One of the world's most popular hobbies is stamp collecting and stamp collecting is enjoyed by tens of millions of people worldwide. If you want to start collecting stamps then you have to examine the market and the types of stamps currently available on the collector circuit. Here, in this blog, we are going to discuss some ideas that will surely help you to start collecting stamps.
How to Handle Your Stamps
Handling stamps is best done with "stamp tongs". Only an advanced collector can handle stamps with his bare hands. It is not a good idea for anyone to do so because it is very hard to lift a stamp without bending its corners or ruffling its perforations, either of which can cause a stamp's value to plunge significantly. Moreover, the cleanest fingers contain oils that can leave prints on the face of stamps and that is a major faux pas in the world of philately. As a paper product, it has a certain amount of flexibility and if it gets slightly bent, it may spring right back to flatness but when bluntly bent, it is left forever creased.
How to Mount Your Stamps Into an Album
The techniques of stamp mounting have changed a lot since the early days of philately. Gone are the days, when collectors simply glued or sealed each stamp straight to an album to make it virtually impossible to remove or trade a stamp. The easiest way to place stamps into an album is with polymer-faced, back-hinged stamp mounts. You just have to moisten the short hinge and let it partially dry then attach it to the upper-back side of a stamp, just below the perforation.
Using Catalogues to Start a Stamp Collection
After stamps, albums, and mounts/hinges, it is time to hit the catalogs. There are several major catalogs in the world of philately, each of which caters to certain territories. The four major biggest catalogs and their respective markets are "Stanley Gibbons – England", "Yvert & Tellier – France", "Michel – Germany", "Scott – U.S. and Canada". Each stamp is assigned a catalog number and this makes it easier to communicate about a given stamp with other collectors worldwide.
Where to Buy Stamps
You can buy stamps through auctions and net price sales. These sales are usually held on a regular basis in bigger cities. Nowadays, many auctions also take place online. The online selection helps you to browse thousands of stamps and buy the ones you want. Furthermore, a knowledgeable seller can offer guidance and help you to get started on your collection if you are new to philately.
The grading of stamps has become strict over the years especially during the last decade. There are three levels in the philatelic grading system. "Sound" for faults or defects, "Faulty" for small corner creases, and more. "Defective" for small rips, blatant creases, stains, pin-holes, and more. Another important factor of a stamp's grade and the price is the centering of the design. A stamp can be classified as "Superb (S)", "Extra Fine (XF)", "Very Fine (VF)", "Fine-Very Fine (F-VF)", "Fine (F)" and "Average (A)".
I hope you will get some useful information with the help of this blog regarding how to collect stamps. If you wish to buy some stamps and stamp collecting items for yourself, don’t forget to visit TrueGether, one of the best Shopify alternatives.