Anyone can become a stamp collector, since it is a simple hobby to pursue. Beginning a stamp collecting hobby is relatively inexpensive, so people of all ages can participate in the pastime. People who collect stamps are also called philatelists, and the study of postage stamps is called philately.
The easiest way to become a stamp collector is to begin the process of finding and saving stamps. Stamps can be found on packages, postcards, and letters. Focus on a favorite subject such as art, history, animals, sports, or some other topic, and look for stamps that feature pictures of that particular theme. For example, if a person loves sports, he or she may choose to collect stamps that are related to basketball, baseball, soccer, and other types of sports. A person who loves music may try to collect stamps featuring the faces of famous singers.
When a person decides to become a stamp collector, he or she will find that there are various types of stamps that can be added to a collection. The most common kind of stamp is the definitive stamp. These stamps are printed in large amounts.
A commemorative stamp is larger than the definitive type. It is a colorful stamp that honors a certain historical event, a famous person, or an important subject. Special stamps highlight concepts such as holidays, love, or other popular themes. These stamps are sold for a short period of time.
Stamp collectors protect their stamp by storing them inside a stamp album. If the collector does not have the funds to purchase an album, he or she can purchase a simple binder and fill it with notebook paper. The stamps can then be applied to the sheets of paper by using an easily removable adhesive or stamp mounts which are clear sleeves that protect the stamps from damage.
When a person decides to become a stamp collector, he or she may not know how to safely remove stamps from envelopes. This can be accomplished by tearing the envelope around the stamp. The stamp can then be placed face down in a bowl of warm water. After a few minutes have passed, the stamp will sink to the bottom of the bowl.
The water removes the adhesive, and the stamp can then be removed from the remnants of the envelope. Finally, the stamp collector can place the stamp between two paper towels and press it dry beneath a heavy book or other object. The weight on the stamp will keep the edges from curling up as it dries overnight.