Monday, April 30, 2007

Stamp Collecting

Stamp collecting is the collecting of postage stamps and related objects, such as. It is one of the world's most trendy hobbies, with estimates of the number of collectors ranging up to 20 million in the US alone.

Collecting is not the similar as philately, which is the study of stamps. A philatelist often does, but need not, collect the objects of study, nor is it required to closely study what one collects. Many informal collectors enjoy accumulating stamps without worrying about the tiny details, but the creation of a large or wide-ranging collection generally requires some philatelic knowledge.

The primary postage stamp, the One Penny Black, was issued by Britain in 1840. It pictured a young Queen Victoria, was formed without perforations, and accordingly had to be cut from the sheet with scissors in order to be used. While unused examples of the "Penny Black" are quite scarce, used examples are common, and may be purchased for $25 to $150, depending upon state.

Queen Victoria's outline was a staple on 19th century stamps of the British Empire; here on a half-penny of the Falkland Islands, 1891.During the late 1800s many of those collectors, now adults, began to systematically study the available postage stamps and published research works on their manufacture, plate flaws, etc.

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