When I was young I use to collect stamps. I was interested in them because my Mom and one of my sisters had pen pals from all over the world. I thought the stamps were really interesting. I also had a friend – Robin who’s mom had pen palls all over and let us have the stamps.
Stamp collecting has been one of the world’s most popular hobbies since the first postage stamp was issued in Britain in 1840. Almost immediately, people began collecting postage stamps and by the mid-to-late 1800s, the hobby was a phenomena. In the U.S. alone, there are an estimated 5 million stamp collectors. Some famous stamp collectors include U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, Warren Buffet, James Earl Jones, and John Lennon.
Stamp collecting is considered both a hobby and a science, with those who collect and study stamps often being referred to as philatelists. Philatelists are interested in both the historic and geographic aspects of postage stamps and often fill huge books with their collections. Stamps depict a variety of subjects, ranging from landmarks to famous figures and works of art. Often countries will produce special, limited edition stamps just for stamp collectors. Philatelists also often collect envelops, mail labels, postage meters, and other stamp-related parphenalia.
Stamp collectors acquire stamps in a number of ways. Many ask their friends and family to save stamps that they receive on mail, or inherent large stamp collections. There are also a number of exhibitions and stamp shows all over the world, which stamp enthusaiasts can attend to buy, sell, and trade stamps. The most common means of acquiring stamps, however, is through shops and online retailers. These store owners (whether brick and mortar or virtual) often sell stamp lots and collections at large discounts, allowing collectors to find a variety of unique items. Bruce MacDonald Stamps is one example of an online retailer where you can find rare stamps, along with collections and lots.
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