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.
When you first decide to start collecting stamps you may find that you have nothing to start with. If this is the case you can buy a pack of stamps from a hobby shop or a stamp collector to get you started. For a small price, usually around $6.00, you’ll get an assortment of stamps from different countries. This is a great way to determine what types of stamps appeal to you and what area you might like to focus on.
The Internet is another great source for finding stamps. Places such as eBay have many stamp sets where you can buy for relatively low prices. Again, you should try to get as wide a variety of stamps as possible, so you can find out what stamps interest you and allow you to get plants from some other countries. Once you have a batch of stamps you’ll need to organize your collection so you can make some decisions about what direction you want to pursue in your collecting.
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.
It can be a tedious process to take the paper off the stamps so make sure that you have time and won’t damage the stamps with a hurried effort. Make sure that you ease the stamp off the paper instead of just pulling the stamp, so you don’t make any rips in the stamp. To begin with, use a small pair of scissors to trim the paper as close to the edge of the stamp as you possible 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.
Once you’ve removed the stamps from the paper you need to allow them to dry out. You want to take care when drying the stamps so that they dry slowly and gently – this reduces the folds and wrinkles that may occur on the stamp. Lay the stamps of a layer of paper toweling, making sure that none of the stamps touch or overlap. Gently lay a paper towel on top of the stamps and lightly press (be very gentle) to remove the excess water from the stamps.
The dried stamps need to be flattened. This can be done by placing these dried stamps in the pages of a large or heavy book. Else you have the option of buying a stamp drying book to dry your stamps. These dry and flattened stamps can be sorted country wise to help you locate them when ever you want to. These sorted stamps then need to be arranged in your stamp collecting book.