another common coin collecting theme. Coin collectors with year themes, as well as country themes, are often beginners or children. This is because year and country themes are two of the easiest coin collecting themes to have. With that being said, it is also important to remember that coins from the early 1800s and medieval times fall into this category as well. A special interest collection often focuses on the subject of the coins, as well as the interests of the collector. This is most commonly seen with limited edition coins and other collectors edition coins. For example, if a coin collector has interests that include boating or racing, they are likely to find and collect coins that have these themes shown on them, even just through a little bit of relation. This collecting approach is nice, but it does tend to limit coin collectors. Coin collectors who choose themes that may contain valuable, rare, or limited edition coins, often turn to professional coin dealers for assistance. On the other hand, beginners and children who often choose to collect United State coins or coins by year, often get their collections started with coins from their own pockets or coins from those that they know. If you are a beginner, this is an important point that you will want to take into consideration. The above mentioned coin collecting themes are just a few of the many that coin collectors, like you, choose to use as guides. As a reminder, as a coin collector, you are able to collect any type of coin or coins that you want, but you may want to consider developing a theme for your coin collection, even just for a year or two. Having a coin collecting theme may increase your excitement levels concerning coin collecting and it gives you a goal to strive for. Common Types of Coin Collectors Coin collecting is a hobby that has been enjoyed since the 1800s, although it greatly increased in popularity during the early to late 1900's. One reason why coin collecting is an activity enjoyed by so many individuals and individuals of all ages is because of purpose. There are a wide range of reasons and purposes for starting a coin collection. Five common types of coin collectors are highlighted below. Those who collect coins for profits are commonly referred to as investors. Investors are individuals who collect coins with the sole purpose of seeing profits in the future. These types of coin collectors are also commonly referred to as professional coin collectors, as most are knowledgeable about coin collecting in general, including coin values and conditions. After all, a plain ole penny will likely not lead to profits in the future, but a rare or limited edition coin may. Another one of the many reasons why coin collectors who collect with the hopes of seeing profits are referred to as investors is because they are making an investment. Although it is possible to come across older, outdated, limited edition, and rare coins by chance, it is difficult, if not impossible, in many cases to do so. For that reason, many coin collectors choose to purchase coins to add to their collections. This is often done by examining professional coin dealers. Speaking of coin dealers, coin dealers, although highly debatable, can also be considered coin collectors. Coin dealers are regularly on the lookout for valuable coins. The only difference between coin dealers and other coin collectors is that many choose not to hang on to their coins for very long. Many want to turn around and sell these coins as quick as possible to make a fast profit. Hobbyists are another common type of coin collector. Those who are considered hobbyists collect coins for the sole purpose of personal fulfillment. Hobbyists who collect coins often have a love for coins, history, or collecting in general. Many coin collectors who collect for the purpose of personal fulfillment later donate their coins to historical organizations or choose to pass their coin collections on to future family generations. While many coin collectors start out purely as hobbyists, many later change their goals to make a profit. As previously stated, many coin collectors choose to pass on their coin collections to family members and future family generations to come. The individuals who inherit these coin collections are technically considered coin collectors as well. This is due in part to the fact that they have a coin collection in their possession. Although many inheritors simply store and treasure the coin passed down to them, many make the decision to continue collecting, allowing the coin collection in question to continue to grow. Another common type of coin collector is that of a hoarder. Hoarders are individuals who collect just because, not necessarily for profits or for the love of coins or collectables in general. Many hoarders collect any coins that they come across, as many are afraid to miss out on a great collecting opportunity. Although many coin hoarders will generally turn around and examine their collections and its value, many are not usually concerned with doing so at the time. The five reasons highlighted above are five reasons why most coin collectors collect. What type of coin collector are you? How to Find Coin Collecting Dealers Are you a coin collector? If you are, you may be interested in expanding your coin collection. When doing so, many coin collectors have hopes of acquiring rare, older, or limited edition coins. If this is a goal of yours, you may want to turn to professional coin collecting dealers. Professional coin dealers are one of the best ways to acquire valuable coins for the purpose of collecting. As ideal as it is to hear that you should approach a professional coin dealer, when looking to purchase coins for your collection, you may be curious as to how you can get started. Many beginners are unsure as to how they can even go about finding coin collecting dealers to do business with. After a close look, you will find that you have a number of different options. The internet is a great way to find coin dealers to do business with. For starters, online business directories should be examined. Online business directories are online resources that enable internet users to search for a particular type of business, like a coin dealer, in a particular location, like your city or state. This approach should provide you with the contact information for local dealers in or around your area. The same information can often be found with a standard internet search. Standard internet searches performed looking for local coin collecting dealers should include a phrase such as "coin dealers in New York." If you do not mind purchasing coins online or even over the phone, you will still want to use the internet to your advantage. The first step should involve performing a standard internet search. When doing so, use a traditional keyword phrase, such as "coin dealers." You may also want to include a specialty, such as rare coins or limited edition coins. This internet search should lead you to the online websites of coin dealers who operate their businesses online. Many, but not all coin dealers handle transactions online. This approach of buying coins through a dealer is nice for many, as it is an easy and convenient way to do business. Returning back to doing business with a local coin collecting dealer, local phone books should be examined. If you are unfamiliar with the names of local coin dealers, you will want to turn to the "yellow pages," or the business directory section of your phone book. Many professional coin dealers can be found under the headings of hobby shops, department stores, or even specialty stores. In all honesty, it depends on your local phone company and their categorization. As previously stated, locally owned and operated coin dealers may be found under the heading of hobby shops in phone books. If you know of any local hobby shops in your area, you may want to take the time to visit them. You may find an individual inside one of your local shops who specializes in coin dealing. If not, you may receive great tips or directions on how to find other local collectable dealers, including those who deal with the buying and selling of coins. The above mentioned approaches are just a few of the many ways to find coin dealers to do business with. Although many coin collectors simply collect coins that they happen across on their own or buy coins from online auction websites, there are a number of benefits to dealing with professionals. Rare Coin Collecting: Can You Do It? Coin collecting is a hobby that is enjoyed by many. Whether you are coin collecting for hobby only or with the hopes of one day owning a profitable coin collection, you may be interested in acquiring rare coins. Unfortunately, many beginners mistakenly believe that it is too difficult or too costly to specialize in rare coin collecting. All coin collectors, including yourself, need to know that the previous statement is false. With a little bit of hard work and determination, you can easily have rare coins in your coin collection. One important mentionable point concerning rare coin collecting is that it doesn't have to be a specialty. You and other coin collectors do not have to specialize solely in rare coins or limited edition coins. Some of the best coin collections are those with no particular theme. For that reason, you may want to mix it up a bit. This can be done with a collection of rare or limited edition coins and other valuable or semi-valuable coins. Should you choose to do so, there are a number of storage tools that you can use to your advantage, such as coin folders. Many tend to specialize in a specific type of coin, like state quarters or even coins for specific eras. One of the most commonly asked questions concerning rare coin collecting involves getting started. Many beginners are curious as to how they can get their hands on rare, valuable coins. You will find that you have a number of different options. Professional coin collectors and professional coin collection dealers often provide you with the best access to rare coins. Professional coin collectors and dealers do not estimate or simply guess that a coin is valuable or rare; they know for sure. Perhaps, the only downside to this approach is the cost. Since most professional coin dealers and collectors are well aware of the values of their coins, they often charge those prices. With that in mind, professional coin collectors and dealers are still an easy means for acquiring rare, limited edition, or valuable coins. The internet is another great way to expand a coin collection with rare or valuable coins. When using the internet to purchase coins, many turn to online auction websites. These websites are ideal in that you never know what you may find. Due to the increase in popularity, many individuals bypass traditional estate sales and head straight for the internet. In this sense, it is possible for you to find rare and valuable coins online for relatively affordable prices. With that in mind, these rare and valuable coins can sometimes be difficult and time consuming to find online. All coin collectors are also urged to keep their eyes and ears open at all times. Although rare, you may never know what type of coins will be handed to you, your friends, or others that you know when out shopping. Many individuals do not realize that they have rare or potentially valuable coins in their possession and other mistakenly give them away, like at a retail store, without meaning to do so. Although rare, as previously stated, there is no harm in taking a few seconds to examine your coins before tossing them into your purse or pocket. Regardless of how rare or other valuable coins are purchased, value and condition are a must examine. Be sure to examine all coins and their conditions before agreeing to a purchase price. This is important as even a small amount of damage can significantly reduce the value of a rare coin. When purchasing rare and valuable coins, it may be best to do so in person. With that being said, online purchases can also be made with pictures, namely close-ups. Professional dealers should already have an idea of the value of their coins, likely through use of the Sheldon System, which rates coins on a 1 -- 70 scale, 70 being perfection. Rare and valuable coins, although somewhat difficult to acquire, are not out of the reach of most coin collector. With the proper amount of research, drive, and determination, your coin collection can include rare and valuable coins. Coin Collecting Software: What It Is and Is It Worth It? Coin collecting is an activity that is enjoyed by many for the sole purpose of personal fulfillment. These are individuals who enjoy coin collecting as a hobby. In addition to hobbyists, there are many coin collectors who are also investors. These are individuals who invest money in valuable coins, hoping to one day turn a profit on those coins and that investment. Regardless of why a coin collector chooses to collect coins, it is a process that can be time consuming, as well as endless. Literally, there are millions of coins in circulation that many coin collectors consider collecting. For example, there are Statehood Quarters, international coins, rare coins, and limited edition coins that can be collected and many are circling around in the pockets of consumers. Even though any coin can technically be collected by a coin collector, many hobbyists and investors choose to stick with valuable coins. Unfortunately, as previously stated, finding rare, limited edition, and other valuable coins may be a long and time consuming process. One of the first points to take into consideration is purchasing. Many new coin collectors do not realize the many options that they have, when looking to expand their coin collections with valuable coins. The best approach, when looking to do so, involves meeting with professional coin dealers; however, the internet and online auction websites are also a nice approach. As ideal as it is to know that the internet, online auction websites, and coin dealers can help coin collectors expand their collections, many are unsure as to what they should buy. This is where coin collecting software can come in. Coin collecting software comes in a number of different formats, but the goal of all coin collecting software programs is the same. That goal is to make coin collecting easy for professional coin collectors and hobbyists. Concerning coin collecting software, one of the most commonly asked questions surrounds price. Free coin collecting software is highly sought after. Yes, there are free coin collecting software programs available for download, but these software programs are often limited. Many free coin collecting software programs simply provide you with a list of coins that you and other coin collectors may want to examine. These free software programs often enable you to check off a coin once it has been acquired and added to your collection. In this aspect, free coin collecting software is ideal for organization, but you may want to spend the money, often less than $100, to buy a professional software program. As previously stated, coin collecting software does vary, but many hobbyists and professional coin collectors are pleased with software programs that they paid for. Most will not only outline coins worthy of collecting or let you check off coins that have been added to your collection, but many professional coin collecting software programs also provide you with coin values. These values are often updated and kept current, as many paid coin collecting software programs include automatic updates, such as yearly updates. As previously stated, coin collecting software, especially paid software, can benefit coin hobbyists and professional coin collectors. Even those who are unsure about relying on a software program should take the time to see what is available. This can easily be done within a few minutes online and most coin collectors are pleased with what they see. Coin Collecting Supplies: What You May Need and How to Find It Coin collecting is a great hobby for individuals of all ages. If you are interested in starting a coin collection, you may be curious as to what supplies are needed. When starting a coin collection, no supplies are required. With that in mind, coin collectors, on both professional and hobby levels, can benefit from using a number of tools to their advantage. A few coin collecting tools that all coin collectors can benefit from owning and utilizing are outlined below. One of the most commonly collected coins are Statehood Quarters. These quarters are collected by individuals of all ages and they often make great gifts, especially for children and grandchildren. The popularity of collecting Statehood Quarters is mostly due in part to the easy acquisition, as they are easy to acquire. Statehood Quarter supplies most commonly include a large map of the United States, with a placing for each state coin. Statehood Quarter supplies come in a number of different formats, including folder formats, wall mounting formats, and traditional photo frames formats. Coin folders are another coin collecting supply that can benefit all coin collectors. Coin folders come in a number of different formats. For example, a folder may specialize in a specific type of coin, such as Statehood Quarters or Jefferson Nickels. Coin folders are not only an easy and safe way to properly care for a coin collection, they are ideal for organization and categorization. In keeping with coin collecting storage methods, coin collecting albums are also popular among stamp collectors. Coin albums tend to resemble the above mentioned folders, but many are much more elegant in nature. They are ideal for one stop coin storage. Coin albums come in a number of different formats. Many are designed for large coins, early edition coins, or a combination of coin types. What increases the popularity of coin albums is that many enable you to purchase additional or replacement pages. Coin holders are another coin collecting supply used by many. The only downside to this method is that it is not ideal for long-term storage or professional coin collecting. Most coin holders come with a polyethylene insert that is either colored black or white. These inserts come in a number of different sizes, to fit a wide range of coins. As previously stated, coin holders are not always recommended for long-term storage, but they are perfect for those who want to prominently display their coins. Beginners are urged to examine coin collecting starter kits. Coin collecting starter kits are a valuable supply and equipment piece for those just looking to get started. Despite the fact that coin collecting starter kits vary, many often come with a few coins that are no longer in circulation. While these coins are often not valuable, they are a great way to get a coin collection started. Additional supplies that may be included in a coin collecting starter kit include coin folders or albums, as well as a coin collecting how-to guide. Coin books are another valuable supply used by professional coin collectors and those who collect for a hobby. Coin books come in a number of different formats, but all are valuable to the activity of coin collecting. Beginners may benefit from a printed how-to guide. Those looking to develop a profitable coin collection may find books outlining tips on how to coin collect for profits, and much more. Many valuable coin collecting books and other printed resources can be found online, often with a simple standard internet search. As a reminder, there are absolutely no requirements, in terms of coin collecting supplies, when looking to start your own collection. With that being said, there are a number of benefits to investing in some of the above mentioned coin collecting supplies. The coin collecting supplies outlined above are ideal for proper care and storage. This proper care and storage can result in your coin collection being of great value one day. Coin Collecting: A Great Hobby for Kids In today's society, it seems as if many kids are preoccupied with movies, music, and video games. Of course, these activities are okay, especially when used in moderation, but, as a parent, you may be concerned. Many parents, possibly yourself included, are looking for fun, safe, and educational activities or hobbies that their children can enjoy. There are a number of different choices, but you may want to take the time to examine coin collecting. One of the many reasons why coin collecting is a hobby that is great for children is because it is a relatively easy hobby. While many professional coin collectors choose to specialize in old, rare, or limited edition coins, this is not a requirement. Children may want to focus on collecting as many pennies or dimes as possible, and so forth. Having a wide range of options is an approach that many parents find likeable about coin collecting. Another one of the many reasons why coin collecting is a hobby that is great for children of all ages is because it is an activity that can be enjoyed solo or as a family. If you are looking to instill the importance of goal setting in your child, as well as teach them the importance of collecting potentially valuable items, you may want to collect coins right along side your child. Not only can this experience and hobby be one that is educational for your child, but the quality time spent collecting, examining, and researching coins can be considered priceless. Another reason why coin collecting is a hobby that is great for children is because it is relatively affordable. Often times, the only supplies needed to start a coin collection is that of coins. With that in being said, there are a number of benefits to purchasing some supplies for your child. These supplies may include a magnifying glass, which can be used to inspect the quality or value of coins, as well as coin folders and coin albums, which can be used to properly and safely store all collected coins. In keeping with coin colleting supplies, many parents make the decision to purchase coin collecting starter kits. Coin collecting starter kits are ideal as many come tailored for children or teenagers. Coin collecting starter kits do vary, but many come equipped with how-to guides, coin folders or coin albums. In fact, many coin collecting starter kits, especially those designed for children, even come with coins! This is a great way to not only get children interested in enjoying coin collecting as a hobby, but a great way to get a coin collection started. For additional methods of coin collecting, many children choose to collect Statehood Quarters. If this is an activity that your child enjoys, a Statehood Quarters folder or wall mounted frame may make a great gift. In fact, if your child chooses to enjoy coin collecting as a hobby, you may want to purchase them rare, older, or valuable coins as gifts for special occasions. These coins, depending on the coin in question and its value, are available for sale for a wide range of prices. For the best success, coin dealers should be approached, but many parents also turn to the internet, namely online auction websites. Depending on your child and their age, you may want to take the time to educate them on coin collecting and the possibilities it holds. For example, even if your child is simply interested in coin collecting for the fun of it, they should know that their coin collection may turn profitable one day. Of course, for that to occur, all coins collected need to be properly stored and cared for. You can teach your child how to do this or, depending on their age, you can provide them with valuable coin collecting how-to and resource guides. As previously stated, coin collecting is a great, safe, and fun hobby for kids of all ages to enjoy. With that being said, even if you are not a parent or if you are grandparent, there are still a number of benefits to starting your own coin collection, especially if you one day have hopes of passing that coin collection on to your children or your grandchildren. Coin Collecting Values: The Importance of Research Is coin collecting an activity that you would like to start enjoying? Or, have you just recently started collecting coins? If you have, do you have hopes of creating a profitable coin collection that can later, one day be sold for profits or passed down to your future family generations? If you do, you should take the time to examine coin collecting in general. With that being said, be sure to place a large focus on coin collecting values, as coin values should have a significant impact on the worth of your coin collection. Although it is nice to hear that coin collecting values and researching those values is important to coin collecting, especially for profits, many are curious as to why that is. Of course, coin collections are invaluable until they are sold. With that in mind, not all coin collections sell and for amounts that collectors had hoped for. For example, a full collection of Statehood Quarters is likely to sell for much less than a collection of rare coins from the early 1900s. Unfortunately, many collectors do not realize this without first doing the proper research concerning coins, their values, as well as their conditions. To research coins and their values, it is first important to start with the basics. Coin collecting basics are extremely important to beginners and their success. The most important coin collecting basics, that concern value, includes never overpaying for a coin, even a rare coin, and never paying full value for a coin that is damaged or distorted. Following these basic tips can do wonders for a coin collection and its value. Additional research that you may want to do includes examining the exact values and conditions of coins. This is important right before you choose to make a coin purchases, especially from someone other than a professional coin dealer. Many dealers are considered experts in the filed and will provide you with detailed information, including an exact value or a coin rating from the Sheldon System. In fact, this system and other popular coin rating systems are ones that you may want to examine. One of the best ways to research coin values or the Sheldon System is by using the internet. Online, you will find a number of great coin collecting resources at your fingertips. A standard internet search may lead you to rare coin dealers or other professional coin dealers, who may be operating with or without a specialty. Although many recommend buying coins of value in person, purchases can still be made online. If you take this approach, however, be sure to request pictures and detailed descriptions. Printed resources are another one of the many ways that you can go about researching and examining coins and their values. A number of printed resources can be ordered online or found in local libraries or bookstores. When examining a book that highlights coin collecting values, it is important to take date into consideration. Look for updated resources, as they are likely to provide you with the most valuable and accurate information. As a reminder, research is important to coin collectors who are collecting for the sole purpose of profits. With that in mind, researching coin values can also benefit you if you plan to pass down your coin collection to family members. Carefully keeping track of coin values can lead to profits for them in the future. Coin Collecting for Profits: The Importance of Understanding Value and Condition Coin collecting is a hobby that is enjoyed by many. In fact, is a hobby that young and old enjoy alike. One of the many reasons why coin collecting is popular is because of its many purposes. While many coin collectors collect coins just for personal fulfillment, others do so for profits. If you are looking to start a coin collection, which can later be sold, the importance understanding of coin values and conditions cannot be emphasized enough. One of the many reasons why coin collectors are urged to understand the importance of coin values and coin conditions is because they can be wasting their time if not well informed. With that in mind, it is important to remember that many individuals enjoy coin collecting as an activity for a wide range of reasons. Those who coin collect for a hobby only will not suffer any consequences for not familiarizing themselves with values and conditions, although there are still a number of benefits to doing so. On the other, the same is not true for those collecting coins with the sole purpose of seeing profits. In keeping with seeing profits from a coin collection, it is important to remember how coin collections make money. Once a valuable coin collection has been complied, many coin collectors choose to sell their collections to other hobbyists, professional or historical organizations, as well as a coin collecting dealers. Generally speaking, these individuals, especially professional coin collecting dealers, will not pay for a coin that is in poor condition. If money is exchanged, that money will all depend on the condition of the coin. To increase your profits, as a coin collector, it is important to take proper care of your coins. Speaking of proper care, there are a number of steps that all coin collectors, including beginners, should take. For example, storage is an important component of owning a profitable coin collection. Although many of the coins in your collection now many not be valuable, they may be years from now. Unfortunately, if coins are not properly stored, their value can significantly deteriorate over those years. Many professional coin collectors use coin folders and coin albums as a method for safe and proper storage. Beginners can easily find these items available for sale online or from specialty hobby shops. As it was previously stated, coin values play an important role in selling a coin collection. With that being said, there are many coin collectors, especially those with hopes of seeing profits, who choose to purchase coins to add to their collection. When purchasing rare, older, or limited edition coins, many turn to professional coin dealers, as well as the internet, namely online auction websites. Regardless of how coins are purchased, the importance of value and condition cannot be said enough. When shopping for coins to add to your coin collection, it is important to examine the condition of the coin or coins in question. This is because condition and value tend to go hand in hand. For example, a coin in poor condition is likely to decrease in value, especially when compared to those that are in perfect shape. This is important when making a coin purchase, as you will not want to pay full asking price or full value price for a damaged or distorted coin. Coin collectors who have hopes of later selling their coin collections for profit, need to keep expenses in mind. The less money spent to develop a coin collection, the larger the profits will be later on. As ideal as it is to know that you and all other coin collectors should take the time to familiarize yourselves with coin conditions and values, you may be curious as to how you can go about doing so. For starters, there are a number of coin collecting resources that you should have access to, either online or in print. These resources include coin value guides or detailed steps on how to determine the exact condition of a coin. This often involves using a rating scale, such as the Sheldon System, which is used by many professional coin dealers, as well as the American Numismatic Association. Coin Collecting: How and Why You Should Do Research Are you interested in enjoying the popular hobby of coin collecting? If you are, you may be looking to get started right away. Yes, coin collecting is a hobby that is easy to do, by individuals of all ages, but there are a number of benefits to taking the time to do your research. One of the most commonly asked questions surrounding coin collecting and research is "why?" As previously stated, coin collecting is a relatively easy hobby that just about anyone can enjoy. Many individuals, especially beginners, wonder what can be so hard about coin collecting. In all honesty, research can benefit any type of coin collector, but those who are looking to develop a unique and profitable coin collection may find the information uncovered from research valuable in more ways than one. As for coin collecting research, another question commonly asked includes "what should be researched?" As a coin collector, you will want to take the time to examine every aspect of coin collecting. While this may seem like a lot of work, it is relatively easy to do this research, particularly online. Also, the information that you walk away with may be priceless. With a little bit of research, many coin collectors are able to turn an otherwise standard coin collection into one that is unique and profitable. Beginners who are just starting to enjoy coin collecting are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the basics. This information includes how to start a coin collection, how to properly care for your coin collection, and so forth. Many beginners make the mistake of simply collecting any coins that come their way and then just tossing them into a box. Of course, a simple box can be used to store any coins collected, but they are many more affordable and professional options available, including coin folders and coin albums. As previously stated, many coin collectors, especially beginners, collect any coins that come their way. This is a great way to start a coin collection, but many coin collectors who take this approach later find themselves overrun with coins. Before this occurs, coin collectors are encouraged to research ideal ways to acquire coins, especially those that may be rare, unique, or valuable. With a little bit of research, you will find that there are professional coin collectors who sell their collections, as well as professional coin dealers. You may also be surprised how easy it is to find coins and coin collections for sale online, especially with online auction websites. Although not required, there are many coin collectors who take the time to examine the history of coin collecting. Yes, this history may not help to increase the value of a stamp collection, but it may provide you and other coin collectors with a little bit of passion and drive. When examining the history of coin collecting, which can easily be done online or at a local library, you will find that coin collecting is a hobby that has been enjoyed for years on end. This hobby is one that achieved such popularity, that now many coin collecting conventions are held each year, all around the world. The internet, as previously recommended, is an easy and convenient way to research coin collecting in general. There are also a number of printed resources at your fingertips. Multiple books have been written that focus on the great hobby of coin collecting. The information found may include coin collecting tips for beginners, the history of coin collecting, and much more. Coin collecting conventions, as highlighted above, have also increased in popularity around the world. These events are not only fun, but filled with knowledgeable information that many coin collectors can benefit from. As previously stated, coin collectors with hopes of developing unique and profitable coin collections are encouraged to do the proper research first. With that in mind, all coin collectors, even those just collecting as a recreational activity, can benefit from research and examination. Whether the history of coin collecting is examined or coin collecting values are, most coin collectors are at a better stage when they are well informed.
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