Stamp collecting supplies
Become a skilled stamp collector with these tips.For many, stamp collecting is a rewarding hobby – each stamp provides information about the history, culture, currency and arts of a country or region. This popular pastime, called Philately in stamp collecting circles, is not only interesting but relaxing as well. For those considering taking up stamp collecting, here is some information on the supplies you will need.
The first thing you will need when stamp collecting is, of course, stamps. Ask friends and families if they have any stamps they could give you. Explore the attic and the basement for old letters and mailings that may still have stamps on them. Stamps that are stuck on letters can be gently soaked off. Your local post office will have new stamps you can purchase to begin your collection. Attend garage sales and check newspaper classifieds to see if any are for sale.
Once you become involved in stamp collecting networks, you will find others with whom you can trade, sell and buy stamps. Many online sites such as eBay and other auction and selling sites are great sources for stamps. In addition, there are stamp catalogues from which you can buy stamps of all types. To learn more about stamps, join an online group or purchase some books on the topic. You'll be a pro in no time.
Once you have collected a few stamps, the easiest and least expensive way to store them is in glassine envelopes placed in boxes free of humidity, light and heat. These types of envelopes and boxes can be purchased at any craft or hobby store.
A slightly more expensive – but also more organized – and better way to display your stamps is in an album. Like glassine envelopes and storage boxes, stamp-collecting albums can be purchased at any craft and hobby store. These albums have specially coated pages that protect and preserve the stamps. In addition, you can buy extra pages for the albums once the book becomes full. You can organize the stamps within the album in any fashion you wish – by color, region, topic or size.
One of the necessary stamp collecting supplies is a pair of tweezers, or stamp tongs. Handling the stamps causes damage; the natural oils on your hands will soil the stamp and mar its color and quality. Use the tweezers to move the stamps into their preferred position in the album or to place them into envelopes.
You will also need a magnifying glass. This will allow you to inspect your findings close-up. One of the exciting things to look for when stamp collecting is imperfections. It is very rare to find a stamp that is marred; if you do find one, know that this is one of the biggest coups of stamp collecting.
Once you have become a pro, the amount of stamp collecting supplies you will need will increase. Items such as color keys, infrared lights, mounts, inventory records and tag protectors will become more important as your collection becomes more sophisticated.
Information about these types of supplies is available in stamp collecting books as well as on the Internet; simply enter the phrase stamp collecting into your favorite search engine for instant access to thousands of pages devoted to this favorite pastime. Once your collection becomes large enough to warrant the purchase of these supplies, purchase them from sellers online or at your nearest hobby and craft stores.
Deciding what stamp collecting supplies you need may appear daunting, but with a little practice and research, you will be a collecting pro in no time. Enjoy!