My name is Wahid Zia. I am collecting stamps since the last 36 years (1980). I created a blog which includes the information of Pakistan all stamps. W/W new issues & all issues of Pakistan from 1947 to date are available on this blog. I invite you to visit my blog and get useful information.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

COLLECTING STAMPS

Major (Retd) Syed Saif-ul-Hasan Rizvi
Collecting is one of man’s most firmly established habits and man in this context means woman too. Archaeologists have shown that even the earliest cave-women collected brightly coloured stones and shells. Today, collecting has taken thousands of forms as ming vases, match boxes, by theatre programmes, cassettes, cigarette cards, coins, view cards, paintings. The list is endless but the most popular and universal is stamp collecting. The advance stage of stamps collecting is called “philately”. It includes the study of stamps and research carried out regarding stamps. The experts of stamp collecting are called “Philatelists”. Philately is a word, which originated from Greek language. “Phila” means love and ‘Telly’ stands for non-taxable things. Hence “love for non taxable items” is called philately. Here stamps are referred as non-taxable items. Therefore, it is a modern terminology, which is adopted for this world’s most attractive hobby.
The aim of this essay is to throw light upon a hobby, which frequently strikes the non-collectors. This essay will hopefully make clear the ways in which it can be adopted to suit all varieties of tastes, interests, and temperaments.
The presence of this booklet/exhibition brochure in your hands places you in one of the following categories. You may be a former stamp collector, which nothing left but a foggy recollection of childhood when the magic of few rupees album and a packet of coloured pictorials (stamps) could warm even the bleakest day. Alternatively, you may be entirely a new comer to the hobby attracted by the obvious satisfaction philately has given to some of your friends. If you are a philatelist then ahead lies the capture or re-capture of a small world apart in which you alone is the master, working at and enjoying the hobby according to no rules but those which suits you best.
Stamps collecting are an educational hobby, which offers you a vast field of knowledge, which no book in this world can offer in such a great variety & range. This hobby is rewarding in so many ways. Whatever your interests, there are sure to be stamps illustrating them rather it is claimed that no subject on this earth is left out side the scope of stamps being issued whether they be sports, religion, history, geography, science, space, flora fauna, art, music literature, culture……….etc. etc.
Reason why:- Many people frequently ask why collecting stamps? The philatelists regard the question as senseless because of lengthy answers and new comers in this field feel confused. It is agreed that answers and new comers in this field feel confused. It is agreed that answer is not a brief one. Although, people enjoy with their hobbies because they feel pleasure in it but there are many logics behind the hobby of philately. In Europe, doctors frequently recommend to people whose lives are so firmly bound up with others that they cannot call their souls their own. Every man needs, it appears to retain one small section of himself upon which he exercises sole sovereign rights but few succeed. Stamp collecting can restore that small section. I have yet to meet a stamp collector with ulcer!
Stamp collecting if for every one. These tiny masterpieces of artistic design have an ever-lasting attraction for all the people. Philately cuts across boundaries of race, color, education, status and income. Collectors can work alone and do not need each other’s support but when they feel gregarious the bond of common interest is strong indeed. It is said that stamp collecting is a very rich man’s hobby but it is also an average person’s hobby and a poor youngster’s hobby too. The statement is contradicting but this is the beauty of philately. It is only as expensive as you want it to be and it is with in reach of every man, woman, or child in the world. That is what has put philately at the top of the list of hobbies.
There are many reasons why people collect stamps. One of the hopes of making large profits is not really stamp collectors. They are not true philatelists because they have no real interest in the stamps themselves. But think of articles that they buy cheap and sell for higher prices. This is not wrong. It is an excellent way to build up a mic bank balance if you know what you are doing. Usually, such an investor was for many years a real stamp collector, learning all about the little paper before he ventured in to the investment market.
Then, there are collectors who collect only those stamps that have to do with a giver subject. This is called topical/thematic collecting and they are a very big part of stamp collecting today. Perhaps a football fan will collect stamps from all over the world having to do with football. His aim, as is the aim of every stamp collector of worth, is to obtain in good condition every single stamp ever published by any country in the world, with some thing about football as motif. Any subject under the sun can be the subject of a topical collection.
Next, we have collectors who specialize in a particular country or group of countries and are not interested in the stamps of the rest of the world. Some collect only new and unused stamps (Mint) and others would not think of having any stamp in their collection that had not seen postal service. No matter what your preference is but there is one era in philately that will interest you and that you can afford.
The person who collects stamps of a particular country learns about its geography, history, art, music, industry, farming, culture, politics and nearly every thing connected with that country. Every stamp has some message on it and when it is posted/sent to other countries, it acts like an ambassador of its originating country. The small little gummed paper can convey any message to almost whole world and it is recorded in the history of philately too.
The philatelist follows the changing map of the world in his little pieces of gummed papers. Countries that are no longer in existence have left their stamps behind. Countries that come into existence during the life of the young collector of which several examples are present during just the last few decades issue new kind of postage stamps. Monetary changes are recorded on the stamps of that country, since the stamps are sold for use within the country and must be paid for with the currency of the land. Every kind of information is available in stamp catalogues. The location, the government, the area of country, the population, the capital, the politics and lastly the monetary system, such information would be very difficult to gather even in a large and complete encyclopedia, without much tedious research. Collecting stamps (Philately) is just not a hobby of hoarding things. It is very educational and informative hobby, teaching the collector many things beside just the stamps themselves. For example in the area of colour alone, there are literally dozens of wonderful colours with strange and exciting names made available for your knowledge. Artists should take note of it. The last but not the least aspect is regarding errors in stamps. It includes design errors, printing errors, paper and gum varieties, water marks, perforation differences etc, etc. To conclude with- I will just say that once you are going to stand between the ranks of stamp collectors you will come to know many things, which are fascinating and exciting about this hobby. No book written on this subject can be the last word about philately.