The British government became the first to issue stamps when it released the Penny Black in 1840. Stamp collecting quickly became a popular hobby in Britain soon after that and spread around the world from there. One of the appeals of stamp collecting is the artwork of the stamps. The British postal service has issued many eye-catching and significant stamps over the years. Of the different types of themes around which the British system has designed its stamps, nature-themed ones can be particularly appealing to collectors.
The amount of nature-themed British stamps in circulation is immense. The sheer volume of what is available can make it difficult to decide how to go about collecting these stamps. In order to successfully build a collection of nature-themed British stamps, individuals should choose a collecting style. It is also recommended that they have the right accessories for managing their collections. eBay is a good source from which to buy nature-themed British stamps, but successful shopping on the website requires that collectors know what they are looking for.
Collecting Styles for British Nature-Themed Stamps
Because the British postal service has issued a great many nature-themed stamps over the years, it is difficult to complete a collection of all of these types of stamps. Collectors may want to choose a specific style of collecting instead. They can choose a particular nature theme, a type of stamp, singles or sets, or a region of Britain from which to collect. Collectors can also limit their collections to stamps of certain conditions.
Themes of Nature
Nature is a broad theme, including many different flora and fauna. Collectors may therefore want to choose a theme within nature, such as birds,, wild animals,, or insects and butterflies.. It can be easier to complete a collection by focussing on a more specific theme. Once a collector has built up a large enough collection around one nature theme, he or she can move on to another.
Types of Nature-Themed British Stamps
Another way to collect nature-themed British stamps is by stamp type. The Royal Mail system has issued numerous types of stamps in its history, some of which it still issues. These stamps have served different purposes. The table below describes the different types of nature-themed British stamps that collectors may choose.
Distinguished between air mail delivery and ground delivery when the postal system began to use airplanes; higher rate for air delivery
Honor significant events in British history; may also depict famous Britons or historic moments
Common stamps used to pay for sending mail; issued over extended period of time; sometimes referred to as "regular issue"
Issued to fill gaps when demand outstrips supply on definitive stamps; issuing period is relatively brief; relatively rare for nature-themed British stamps
Many nature-themed British stamps are commemorative, though definitive stamps in general are in greater circulation than commemorative and provisional stamps. Airmail and provisional nature-themed British stamps are in much lower circulation.
Singles or Sets of Nature-Themed British Stamps
No matter which nature theme or stamp type that collectors choose, they can decide whether to collect single stamps or sets. The older the issue, the more difficult it may be to find sets, but it is not impossible to find set stamps for old issues. Single stamps are one stamp detached from others at the perforation lines. Sets come in a few different forms. They may be large sheets of 100 or more stamps, or sheetlets of 20 or 24. Corner blocks, also known as plate blocks, are popular among collectors. These are blocks of stamps from one of the four corners of a sheet, and they generally feature printed information about the issue.
Many collectors are also fond of first-day covers,, or FDCs. These are stamps issued on a cover or postal card on the first day they are authorised for use. Postal Headquarter cards,, or PHQ, are also popular. These are not actually stamps, but postcards that bear the images of commemorative stamps.
The various regions in Britain issue their own stamps from time to time, and collectors may favour stamps from specific regions.. Whether it is to show regional pride or to commemorate a particularly enjoyable vacation, there are plenty of local stamps that offer a taste of one of Britain's numerous distinct regions.
Condition of Stamps
It is important to pay close attention to the condition of stamps when collecting them. Mint-condition stamps are unused and appear just as they did when the post office issued them. Some stamps may be unused, but other collectors may have mounted them directly to albums. Doing so alters stamps and decreases their value for many collectors.
While collectors generally prefer mint-condition stamps, there are cases where a used stamp is more appealing. A cancellation mark indicating that a stamp has been used may be appealing for historical reasons. Sometimes, the postcard or envelope to which a stamp is affixed is also of interest to collectors. In many cases though, when picking from identical stamps, collectors choose the one in a better condition.
Accessories to Aid in Collection of Nature-Themed British Stamps
An important aspect of collecting nature-themed British stamps is the accessories to aid in the collection. These are additional items, such as catalogues and tools, that help individuals manage their collections.
Catalogues of Nature-Themed Stamps
For almost as long as the Royal Mail has issued stamps, philately experts have produced catalogues describing those stamps. The information that catalogues contain can be important to stamp collectors. They inform collectors of dates of issue, colour variations, and the values of stamps. There are catalogues devoted to British stamps, and collectors can find information about nature-themed British stamps in these catalogues. As collectors learn more about stamps in the catalogues, they be motivated to find the stamps described in a catalogue that are not already in their collections.
While catalogues provide essential information about nature-themed British stamps to collectors, equipment such as albums, tweezers, magnifiers, and perforation gauges help individuals manage their collections. These tools are important for organising stamps and preserving their condition.
Albums are books with acid-free paper to which collectors can mount their stamps. They allow flexibility in organising stamp collections. For example, collectors may choose to place descriptions with issue information next to stamps. Collectors can also choose to mount stamps to album pages by using hinges or plastic mounts. The former are pieces of paper with adhesive that stick to stamps' gum sides and to the album pages. They make for quick and easy mounting, but also wear down the gum sides on stamps. Plastic mounts are small plastic cases into which collectors insert stamps. They then stick the adhesive sides of the plastic mounts to the album pages.
Collectors can also use stock books instead of mounting. Stock books are albums with pockets into which collectors slide their stamps. Some collectors consider stock books a less presentable way than albums to keep stamps, but they make for quick and easy organisation of stamps.
Tweezers help collectors preserve the condition of their nature-themed British stamps when they mount them. Tweezers for stamps have rounded tips instead of sharp ones. This design enables collectors to handle stamps without damaging them. Fingerprints can degrade a mint-condition stamp, so tweezers are essential tools for stamp collectors to own.
Many collectors want to be able to closely inspect their stamps, and they purchase magnifiers to do so. A regular magnifying glass is suitable for some, while others prefer the enhanced magnification of a microscope. Magnifiers are helpful in confirming the condition of stamps and appreciating the details of stamps in general.
The details of stamps matter a great deal to collectors, and one of the interesting features is the number of perforations a stamp has. If a collector is interested in this aspect of stamps, a perforation gauge can help count the number of perforations on a stamp's edge. A gauge can also measure the size of each perforation. Many collectors find that a perforation gauge enhances their enjoyment of the hobby.
How to Buy Nature-Themed British Stamps on eBay
One good source for nature-themed British stamps is eBay.. The site has an extensive selection of these stamps, and it is easy to find them by using eBay's user-friendly search tools.
To conduct a search, visit an eBay page, type a basic term, such as "stamps", into the search bar, and click the Search button. When you receive the results, click on the Great Britain category and then select Nature from the Theme menu. This displays the nature-themed British stamps for sale on eBay. You can continue to choose preferences, such as Covers or PHQ Cards,, by choosing from the various menu options that the website provides. The options enable you to use eBay for niche collecting, making the site a good resource that supports many methods of stamp collecting.
No matter what your choice of stamps may be, it is important that you take the time to check the history of the seller from whom you are interested in purchasing stamps. By reviewing customer feedback and ratings on the seller's eBay page, you can feel more confident about proceeding with a purchase on the website.
Nature-themed British stamps are a popular genre of stamps for collectors. The Royal Mail service in Great Britain has issued many of them over the years. The number of these stamps in circulation can make choosing a starting point for a collection a daunting task. Those who aspire to collect nature-themed British stamps should first choose a particular style of collecting. This may involve choosing a sub-theme, a type of stamp, singles or sets, or stamps from a particular region of Great Britain. Collectors should also pay attention to the condition of the stamps they collect.
Almost as important to the stamps that collectors acquire are the accessories that they use to manage their nature-themed British stamps. Catalogues furnish valuable information about these stamps. Albums are necessary for organising and displaying collections. Tweezers, magnifiers, and perforation gauges can help collectors preserve and appreciate their collections.
Collectors can find a great selection of British nature-themed stamps and accessories on eBay. As long as collectors know how to use the site, eBay is a great source for building such a stamp collection.