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Why collect stamps?

Stamp collecting has been going on for over 150 years and, having had a spell in the doldrums, is now enjoying a massive revival.

A lot of people collected when they were young, put their collections away and started again later in life when they have a bit of spare time and want to do something which not only keeps the brain active, but can be very social as well as creative.

Starting a collection is easy but can go to any level of complexity, it is down to you. You may decide to collect by theme of what is depicted on a stamp - such as birds, ships, healthcare or


bridges, anything you like. This is called thematics, building your collection around a subject that interests you.

Others adopt a more traditional approach, collecting by country or a time period for the country, such as Great Britian’s George V.  Sometimes a real specialist will stick to just one issue such as Queen Victoria penny blacks or Queen Elizabeth Machins.

Then there is postal history which concerns itself with rates

TRANSPORT: is a popular theme

and routes which sounds dull but how about collecting letters carried exclusively by camels, or by submarine, or fired in a rocket or carried by balloon? Even solders’ letters from various battles – if we don’t keep them, who will?

It really is up to you, as is the amount you are going to spend on your new hobby. Some

stamp 5.JPG
BIG TICKET: £1m stamp

collections have cost millions, others just a few pounds. Stories of stamps being sold for big money will always hit the headlines, but go along to a few local stamp fairs - there is a list here  or Stampex in Islington, London, and have a rummage around the dealers’ stock.

It is a bit like going to a car boot sale – if know what you are looking for there are treasures just waiting for you to pick them up.

Above all, join your local stamp club. You can find a list of those in Surrey here, if you are outside the county look at the British

Association of Philatelic Societies’ website for your local society. You are sure to receive a warm welcome and get plenty of help –  after all, we were all beginners at one time.

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