Collecting stamps can be a rewarding hobby at any level of skill or expense. A beginner or child can be perfectly happy with an album of pretty pictures from any country. An advanced collector can be enthralled with a detailed study of a single stamp, or by the challenge of tracking down the last stamp to complete a country or themed collection. The right way to collect is the way that makes you happy.

Stamp collecting should be enjoyable above all else, and we all learn many valuable lessons as time progresses, but we’d like to give you a bit of a head-start on your collection – with some tips we learnt along the way.

1: Not all stamps are equal!

Some countries stamps are readily available and have little value other than to a collector. This low ‘catalogue’ value is often due to the overproduction of the stamp by the issuing country. Some countries – such as { } have so many stamps produced that they are listed in an appendix at the end of the country, and are not given a value. However this does not mean that all stamps from this country have no value, often earlier, or more modern stamps are of value.

2: Condition is everything

Aim to collect the best version of a stamp you can. This applies whatever condition (mint/used/mounted Mint) stamp you collect. It also applies if you collect by Country or by Theme (Thematics). A clean example of a stamp will always be worth more than an example with short perfs, faded colour, ‘pinked’, foxed etc, No mater what the catalogue value of the stamp.

3: Once you have your stamps, look after them

We have seen a few occasions where beautiful collections, with lovely examples of stamps, have been stored in damp conditions, leading to damage and devauleation of the stamps. Cigerate and cigar smoke can also devalue a collection.

4: Collect them according to condition, and keep them as that condition.

Mint: So you’ve just bought yourself a nice post office mint collection of stamps, and paid the appropriate price for the condition of the set. The last thing you want to do is then stick them into your collection book by either a hinge or by licking the back and attaching the whole stamp to the page. You instantly devalue your stamps. Mounts are the best way to keep your Mint and Mounted mint stamps. Mounted mint stamps are ones that have had a hinge attached to the back of them. This is very common with early stamp examples, as there was no other real way of a collecter keeping and displaying their collection. Try not to devalue them further by rehinging them.

Used: As these stamps have been used, whether postally or on a First Day Cover, these stamps have often been soaked to remove the backing paper of the envelope of parcel paper. These stamps can be safely hinged, as they can often be re-soaked to remove the hinge off the back of the stamp.

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