How To Start Stamp Collecting - Part 1

If you had decided to remodel your home, one way to start would be the method employed by a friend of mine. He decided to enlarge his bedroom by extending it out over the porch. The month was February and, having decided, he promptly took a sledge hammer and knocked out the wall of the house. That, to say the least, was a positive method of getting the job underway. You may be just as drastic in starting your stamp collection. You may, if you be so inclined, go down to the nearest stamp dealer and buy a few thousand unassorted stamps, dump them on your dining-room table and go to work. After a few hours of frustration trying to put this mess into some semblance of order you will be ready for either of two alternatives! One, chuck the whole idea of building a stamp collection, or, two, call on some experienced help to explain just how it's done. The sensible thing to do is to plan your campaign first just as the experienced carpenter would plan how to proceed with the alteration my friend so eagerly jumped into.

To begin with, while stamps are necessary it is also necessary to know what you are going to do with them after you have acquired them. Hence, in addition to stamps you need something in which to place them - an album. Then you will need something with which to secure them in the album - stamp hinges. Next you will need something to help you identify the stamps so that you will know where in the album they should be placed - a stamp catalogue. And, you will need the tools for identification - a watermark detector and a perforation gauge. Lastly you will need the tool with which to handle your stamps - a pair of stamp tongs.

Now that all may sound very complicated but, to go back to my friend who remodeled his house, just how far would he have been able to progress after his sledgehammer antics if he tried to proceed without the aid of a hammer, saw, carpenter's square, spirit level, plane, etc? In other words, no matter how you start, you must have the tools to finish the job. And you must know how to use those tools. This website will advise you how to select your philatelic tools and how to use them. Suppose you have some knowledge of collecting stamps. You have seen the collections of others or have even collected yourself to some extent. Now you wish to get into the act and build a "real" collection. Or, let us suppose that you know nothing whatever about collecting stamps but think that you would like to do so. In either case the procedure is the same.