I was recently asked how to start a stamp collection and I thought it would be helpful if I shared with you some of the tips that I have learned over the years. This post is for those who want to learn about starting their own stamp collections or are just curious about what goes into them, from where to find stamps, how to build your collections and more.
Table of Contents
Benefits of Collecting Stamps
A lot of people think that stamp collecting is boring but it can be surprisingly rewarding and engaging. Unlike other collections, like action figures or rocks, stamps don’t need to be set up in any sort of perfect order which means you can collect them however you want.
The one thing to keep in mind is that they are very fragile so most collectors use acid-free paper for storage or pages found inside of a stamp album. Most people will collect stamps because they like the artwork on them but there are also those who do it for the sole purpose of reselling them (at a higher price) or trading them with other collectors.
Where to Find Stamps
There are a few ways you can get your hands on some first-class postage. One way is that you can buy them online through the many different websites out there, but if you’re looking for something more traditional, I recommend checking with your local post office as chances are they may have some of these in stock.
You can find stamps based on one of the following methods:
- One way is by picking up a few of the most popular stamps and those that are worth more than others, so you’re sure they’ll be valuable on the market down the road.
- Another option is to build your collection around certain themes such as vehicles or marine life – there are plenty out there for you to choose from!
How to Start Your Collections
There are many benefits to starting a stamp collection. They can be very rewarding and engaging, but they also have the potential of losing value over time so it is important to start out with a plan for what you want your stamp collection will look like in the future before getting started. It’s worth noting that stamps may not always maintain their value over time, but that isn’t always the case.
The first thing to do is find out where you want your collection to contain stamps from. There are many different ways of collecting like by country or year and it’ll be up to you which way works best for you.
Once you’ve decided what kind of collector you will become, it’s time to start looking for stamps. A lot of people will stop by their local post office, but there are other places you can find them as well like antique stores or online sites; be sure to check out eBay and Amazon, too.
One thing that a lot of collectors do is look at catalogues which have images of all the stamps from different countries and they’re usually organized alphabetically or based on what country they originate in. It’s not necessary to use this method though since most hobbyist just collect whatever catches their eye!
Once you’ve found a stamp that appeals to your interests, try flipping it over and reading the backside where you’ll see information about when it was produced (usually with its estimated value) and how much it would cost to buy a stamp from that particular country.
Once you’ve got your collection started, the next step is to decide on what kind of stamps are going into each album page or sheet protector. One way people do this is by sticking with one theme (like animals) for their entire collection so they can learn more about it in depth; others will just put them all together randomly until they have a big stack of them left over! It’s completely up to you which approach works best!
The last thing I want to mention before we go onto some examples is where most hobbyist store their collections when not displaying them: archival quality storage paper or pages found inside an appropriate album. The reason why these are recommended is because a lot of stamps are very fragile and the acid-free paper will protect them from damage.
Essential Tools for Collecting Stamps
Magnifying glass: This is something that a lot of hobbyists will use to inspect their stamps more closely and it’s always recommended when buying one.
Perforation guide: This can be really helpful for those who are just starting out with stamp collecting as they’ll need help determining how many perforations there should be on the top, left or right side (and sometimes they’re not always in the same place, either!)
Watermark detector: These are used to help determine if a stamp is real or forged. The markings on these stamps can be very hard to find and it’s something that needs to be done before you spend money buying one for your collection. This will save you from making an expensive mistake!
Stamp albums: There are many different types of album pages out there (usually acid free) but most hobbyist like using ones with pockets so they have more space for their unique collections.
A stamp identification book: It’s important that no matter what type of collector you end up being, having this handy will make it easier to keep track of all the stamps in your collection!
Stamp Collection Tips
Why Some Stamp Collections Aren’t Valuable?
Stamp enthusiasts are often quick to point out that a stamp collection is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. There’s some truth in this statement, but there are also many types of stamps that have little or no value. We’ll take a look at the most common reasons why not all collections are valuable so you can avoid wasting your time and money on them.
The worst thing about stamp collecting is when you pour your heart into it and a dealer tells you that the collection has no value.
A Stamp Collection Isn’t Valuable If It’s Just Been Put Together With No Thought Behind It
The most common reason why a stamp collection isn’t valuable is because it’s just been put together without any thought behind it. If you’re new to the hobby, this may seem like an obvious statement but if you’ve had your collection for years or even decades then there’s always room for improvement.
You need to do research to find out which stamps are most valuable and focus only on the best examples.
Some dealers will tell you not to put too much thought into collecting because it can ruin your enjoyment of this hobby, but if you follow their advice then there’s a good chance that everything in your collection is worth very little money.
You should spend at least some time each week learning about stamps, their history and where they’re most likely to be valuable.
Like any other hobby, stamp collecting becomes more enjoyable the more time you put into it!
A Beginner Stamp Collection Isn’t Valuable
A stamp collection isn’t valuable if it’s been put together by a beginner. There are many reasons why this is the case but one of the most important ones to consider is that there aren’t any collectors who want to purchase a new collection from someone with little or no experience in philately.
As such, putting some thought into your first few purchases and then building up knowledge about them over time will help you avoid wasting money on stamps that won’t increase in value any time soon.
Not All Stamps Of The Same Type Are Valuable
Another reason why a stamp collection isn’t valuable has to do with the individual stamps within it. While some types of stamps are worth more than others, this is far from universal and there’s often not much value in purchasing new examples.
The best example of this concerns first day covers (FDCs). These items consist of cover envelopes that have been postmarked on the date they were released by postal services around the world. As such, FDCs can be an interesting way to learn about what was happening at certain points throughout history but most people won’t want to buy them for their collections as they’re just too common.
Why A Collection Doesn’t Have Value Can Depend On The Market
While you might think your collection doesn’t have value because it doesn’t contain any rare or valuable stamps, this isn’t always the case either. The reason why your collection might not be worth anything is simply that there’s little interest in it from other philatelists around the world at present.
As such, if you want to find out more about what makes a stamp collection valuable then getting in touch with an experienced dealer can help point you in the right direction and get your hobby back on track again quickly.
You Can’t Sell Your Collection If You Don’t Know What It Is Worth
The final reason for why a stamp collection isn’t valuable is that you simply can’t sell it. As such, making sure you know what your stamps are worth and getting an appraisal from the dealer who sold them to you will help ensure all of your hard work doesn’t go to waste.
Collecting stamps can be an exciting activity which teaches you about other cultures, history and art while also being rewarding in its own right; it’s not always simple though so make sure to research where your interests lie before getting started!