Philately is a timeless hobby for those with a keen eye for detail and an appreciation for history and culture.
Your introduction into the world of stamp collecting can start small, with just a packet of whole-world stamps, an album and a few stamp hinges.
Stamp packets come with an assortment of items and can be obtained from letters, at reputed dealers and through kilowares which can provide as many as 2,500 items.
Ensure the packets are marked “All Different” to avoid receiving duplicates.
The packet will include stamps of different conditions — some unused, others fine-or-postally used. Choose between one or the other for a cohesive collection that looks attractive when neatly lined in an album.
Unused stamps usually cost more as they bear the face value of the stamps plus the dealer’s usual commission or profit. On the other hand, some stamps – especially those from the more remote territories – are often difficult to find in postally used condition and cost more than unused ones.
Your philatelic interest can be personal and specific to your interest.
Postage stamps are miniature works of art – colourful, well-designed and superbly printed. Some of them depict famous people and events, while others show birds and animals, flowers, railways, ships and aeroplanes, buildings and bridges, coats-of-arms and flags, space and sport.
Over 200 countries in the world currently issue postage stamps – stamps for everyday use called definitives or stamps issued to mark anniversaries, national and local celebrities or occasions called commemoratives. The great dominions of Australia, Canada, India and South Africa were formed of provinces and states, each of which issued their own stamps.
Stanley Gibbons has been producing catalogues since 1865, provide philatelists with an essential work of reference. Updated frequently, the document provides a complete and detailed list of all the postage stamps issued by every country in the world from the earliest days.
Information on dates of issue, commemorative events, face values, colours and designs, and the current prices of the stamps, unused and postally used are available.
As you begin to accumulate stamps, store your stamps in ‘slip-in’ collecting books or ‘stock-books’ to keep your stamps in order and in good condition. These have strips or pockets on every page and you simply slip your stamps into them, organised in any method you prefer.
Some collectors use stock-books permanently for convenience, but others invest in albums once their stock-book is reasonably full.
Differences to the normal perforation and watermarks can enhance a stamp’s value.
World-leading inventory of stamps and postal history from Great Britain
Finest quality stamps from across the British Commonwealth – from Abu Dhabi to Zululand
A comprehensive range of catalogues, albums and other philatelic material