Thursday, 14 May 2009

History Of Stamp Collecting

Great Britain issued the first adhesive
postage stamp to prepay for the delivery of mail on May 6, 1840. Postage stamps were the idea of Sir Rowland Hill, as part of Great Britain's introduction of standardized postal rates. The first postage stamp, commonly referred to as the "Penny Black", helped eliminate a number of problems that the British Post Office had experienced up to that date. The idea of prepaying for delivery of mail was so successful that by 1860 more than 70 countries were using postage stamps.

Stamp collecting began at the same time that stamps were first issued, and by 1860 included thousands of collectors and a number of local merchants catering to their desires. Originally referred to as "timbromania" ("stamp madness"), it swept through Europe and quickly spread to the European colonies worldwide. How stamps were collected was as varied as the people that collected them. One Parisienne was supposed to have wallpapered her bedroom with sheets of an early issue from France - a stamp issued in sheets of 100, and that now sells for up to several hundred dollars each!

As more and more people began collecting stamps, businesses specializing in selling just stamps began to appear. By 1880, there were dozens in every major country. Stanley Gibbons, Ltd., founded in 1856 and now located in London, England, is the oldest continuously operated business to specialize in selling postage stamps and supplies. The first stamp albums were printed and sold in the early 1880's. Copies of these albums can still be found from time to time.
Stamp collecting is less popular a hobby today than it was in the past, but an estimated 25 million people collect stamps in the United States alone. Worldwide, there are more than 200 million collectors. They are supported by more than 125,000 dealers, supply manufacturers, catalogue and other print media publishers, and thousands of clubs and associations. Stamp dealers sell millions of dollars' worth of stamps and supplies annually. There are more than 4000 stamp shows and exhibitions in the United States each year, and large international exhibits can attract more than 100,000 visitors a day.
The grandson of Queen Victoria began collecting stamps with the help of servants who handled the mail at Buckingham Palace, and it quickly became his passion in life. When he became an adult he was one of leading philatelists in world and also known as King George V, who was asked to become a member of the Philatelic Society in London. He soon became a very a very active member and was later elected as the president of the Society, but later when he became the King of England he gave the club a new name, which was the Royal Philatelic Society of London. As King, he assembled what would turn out to be the greatest stamp collection
in the world. He would present parts of his collection to the club as their annual program and this tradition still continues today for members to view his massive collection.With the introduction of commemorative stamps came an increasing popularity in the hobby. The very first United State stamps that were issued for commemorative stamps, which were designed to remember and honor the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus was during 1893, while a few of those stamps are extremely valuable today.There have been many changes in stamps since their first introduction in 1840, which includes that they have been perforated, coiled, and are now being printed in a variety of colors, types, formats, and designs. During the years that lead up to the horrible Great Depression collecting stamps had become one of the most popular hobbies in the world, which is continuing to be popular among children and adults. Stamp collecting is accessible for just about anyone without them having to spend major amounts of money because there are few stamps that are exceptionally valuable.With the increase of postage stamp values came a large increase of the number of stamp collectors, which was the result of older stamps being saved in such good condition. During the 1930s, many American collectors stockpiled stamps that were issued in the 1920s, which quickly rose in value, with hopes of eventually selling them for a sizeable profit later on. However, this never occurred. More than sixty years later, these stamps can still be found in mint condition. Souvenir sheet from various countries are extremely popular with collectors and any hard to find plate number coils, plus any stamps with errors are always going to be popular. So when you begin your own collection determine exactly what type or theme you desire and start collecting.

Many stamp collectors arrange their collections according to the type of storage they use for those collections. Most collections are housed in commercially-manufactured albums, and the collectors arrange their collection - in fact, frequently limit their collections - according to the arrangement of the particular stamp album they use. Others make their own album pages, and arrange their stamps in a way that pleases them. This type of collecting is becoming extremely popular with the advent of modern personal computers, which allow greater flexibility in page layout and design! All of these collections have a few things in common: someone took a great deal of time and trouble to find out what material was available, and determined how to organize that material in a way to express a central theme.

For most worldwide stamp albums, stamps are arranged according to the issuing country, and then usually chronologically, for either all of the stamps issued, or for each group by type, within each country. People who collect stamps representing a single theme or function are called "topical collectors", and their theme is referred to as a "topic". Such people may arrange the individual stamps within a topic by sub-topics. For instance, a collector of birds on stamps may break down their collection by species, or group them by the type of habitat they live in, the area they're natural to, or divide them by some other grouping. Such a display is much more interesting and informative than one that has the stamps arranged haphazardly, with no identifiable characteristics.

Many collectors today collect the stamps of a particular country or group of countries, and arrange their collections according to the albums they use. Others collect stamps that reflect a single topic or group of topics, and either arrange the stamps according to the album they own, or they create their own album pages and arrange the stamps on them to please themselves. It doesn't matter what an individual collects, or how they arrange their collection - a collection, after all, is created to satisfy the individual, not some arbitrary rules or standards. The concepts expressed in the example above aren't "carved in stone", but they do provide some very good guidelines on how to change an ordinary accumulation of similar items into a unique expression of the individual and their time.
Here's a good link to purchase a wide range of world stamps .

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