Stamp collecting is the most popular hobby in the world. However, if you are not a collector you may be asking, “Why stamps? Aren’t stamps just pictures on little pieces of paper?” Scientifically speaking, yes that’s correct. However, there is so much more to stamps that people of any age, any income and any interest can find some aspect of stamp collecting appealing and very satisfying.
Stamps are History!
Stamps represent historical events, people and places. Its an easy stepping stone to learning as much or as little about world or local history as you want. With the aide of a good stamp catalog the world is at your fingertips. Stamps makes learning fun and you might not even realize that you are learning.
Its like visiting exotic places from your own living room.
Many ways to Collect.
There are so many ways to chose how to collect. You can be a generalist and collect every stamp ever made. You can specialize on a particular area. Or you can be a generalist with a number of specialized areas. You can collect a specific country (or area) or a particular kind of stamp from an area. The possibilities are virtually endless.
Some Specific Areas of Collecting
Here are a few very common areas of collecting: topical (ie: birds, castles, Disney), Precancels (i.e: US or foreign), Machins (Queen Elizabeth heads), Perfins (stamps with holes punched into them), classics (stamps issued in the 19th century), forgeries, airmail and postal history, just to name a few.
What interests you?
The advantage of stamp collecting is it allows you the ability to spend as little or as much money as you want. Many areas of collecting cost less than 15c a stamp, while others can cost in the $100s. You can choose! In India it can be varied from Rs.5 a stamp to Rs.200. Vintage stamps cost more!!
Last year in Oct, 2015 during my visit to Gandhi Museum at Raj Ghat, Delhi, I found vintage stamps of Gandhiji from all over the world. Being a stamp collector since childhood thought to add some real classic stamps in my collections. But the cost of 500 real Gandhiji stamps were starts from Rs.1,00,000. Phew! May be in future 🙂
You can join a club and have weekly interactions with other people. This is a great way to meet people and make new friends and share ideas. Clubs are also a good way to increase your social skills and enjoyment by getting involved in community events (such as a local stamp show).
Do it Alone: Stress Reducer 🙂
You can also do stamp collecting alone. You can spend as much time or as little time as you want. You can work with your stamps any time, rain or shine! Its a weatherproof hobby. Its a passive hobby that can help reduce stress and easily gives a feeling of accomplishment.
Always Something to Learn 🙂
You will never be done learning in this hobby. There are libraries of information on every subject of stamps and research is continuously uncovering more information. Also, new stamps are always being issued, creating even more items to be learned and researched.
If you want to be mentally challenged, then this hobby is for you. However, challenges are not a requirement to enjoy this hobby; some collectors collect stamps simply because the picture on the stamp appeals to them.