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13 Reviews

Discussion Category: Hobbies & Collectables

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      05.05.2010 21:00
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      The collecting of postage stamps is one of the world's most popular indoor hobbies. It brings the hobbyist into closer contact with our outer world and exposes the excellence of nations that we may not even consider in waking moments. The hobby has also been the recreational pursuit of many world leaders; including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

      Stamp collecting has roots in British culture. The first postage stamp was released for use in Great Britain on May 6, 1840. The stamp depicted Queen Victoria against a solid black background and carried the value of one penny. It was issued as an "imperforate" stamp, which did not feature any "teeth" on the border of the stamp like many of us are familiar with today. It is currently one of the most sought after stamps in the hobby and carries a catalogue value of up to £4,500 for mint condition examples as of 2005. The value of stamps frequently fluctuates as condition and rarity play crucial roles in determining retail pricing. Many collectors feel damage significantly reduces the value of a rare stamp and may even make a common stamp worthless. Because of this, it is important to adequately protect and store a stamp collection during its lifetime if one is considering future resale value. A well-maintained stamp collection is also very aesthetically pleasing and provides a great presentation for all who view it.

      Acquiring stamps is the first step in building a stamp collection. The most budget friendly method of acquisition is by saving envelope clippings from the post and "soaking" them in tepid water to remove the stamp. Collectors may also ask friends and family members to save envelopes that bear stamps in aims of building a larger collection. Unfortunately, the introduction of the Franking metre tariff and shipping labels has considerably reduced the number of postal used stamps in modern circulation. I know I can go many months without ever seeing a stamp on my mail despite the high volume of items that are shoved through my letter slot around midday. However, this is of great benefit to dealers and other retailers as customers seeking stamps come flocking to them in search of their elusive items. I find this is by far the easiest way of building a stamp collection, but I'm left in the lurch on many occasions as my local dealer's meeting and fair is only hosted on a quarterly basis. I do enjoy modern themes issued by the Royal Mail and willingly queue at my local post office to purchase the newest sets, but am never really aware about how much I'll be spending on the day with the seemingly always increasing stamp rates.

      After some stamps have been acquired, then it is up to the hobbyist to choose an appropriate storage method. It can be a simple lumping of all material into a shoe box, but this doesn't allow any spectator to enjoy the stamps. The two most widely accepted storage solutions for stamp collections are hinged albums and stockbooks.

      The album is a bound booklet where collectors may affix their loose stamps using stamp hinges. This is the most economical solutions as stamp hinges may be bought by the thousand for as little as a pound, but is said to be inappropriate for mint condition stamps as hinges tend to leave unsightly brown marks when removed. Stamp collectors may also use stamp mounts to affix their mint condition stamps in an album as these bound and protect the stamp without making contact with the adhesive gum. However, stamp mounts carry a higher unit cost and might be inappropriate for stamps only worth 1p from a collector's perspective.

      Stockbooks are a somewhat new invention in the world of stamp collecting. They present stamps in an album-like fashion, but do so by holding the stamp in place under a strip of material. This is usually a more expensive alternative to albums as stockbooks tend to be fewer in pages and made of acid free materials, but preserve stamps in their original condition as the use of stamp hinges isn't required or even possible. Stockbooks can provide an excellent solution for those who are concerned about future resale value.

      Perhaps the most important piece of advice I was given by a stamp dealer was "choose a theme or country of interest early as you will never collect every stamp ever; it's too expensive and too time-consuming". This is true as briefly sifting through a Stanley Gibbons stamp catalogue quickly reveals the true cost associated with the collection of rare and early stamps, which usually exceeds thousands of pounds. Fortunately, there are many themes and topics available for collectors who are unable to identify any countries that may be of interest. A collector may find stamps on animals, boats, chess, Disney characters, football, and much more.

      Stamp collecting has been a great source of pleasure and personal interest for me. It has provided me with an abundance of geographical and political knowledge without the need for a more learned academic approach. The hobby has captivated my mind and I don't plan on forsaking it any time soon. No, not even Anne Robinson's snarly remarks can deter me!

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        02.02.2009 21:58

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        collecting stamps can be fun

        Collecting Stamps has been a hobby of my Grandads for as long as I can remember. When I was younger I thought this hobby was a bit boring and almost took the mickey out of people that would do this as I could not see what was so interesting about it. When I was about 15, my Grandad gave me, my sister and my three cousins a load of stamps to keep for ourselves. I'm not quite sure what they did with theirs, but I went out and brought a book to keep them all in.

        I had great fun sorting out which stamps were from which countries, and arranging them all in the book I had brought. It made me feel quite embarassed about what I had previously said about the hobby. It just goes to show that the old saying is true 'don't knock it till you have tried it'!

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        02.09.2001 03:25
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        Stamps are one of the top ten hobbies and i havebeen collecting since i was 6 i am now 13, I love them, some can be quite valuble, others not that much, but over all they are greta they give youa nice grasp of countries and all other kinds of geological aspects, they can be very interesting to look at. At time you can be very interested in them and they can take up a lot of your time and effort but it is well worth it and you can finf out things you never would have known. Stamp collecting used to be very popular and you can be intrigued at there colour and designes. A few years aog stamps used to be popular but they are not as much now.

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          28.07.2001 01:30

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          I am a member of CCCC (Cover Collectors Circuit Club) since 1995. For those who do not know about this club, basically we send a nice cover to the next member on the circuit (there are 4 names on the circuit before it arrives at the originator). And each member gets rated for the quality of the cover. I cannot believe my eyes today, when I recieved a cover from IRAQ. At first glance, the cover looked excellent, with a complete set of 5 stamps issued in July 2000. But when I took another look at the stamps, I thought to myself, it doesn't look like REAL STAMPS. To me stamps normally have perforations (I know these days you can get sticker stamps without perforations. Some countries have started doing these without perforations, for example Singapore). But this one hasn't. And it looked like the original had been scanned (without perforations) and then printed on a colour inkjet. I was utterly disappointed, and angry of course. Does this mean the postal authority is not very efficient in IRAQ?? Yolande Saunders

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          17.07.2001 03:30
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          This Op won't be about how to collect stamps, and I won't try to give you advice. To me stamp collecting is like sexuality, everything is ok, as long as it serves your personal needs and doesn't harm anyone else. Lots of people have different goals and pleasures from their hobby, and I like just having a hobby. I never thought about collecting stamps, or coins or expired telephone cards because I always believed it was a wimpy activity. I did not know how fun and educating that collecting stamps could be. It fosters an appreciation for the whole wide world, and just a small scrap of paper can be a passport to the excitement of another culture. I will someday teach my daughter to collect stamps and look forward to answering her questions such as "Where is Moldova?" {see my Op on Moldova to grasp what I will tell her} It seems like such a nice hobby that a parent can do with their child or a grandparent can do. Not only can they be an impetus to learn about another land, but its wildlife and kings and sports. It is like very stamp is its own snapshot or postcard. So how did I start collecting stamps? Like I said I never collected anything. People would say that I had a gun collection, but that is not true. That is like saying a chef collects the knives he uses every day or a professional photographer collects the ameras he uses in his studio. Each of my guns had a specific use and purpose, they weren't just laying around collecting dust because they are rare, likewise most of my pieces are common mass produced weapons with absolutely no collectors value. My only other amassing of a item that is akin to many other similar items would be all my dirty magazines. For instance I had every single magazine that Victoria Paris ever appeared in. I guess that is a collection, but it doesn't seem the same as collecting coins. It isn't like we have pornography clubs or "Dirty Magazine" shows. I don't believe t
          hat I really collect dirty magazines, I just happen to buy them and keep them. You just sort of get attached to certain ones some times. Anyways, the point is I never had a collection. One day MarlboroMax came over and were we drinking. Most europeans outside the Balkans do not understand this because they are not free men who own guns and can't conceptualize the idea that only free men own guns. It seems when men drink a lot they tend to think it is a good idea to get out their guns and show them off to people that haven't seen them before, or who have seen them lots of times. It isn't like we take a breathelizer and say, wow I am up to point 13, its time to play with the guns. It just sort of happens, and no one knows how, guns just magically appear from nowhere. Having a cool gun and not letting your buddies shoot it is like taking guests out to your garage and showing them you new Jag with no intention of letting them drive it, or having an especially steamy girlfriend and not letting them try her out. This night we are partying like Rocks stars, my little sister who had been on the Jenny Jones show ('From geek to Chic look at me now'- Kortenie in a black skirt and white top who called the big black guy Shannon a sea donkey) was up from where she lives in Myrtle Beach South Carolina So the next thing I know we are shooting off this 1893 Broomhandle Mauser and it my community it doesn't take long for the cops to show up. We had a small debate over the legality of shooting a pistol in our local and the cops acceded that we did have that right because we are in atownship rather than a city. But, as it was 4am they wrote us up for disturbing the peace {What peace? who came up with that phrase, there ain't no peace to disturb}. And We had to go to court. Turns out the Judge we got is an avid hunter and a sportsman himself so we were lucky as far as it beat getting some vassal of the liberal left
          who would have given us hell. Half of our court case was Max showing the judge how the gun worked and explaining how the strip clips worked and all that jazz.The judge was impressed. Then he looked at our letters from our company and our work logs and our credit reports and all that jazz, judges like to see that you work fulltime, it is kind of a unwritten law in america that as long as you work fulltime and pay your bills you should be able to do whatever you want. I thought this judge was going to be all nice and lenient because like I said he was soft on decent working men packing concealed heat and stuff like that. But I was wrong. Now you are standing here in the dock, which is pretty much solemn and stolid, I guess the right word is dignified. there is this air of dignity, like A Catholic Church. And this judge leans back in his chair and fold his hands across his stomach and just stares at us while he thinks. He finally says...."I have made a decison. You who are upstanding hardworking men and a merit to society at large.", the judge looks over to the little old guy doing that little adding machine thing and the guy stops typing on it, like on cue, "But it is quite obvious that you A-holes need a hobby besides drinking and playing with guns" So we are like nodding and all attentive to this crap. You, Maxwell J. MacArthur, I sentence you to collect baseball cards. And you, he points at me, but he can't pronounce my name right at all, you are going to collect stamps. We look like all stupid and our attorny is like trying to stop this, and I am thinking, "Ok, I could have gotten six months and this fool is throwing a spat over having to collect stamps. I told him to shut down. I think he just wanted to make more money off of us by arguing with the judge and appealing it. So the judge is like, "You two will come and see me in 6 months and in that time you will have begun to collect stamps and baseball
          cards. I want to see evidence that they are a cohesive and coherent collection, both of you will bring me evidence of attending swap meets and clubs for the said hobbies, don't you dare come back here with a box full of sportscards and call it a hobby, I want to see price guides, appraisals and a nice album. Now Max is all mad and upset and I was like chill out, its better than going to jail everynight. So I asked the judge if I could speak, and he said ok, and I asked him, what kind of stamps should I collect and if it would be Ok to just buy stuff at the Post Office. So the judge confers with the baliff, the guy doing that machine, and some other woman. I think the baliff was into stamps or something. "Cammiske Jesus you are sentenced to collect Falkland Island stamps" "Thats the malvinas?", I asked, trying to show off my knowledge of world events. 'No jackass (I guess the old guy wasn't typing verbatim)the British won so they will be the Falklands until Argentina can back up saying otherwise. With that the judge justs waves us away, dismissing us like he should be called, "your majesty". We go upstairs and pay our court costs and arrange our so-called probation and the women were laughing at us and laughing how this judge has done some neat stuff to harmless offenders like our selves. So now I collect stamps. I got some book called Scotts and I get this pages with like black and white pictures of the stamps, that are the same size as the stamps and then I put the stamps on them with these little corner thingies. I go to stamps show at malls and in hotel lobbies and ask everyone if they have Falkland Island stamps. It is kinda weird because I guess lots of people do have them. I think the judge knew that and knew if I had to seek out a given countries stamps I would have social intercourse with other collectors instead of just buying some ready made stamp collection from a department store. I
          have lots of the same pictures on my stamps but they will have different colors and numbers. I have all of them with this guy and girl from 1937 and a bunch with sheep on them. I don't really know what any of them are worth, this Scott book says, but who knows, I don't really look at it, I just have figured out what stamps are from the Falklands and when I see them at a show I just ask the guy what he wants and if it doesn't seem like a lot of money I pay it. I don't mind paying "book" and I know these guys are running circles around me, but the cost is minor compared to getting stuck in a jail where I can't smoke. The funny thing is, is that I am proud of all my Falkland island stamps and I really want to finish this one page that is missing a few stamps. I had to call the judge and ask him something about dependencies, all these people want to know If I collect dependencies, I tell them I have 3 claimed dependents on my taxes and they laugh at me. Max is doing good with his baseball card collecting. He just put an ad in the paper saying that he is interested in buying whole collections and some kid showed up with some crap he wanted to sell to get money to buy a car. We looked at the stuff and looked at some of the items in the completed auctions on E-Bay and it seemed like a good deal and the kid had like whole sets and a whole bunch of George Brett cards, like almost every one ever made, so that looks good. But you may benefit from collecting something. It seems like with stamps people are very friendly and want company more than making money off of you. I mostly just have bar friends and friends from work, but these Philastine people are nice and really care about each other and want to help others. Like some guy named Arnie just sends me some stamp I needed for my book, just sent it to me with a note telling me he found it in Florida and hopes it is in good enough condition for my book, isn't that nice. S
          tamp collectors are nice, civil, educated people and I will probaly still collect stamps even after the judge lets me off when he sees my whole book full of Falkland Island stamps

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            14.06.2001 01:32
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            Twenty or thirty years ago philately, or stamp collecting, was one of the most popular hobbies of all, and had been so for many years. Times have changed, and this is evidently no longer the case. I was introduced to stamps as a small child by my uncle, a retired teacher, who collected and also made a certain amount of pin-money through selling more common stamps in approval booklets. (You can guess what I usually had for Christmas, can't you?) At first I kept everything that came my way, not only from him but also from family and friends who generously chipped in, plus whatever came off the post at my father's office. Actually, not quite everything. As both my elder sisters and my mother collected as well, there was a lot of competition. When I was about ten, I decided not to bother with foreign issues any more, 'foreign' in philatelic terms usually meaning 'non-UK, non-British Commonwealth'. I can still remember the thrill when I had saved up enough pocket money to splash out on a coveted 1840 1d. black and, five years later, its more expensive counterpart, the 2d. blue. Sadly, I never managed to afford the coveted 1882 £5 orange. Expect to pay around £1200-£1500 for a used copy in good condition, and considerably more mint. Around this time I decided to restrict myself simply to Britain, Ireland, and Canada. Britain, for obvious reasons; Ireland, because my eldest sister lived there at the time and I had become interested in Irish history as a result, and Canada (including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland, all of which have long since ceased to issue their own) because their designs and pictorial issues were particularly interesting, especially from the late 19th century onwards. A few years after that, I narrowed the field further to British issues only. This is not such a slender field as it sounds, if the regional issues of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the Channel Isl
            ands and Isle of Man (independent since 1969 and 1973 respectively), are also included. Lundy 'stamps' from the island off Devon, by the way, though of interest, are not officially recognised by the Post Office and do not count. About five years ago, I stopped collecting completely. Having always aimed to collect the full mint (unused, with original gum) and used (postmarked) sets, I had found the task of keeping up hard work and no longer fun, and when my job became part-time, I realised I could no longer afford to try. In addition, I had long since found the Post Office's proliferation of annual issues was a case of killing the goose that lays the golden egg. About half a dozen annual commemorative or 'special' pictorial sets of up to four or five different values each was fair enough, but the endless procession of 'Greetings' stamps as well, I thought, was overdoing it. Nevertheless I have kept what I had, and still take the albums out regularly to look at and enjoy. I sometimes wonder what the advantages and disadvantages are for youngsters who want to start collecting today. On one hand, there is a tremendous variety to choose from, even from British issues alone. They are not restricted to the standard definitive issues (those just bearing the Queen's head and the value), but all the pictorial, booklet and Christmas issues as well. On the other hand, a much greater proportion of mail, domestic and overseas, is automatically franked. I remember getting most indignant as a boy when my father received the occasional communication with one of these boring machine-printed monstrosities, instead of a proper coloured postage stamp. That was back in the (deep sigh) days when there were twenty shillings to the pound. All the same, I'd recommend it as a hobby to anybody, particularly anybody young. (No, I don't mean to be ageist!) There are numerous advantages – the th
            rill of building up and organising a collection of what are, in effect, miniature legal documents, often with their own story to tell; being given a bag full of the treasure trove of 'kiloware', an unsorted mixture of absolutely anything, waiting to be checked and soaked off the corners of envelopes or pieces of parcel wrapping from which they have been carefully (we hope) trimmed; the geography lessons you can learn from them (where are Aitutaki? Borneo? Trinidad & Tobago? Prince Edward Island?). Dealers, and also W.H. Smith, sell mixed 'starter' packets of G.B. or whole world at affordable prices for beginners. Above all there is the beauty of the designs, though some are more beautiful than others; the endless categories to choose from, whether you restrict yourself to a particular country, or theme, such as stamps showing animals, birds, flowers, famous paintings et al. My mother still collects 'thematically', and it always makes her day when she or I find another attractive wildlife stamp that she's never seen before. The golden rule is: decide what you want to collect, go for it, and have fun doing it! There are several small books on collecting stamps as a hobby for the beginner, or for general interest browsing. Particularly recommended is the pocket size Collins Gem 'Collecting Stamps', James A. Mackay, 1999 (0004723457, £3.99 from Amazon). For a full illustrated list of what stamps are out there, the long-established bible is the ever-proliferating range of Stanley Gibbons catalogues. Again at the risk of showing my age, I can recall when they published a 'simplified' catalogue in one volume listing everything issued by every country in the world, as well as showing tiny black and white pictures for most of them and giving the price which as dealers they would charge for a copy. Now it has been split into several parts, and there are more specialist titles covering part
            icular countries or world regions as well as the standard simplified. A visit to your nearest large public library should reveal several hefty tomes, or alternatively visit their website at www.stanleygibbons.com. 'Collect British Stamps', the Gibbons full colour catalogue of UK issues, is generally reprinted once every few months, and a useful affordable reference work at £7.95. Note – Gibbons prices for stamps are a little on the high side. It's long been standard practice for other high street and postal (and now internet) dealers to sell at approximately two-thirds of the Gibbons catalogue value. Also, at the risk of stating the obvious, a stamp doesn't have to be old to be valuable. Low values from most countries were issued in vast numbers and available for several years, with the result that even many 19th century examples are still plentiful and comparatively inexpensive. I could go on ad infinitum about some of my favourite stamps, about hinges, tweezers, First Day Covers, clubs and societies, forgeries, inverted watermarks, recess printing versus photogravure, phosphor bars, et al, but I'll leave you to seek out specialist details elsewhere if you're interested. I hope this op has provided you with a brief overview and, hopefully, conveyed some of my enthusiasm for what was an abiding passion of mine for years. I'll leave you with a little bit of trivia which I read somewhere. Why does the Queen have a parrot on the top of her head? Look carefully at one of today's definitive stamps and you'll see what I mean.

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              05.06.2001 18:38
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              My dad for as long as I can remember has always collected stamps. He has a collection from all over the world. He was a ham-radio operator and always had people he talked to send him stamps. He spent hours peeling them off the envelopes and putting them with special tape in looseleaf binders. He labeled what countries they came from. He must have like 25 or so of these albums. Stamps are his most prized possession, far more value than anything. He has even left his collection in his will to his kids, thats how important they are to him. He has countries from all over, all the United states, US Mints, first day of issue..to a stamp collector the value is high. His favoriate is the scenery ones. How a beautiful scene could be fitted into a little square amazes him. Stamp collecting brings his may hours of joy. Well this opinion is more about my dad it seems than stamp collecting but I just wanted to stress the importance of having a great hobby for a very long time. Dad was a kid when he started and now he is in his elder years. And it brought him many years of pleasure. It is a great way to learn about the world in little pictures and also alot of history comes from stamps. We all must do what we love and have oulets in life, hobbies that bring the mind joy:)Stamp collecting is a fun, interesting, ageless hobby to become involved with.

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                25.10.2000 01:08

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                I realise stamp collecting is a very popular hobby and I know collectors are passionate about what they do but this is jujst one of these things that I just don't understand. I know that stamps are very interesting pieces of history and I know that it must be a great feeling finding a rare stamp but its just something that doesn't appeal to me. It might be that they are small and I'd like something big and rewarding to collect that can be displayed and presented for all to see but maybe that reflects my personality. I know stamps are a part of history and they are sought after and often very expensive items. They also contain some very detailed artwork and designs. This is just one of these things that simply isn't for me. It could be a very worthwhile and interesting hobby to take up but it just not for me.

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                05.10.2000 04:26
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                Many a time I've had the mick taken out of me for one of my hobbies which I've done on and off since I was a nipper, which is stamp collecting or philately to the more educated amongst you <g>, no doubt a few of you are sniggering right now. Well if you stick with me I'll tell you why I do it and put up with the ridicule. A stamp is far more than a piece of paper with a picture on it or a commodity to be traded, it is a snapshot of time, space and history. Every single one has a story to tell whether they are used or not. Take the humble Penny Black - not as rare as you might think - it has managed to survive well over a hundred years from the 19th century and a world very different from ours today, it may still be attached to the original letter which could be a testament to the life of one of our ancestors. They are all produced to serve a pedestrian everyday purpose but each different design marks a turn in history in a different part of the world, perhaps a rise in postage rates to subsidise relief efforts in some long forgotten disaster or a new war in some far flung part of the world. Even the commemerative stamps produced today, which are largely to make money from the collectors, mark some occasion like the Olympics or a Royal wedding which we can look back on as another part of our history. On top of all thet they are also miniature works of art, have you ever taken time to look at the stamp which you lick and plonk on your letter, each one is crafted to perfection by artists. So take the michael if you will, at the end of the day I love history and those little bits of paper are a physical link to a different time and place, some quite recent and others long long ago.

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                  13.09.2000 08:25
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                  Many a time I've had the mick taken out of me for one of my hobbies which I've done on and off since I was a nipper, which is stamp collecting or philately to the more educated amongst you <g>, no doubt a few of you are sniggering right now. Well if you stick with me I'll tell you why I do it and put up with the ridicule. A stamp is far more than a piece of paper with a picture on it or a commodity to be traded, it is a snapshot of time, space and history. Every single one has a story to tell whether they are used or not. Take the humble Penny Black - not as rare as you might think - it has managed to survive well over a hundred years from the 19th century and a world very different from ours today, it may still be attached to the original letter which could be a testament to the life of one of our ancestors. They are all produced to serve a pedestrian everyday purpose but each different design marks a turn in history in a different part of the world, perhaps a rise in postage rates to subsidise relief efforts in some long forgotten disaster or a new war in some far flung part of the world. Even the commemerative stamps produced today, which are largely to make money from the collectors, mark some occasion like the Olympics or a Royal wedding which we can look back on as another part of our history. On top of all thet they are also miniature works of art, have you ever taken time to look at the stamp which you lick and plonk on your letter, each one is crafted to perfection by artists. So take the michael if you will, at the end of the day I love history and those little bits of paper are a physical link to a different time and place, some quite recent and others long long ago.

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                    13.08.2000 05:55
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                    I am now 26, but clearly remember the hours of devotion I gave as a young "lad" to my stamp collection. I think stamp collecting is a phase that young boys in particular go through. When I first met my (at the time girlfriend), who now happens to be my wife, she could not believe the amount of collections that I had accumulated over the years as a child, one of these being about 3 very thick albums of stamps. I use to spend hours on my "production line of stamp collecting" - first tearing off the "pretty" stamp from the envelope, then asking Mum to boil the kettle. I then had a tray of boiling water, on which I would place the stamp for it to gradually float off. I then picked it off with a pair of tweezers and placed it on kitchen roll for it to dry. I'm sure the puritan stamp collectors (or philatelists) would not advice on such a method, but as a child, the anticipation was the best part! A trip to WHSMith ensued, with pocket money in hand, to buy a collection pack of wild animals, sport, royalty or whatever stamps, some of which were from countries I had never even heard of (and never will since). Loose change was spent on the essential item: Stanley Gibbons stamp hinges!! These were like tiny bits of tracing paper, with pleasant tasting adhesive on both sides, one would affix to the back of the stamp, the other onto the page of the album. Once stuck though, they were a devil to get off, and many a ripped stamp was gained, much to my annoyance. Children today do grow up very quickly, with current trends and media deciding children's hobbies. I would love to see children's innocence kept intact, a great way of doing this is to encourage your child to stamp-collect. Now, "first day covers", there's another story.....

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                      05.07.2000 02:13
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                      Stamp collecting can either be an interactive hobby where one collects stamps just for the fun of it and at the same time broadening one's knowledge of the world around us. One of the most interesting aspects of stamp collecting is the off chance of coming across a "flaw". A flaw is a stamp which has a defect of some kind. The chances of finding such stamps are very rare, nevertheless it is known that these stamps exist and philatelists across the world are always on the lookout for such specimens. When found, they are considered as jewels in the philatelic world ! Taking up stamp collecting, you will be joining the multitude who live in the hope of finding such a specimen to add to their collection. All stamp collectors and traders have to be very wary because there are a lot of facimilies around, (modern technology making it easier for crooks to make replicas), it is very difficult to differenciate between an original and a fake. Stamp collecting is known as Philately and is a very rewarding hobby because it immensely enhances the general knowledge of the collector. Through stamp collecting, one finds information about currency, science, history, architecture, politics, arts, customs and rituals of different peoples and countries of the world.

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                      29.06.2000 23:50
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                      A couple of things to add: Collections with a theme are usually more interesting than collections of a country - Penguins are more interesting that Pakistan. In the UK, a really good source of stamps is charity shops. These tend to have the collections of old people who have given up. My experience is that they usually have hoards hidden under the counter at extremely low prices and often arranged by themes...but you do havbe to ask for them. Finally, stamps provide a really good, easy hobby for kids which is cheaper than Pokemon!!!

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