Stamp Collecting

 
Graham Beck - Exploring StampsSpecial thanks to Graham Beck and his YouTube channel, Exploring Stamps, for graciously agreeing to share his excellent video work. Graham is a member of the American Philatelic Society and his work to produce Exploring Stamps is an incredible boost to the hobby. Check out Graham's other videos and subscribe to Exploring Stamps.

Stamp Collecting is a Hobby for Everyone

Few hobbies match the flexibility of stamp collecting. It is suitable for nearly all ages. You can collect stamps all 12 months of the year regardless of the climate where you are located. It does not require any special skills or great wealth. Some individuals begin as young as age 4 and many collect until the day they die. Many people start collecting stamps that represent a topic they enjoy.

What is Stamp Collecting?

"Stamp collecting" is the accumulation of material related to the payment of postage and the carriage of the mails. In addition to traditional postage stamps, many philatelists -- the fancy word for stamp collectors -- also collect covers, envelopes that carried mail. Some individuals also collect markings or labels applied to mail including postage meters. Others will even collect Christmas Seals, revenue stamps and other ephemera.

Why Collect Stamps?

Most individuals collect for relaxation and enjoyment although many secretly hope that they will discover a rare and elusive stamp that will make them wealthy. Some individuals collect as an investment. While the American Philatelic Society does not promote this, stamp collecting is a better investment than many other hobbies. As stamps are miniature works of art, it's nearly impossible to collect them without gaining a large amount of knowledge. Stamps also usually provide a much greater return on your investment than other hobbies. While you might not get back more than you invest, how much return can you get on your golf scorecard?

Who Collects Stamps?

Stamp collecting has often been called "the hobby of kings and the king of hobbies." Linn's Stamp News estimates that more than 5 million people in the U.S. collect stamps. Stamp collectors include individuals from all walks of life. While President Franklin Roosevelt may have been the most famous U.S. collector, other well known collectors include Sharktank's Mark Cuban; astronaut Henry Hartsfield; actors Gary Burghoff and James Earl Jones; explorer Jacques Cousteau; tennis superstar Maria Sharapova; musicians John Lennon, Freddy Mercury and Ron Wood; cartoonist Gary Trudeau; and French President Nicholas Sarkozy.

FAQ

Frequently Asked
Questions

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Getting Started

Getting Started

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Stamp Vocabulary

Stamp Vocabulary

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StampShow/NTSS 2019

Omaha, Nebraska | August 1-4, 2019