Stamp collecting has become an honored tradition among all generations. Stamp collectors will often pass on their albums to the next generation to keep the tradition alive; making it not only a valuable hobby, but also a means of keeping communication between generations open. One way that younger stamp collectors often begin their new found hobby is by inheriting an album from an older family member.
There are several different methods of stamp collecting. One can collect stamps by country, by design, or just a little bit of everything. Some people become fascinated with one specific stamp, and acquire as many of those stamps as they can. Combining one person's collection with another can quickly increase the number of stamps in the collection, making the inheritance aspect of collecting especially attractive.
One thing that all collectors agree on is that proper care of the stamps is vital. It is recommended that one never touch the stamps with their bare hands, as the oils from one's skin can dirty the stamp over time, thus decreasing it's value. Using stamp tongs is the preferred method. It is also advised that stamps are not set on a table, for much the same reasons. The dust from a table can also sully a stamp, so stamps should be placed on a clean surface like a piece of paper.
The knowledge that an experienced collector can share with a beginner is invaluable. Not only do they know precisely how to handle and care for the stamps in their collection, they have the familiarity to quickly recognize valuable stamps, as well as the knowledge of what to look for in stamps that make them collectible, if not of any particular value. For the master stamp collector that is planning on passing their collection on to a younger generation, it is suggested that a proper record is kept of the stamps in the album; not only what stamps are in there, but their value and how much it was insured for, if at all. The provenance of an especially interesting stamp will not add value, but it will add interest.
Stamp collection, being one of the oldest hobbies is still cherished by many people across the world. There are stamp collectors who collect stamps only as their hobby and there are those people who have taken to stamp collection as their profession. Such people see to it that they devote some time to stamp collection every day. Stamp collection does not only serve as a hobby but it also educates the stamp collector of the various traits of the countries he collects stamps of.
For an experienced stamp collector, stamp collection is more of an art than a hobby. There are many things that are to be taken into consideration when one collects stamps. As the stamps might be already old and one wishes to cherish his collection of stamps throughout his life, he must handle the stamps with utmost care and precaution. One has to make sure that the album that he uses to store his stamps is made of acid-free paper. He must use tongs instead of his hands to handle the stamps as the latter might have oil particles on it or might be acidic due to various reasons. One must never lick the back of the stamp or use glue to paste it in his album. One must instead use stamp hinges. There are many ways to mend soiled stamps and the ones that aren’t in good condition. But one should never try to repair the stamp in such a way that the future owners might think they have the perfect specimens. One should always repair his stamps using methods that are clearly visible to the naked eye.
Stamps are the identity of a country. Every country depicts its current state and some of its native qualities in its stamps. A stamp collector who collects stamps as just a hobby might not try to understand why a particular stamp is how it looks. But as the stamp collector becomes more and more experienced, he begins to do some research on why the stamps he collected have their particular symbol and design.
Philately is the study of stamps. A stamp collector studies his stamps as they have a lot of information about the country that they belong to. A young stamp collector might not necessarily be a philatelist but the people who are collecting stamps from a very long time will surely be interested what their stamp has to say. For studying stamps one needs a magnifying glass, which enables him to see the small symbols on the stamp, a watermark detector, which is a tray in which one pours a special liquid to detect watermarks.
A stamp collector might sell his stamps for money. A stamp might even get one a small fortune if it is a rare one and in good condition. A torn stamp has very low value. A stamp collector who collects stamps for his love of them will never sell his stamps for whatever price they might fetch him. But there are people who have to sell their stamps when in acute need of money and no other source is available.
Thus stamp collection is a hobby that has been educating a very large number of people from a very long time.