Stamp Collecting: An Educational Past Time
By Rose Hillbrand

Stamp collecting, also known as philately, is a popular and
educational past time. Stamp collectors save stamps from
letters, especially those from other countries. They also search
out old stamps that represent a past time. Stamp enthusiasts can
be found everywhere. Their notebooks and glassine envelopes
filled with stamps are fascinating to look through. Many of the
stamps they collect are very valuable as well.

Materials needed for starting a stamp collection include a
stamp album and special mounting tapes called hinges. Tools you
will find useful are a pair of small tongs or tweezers for
carefully lifting delicate old stamps and a magnifying glass for
finding minute details. The beginning philatelist can start with
the stamps on the mail that arrives this very day. To remove a
stamp from an envelope, carefully tear away the envelope from
around the stamp being careful not to tear the stamp itself. Now
soak the stamp in warm water. The remaining piece of envelope
will turn loose, allowing you to lift the stamp from the water
with the tongs.

Lay the stamp on absorbent paper. When dry, place a heavy book
on top of the stamp to flatten it. As a past time, stamp
collecting requires precision and neatness. Place the dried and
flattened stamp in the album by using one of the hinges, or
store it in one of the tiny glassine envelopes unique to stamp

Many collectors specialize in collecting currently available
commemoratives as a past time. Stamp designs are varied,
beautiful and interesting. Commemoratives are those special
stamps that are released by the post office for a limited time.
They can commemorate special people or events. Most nations
print commemorative stamps from time to time. American stamps
have featured wild life, artists, antiques, and many other
themes. In fact, there is an annual contest in which American
school children compete to draw the best picture of a wild duck.
The best duck art is featured on a stamp.

A fun way for a young person to build a collection of foreign
stamps is to find a few pen pals in foreign countries. This
activity helps people make friends as well as broadening their
outlook. There are also companies that will send out
introductory collections of foreign stamps in order to get stamp
collecting customers on their mailing lists. These collections
are usually colorful and contain a wide variety.

Stamp collecting is an educational past time. Stamp collections
can sometimes become very valuable to the right people. If you
are looking for a new hobby or past time, stamp collecting might
be for you!

About the Author: Rose Hillbrand has been a successful internet
entrepreneur since 2001. She owns and maintains several
websites, and has experience in affiliate marketing in numerous
areas. To learn more about arts & crafts and collectibles,
please visit Rose's website, Arts & Crafts For the Whole Family


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