What are postage stamps for? What do you call to the people who collect or study postage stamps? These may be some of the questions lingering on your mind when you think about the word postage stamps. Then, be prepared because your questions will soon be answered. If you'd like a more in-depth look at stamps, click here.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
If you want to learn about postage stamps, it is essential for you to know a little about its history. According to American Philatelic Society, “the birth of the postage stamp dates back to May 6, 1840, when Britain issued its first stamp” (History of Stamps, n.d.). But how did people come to start using postage stamps?
Well, it all started in Britain. A man, by the name of Sir Rowland Hill, introduced the "Post Office Reforms”. These changes serves as the way so that “the mail can be delivered anywhere in the British Isles at the same rate (a penny a half-ounce); the postage was to be paid by the sender and not the addressee; and payment was receipted by placing a small piece of colored paper on the outside of the letter” (History of Stamps, n.d.). And just like any reform, the changes were not out rightly accepted, but after some time, people became used to it.
Philatelist: The Stamp Collector
Who is a philatelist? A philatelist is “a person who studies or collects postage stamps” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). The study of postage stamps is called “philately”. And if you have difficulty in pronouncing “philatelist”, then you can just say “stamp collector”.
Stamp collectors can be found in every part of the world. In fact, collecting stamps is a popular hobby for most people. People have different reasons for collecting stamps. It may be for profit or a hobby.
In collecting stamps, you need to learn at least the basics. First, you will be needing stamp albums, where you will be keeping the postage stamps, tweezers, for handling the stamps properly, and a magnifying glass, in case you want to examine the stamps’ details (The Basics of Stamp Collecting, par. 3). Second, keep your stamps dry. Since postage stamps are made from paper, even a small amount of water or moisture will destroy them. So, make sure to keep them dry.
After getting the materials you need, you can immediately start collecting stamps. If you are fond of sending letters and postcards to other people, you can start there. It does not need to be old stamps. New and old postage stamps are both valuable to a philatelist.
Another good place for you to look for stamps is the Internet. The Internet is full of information about stamp collectors and stamp collecting events.
You may think that collecting stamps is not thrilling. But did you know that, by studying or collecting stamps, you will also be learning about the history of different things? Yes. There is more to stamps than just papers and letters.
Stamp collecting is not only for children or veteran stamp collectors. People of all ages can do them. And if your interest has been piqued, then, go on. Start your own collection of postage stamps.