08 August 2007

Stamp Collecting by Theme-An Individualist Approach by Aldene Fredenburg

Stamp Collecting by Theme-An Individualist Approach by Aldene Fredenburg

Stamp collecting has taken an interesting turn in recent years. Rather than buying a stamp album with printed pages showing illustrations of each stamp to be pursued, many collectors are creating their own unique collections reflecting personal interests.

Themed collections can focus on stamps from the collector's native country or abroad; on particular historical periods; on famous individuals depicted on stamps; or on animals, flowers, or any number of other themes.

Follow the major events of American history as illustrated by stamps issued over the years; or analyze the rise and decline of the British Empire with stamps from British India, Ceylon, Burma, and other former colonies. Collect stamps from around the world honoring the late Princess Diana, or stamps reflecting the popular culture of many countries.

The first postage stamp in the world was printed in 1840 by Britain. The "Penny Black" was followed quickly the same year by stamps from the young United States; by 1860 most countries around the world were issuing their own stamps to facilitate mail delivery. While no one knows precisely when stamp collecting became a hobby, it certainly followed soon after the widespread use of stamps.

Specializing in vintage stamps can be a costly enterprise, but stamp collecting doesn't have to be expensive. Choosing to focus on current issues from around the world lowers the cost considerably; numerous dealers offer wide-ranging collections for often remarkably inexpensive prices, along with the tools and supplies needed to care for and display stamps.

Stamp collecting opens up a vast body of knowledge to the collector. Every stamp issued is a tiny window onto the world, a glimpse into a country's culture, politics, and natural environment as well as a chronicle of the main events in its existence.


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