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Collecting Stamps

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Collecting stamps is a hobby that interests kids and adults alike all over the world. You can begin a stamp collection easily enough; just start collecting interesting and unusual stamps that you find. When you start out, you may want to begin by spending as little money as possible, just enough to get your feet wet and begin to build a collection.

You start your collection with only a few stamps, perhaps some favorites that you have from childhood. A great way to begin to expand your collection is to purchase a starter set from a stamp or hobby store. These collections are usually inexpensive, sometimes costing about $6.00 for a collectors pack. In the pack you’ll get a nice selection of stamps from different countries. This is an easy way to start and find out what stamps appeal to you and what you’d like to focus future collecting efforts towards.

These days another good source for getting stamps is eBay on the internet. Here you will often be able to buy large number of stamps for a very low price. Once you have a sizable collection of stamps, you will need to organize them so that the stamps are safe. This will also help you decide how and where you want to proceed with your stamp collection.

Most of the stamps that you buy will still be on the paper on which they were mailed. This makes them durable and easy to handle. Once you remove the paper backing the stamp becomes much more fragile and you’ll have to be very careful in the way that you move it around. This is why you should sort out your purchased stamps according to country before you take off the paper backing.

Taking the paper off stamps can be tedious so make sure that you take your time and don’t do any damage to the stamps. Don’t just attempt to pull the stamp off the paper since this can result in the ripping of the stamp. Use a pair of small scissors to trim the paper as close to the stamp as you possibly can.

Find a shallow plate or bowl and fill it with just a bit of clean water. Place the stamp with the paper backing into the water, stamp side up, and let it soak for about ten to fifteen minutes. After that amount of time has passed you can carefully pick up the stamp and try to remove it slowly from the paper.

After you’ve removed the stamps from the paper you’ll need to dry them gently and slowly so that they don’t fold over and wrinkle. You can do this by laying them flat on a layer of paper toweling, taking care to make sure that none of the stamps touch and overlap. Gently take one sheet of paper towel and lay it over the stamps, pressing gently so that you are carefully removing some of the water. After the stamps have been dried and flattened, you can begin the process of sorting and storing them in your stamp collecting books.