IntroductionIf you’re thinking of starting stamp collecting there are a number of ways of going about it which I will outline in this guide.
• The traditional is to do an all-world collection which involves collecting stamps generally and displayed under each country.
• Thematic collecting involves collecting any stamps with a theme such as flowers, animals , butterflies, space and cars. The trick is to pick a subject that interest you and to keep a look out for stamps on your theme.
• A single country collection.
• A specialist collection is a collection that effectively makes a study in a certain area of philately. Examples include a single stamp issue, stamps of a country between two dates,(i.e. Germany 1900 – 1930) and a set of definitive issues. Definitive issues are everyday monetary stamps that are not commemorating an event.
There is a lot to be said for each and it much depends on your interests. The all-world is good for kids and new collectors to help you to learn to identify stamps and to get a feel for the hobby. Thematic tends to appeal to a specific collector it’s not something I particularly like. The single country can be very interesting but I would recommend restricting the date range initially. The specialist collection is for collectors that have gain a great deal of experience generally but with a little care a beginner could start a less challenging specialist study.
The basic equipmentThe basic equipment you should have are:
1. Stamp Tweezes
2. Stamp Catalogue
3. Magnifying glass
4. Stamp Album, which should be a loose leaf either multi-ring holder or spring back.
5. Mount system and or stamp hinges
6. A good book on stamp collecting.
Additional equipment you can get eventually are:
8. Watermark detector
9. There are other technical instruments but these are for the specialist.
This should give you the basic information you need to start but you should read a book on the subject. You can also join your local stamp club and the members will be only too glad to help a new collector.
In due course I will write some more specialists guides to expand on some of the issue outlined in this article.