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.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

THE KING OF HOBBIES

By M.J.Zahedi

The hobby of collecting stamps, or philately, as it is technically known. Is called the king of hobbies. That is because stamps have many advantages over other collectable objects, such as books, coins, pictures etc.

First, stamps are very easy to obtain; they are not as expensive as either books or coins. They take up very little room and do not need much expensive equipment to study them.

About all, the little pieces of printed-paper with beautiful pictures or designs on them are not only an enjoyment to the eye; they are also good introductory lessons in world geography or history. If you have tried to find out at least the basic facts about the countries whose stamps you may now be having in your collection, you will have gained a fair knowledge of both history and geography.

Turning the pages if a stamp album you can enjoy the view of the pyramids in Egypt and the next minute see a kangaroo in Australia. Or you might find Neil Armstrong stepping out his buggy to be the first man to set foot on the moon and almost on the next page the picture of a bullock cart used 40 years ago in some part of India for carrying mail.

ENDLESS PANORAMA:- The endless panorama of world events and scenes that is opened to the owner of a stamp collection is perhaps why stamp collecting fascinates so many millions of people, from young children to old men.

Stamp collecting is also called the hobby of Kings because many Kings, heads of states and million airs have formed some of the most valuable collections of the world, maybe because they have more spare time as well as money than most of us. King George V of England, grandfather of Queen Elizabeth, President Franklin Roosevelt of America and the former King of Egypt, Farouk, were renowned the world over as collectors.

Stamps are not usually very expensive but some rare ones are very valuable and exchange hands (if and when they do) at very high prices which only very rich people can afford to pay. Alfred H. Caspary and Marc Haas of America were two such famous collectors.

Casper’s collection, a very large one. Was sold in 1955 for three million dollars. The collection of Haas, although not as large as Casper’s in terms of number, had many rare and scarce stamps, and fetched 10 million dollars, in India, C. Uesai had a very big and valuable collection.

VALUE OF STAMPS:- But these are unusual examples. We will collect stamps simply for the pleasure of it, although stamps can also be a good investment because the value of stamps hardly ever depreciates. The purpose of this article is to tell you how to go about, starting a collection, or, if you already are a collector, to give you some suggestions based on my experience.

There are very few rules to observe to start and build up a stamps collection, but here are certain things you must know and must not do.

As a very first step, you must decide what will collect. Again, it is a matter of personal preference and, above all, a question of how easily you can get the stamps because you woulan’ want to spend too much money. To begin with, I would advise you to go for a general yourself to a single country.

I hat way you will be handling stamps from very many different countries of the world. Your knowledge will grow. Which will be helpful to you later when you go for a single country or specialized collection. You will also get experience of handling stamps and arranging a collection.

COMPLETE COLLECTION: - Stamps from all over the world are also easier to obtain than those of any one country. You parents must be getting a lot of mail from all over the world. They can bring the stamps home for you. I hen, it is not difficult to buy a packer containing samples of stamps from different countries of the world. You can buy such packets in most bookshops. You can also exchange stamps with friends.

But you must not expect to from a complete collection of world stamps. There several hundred stamps issuing countries in the world; some of them have been issuing stamps for more than 160 years. The number of stamps issued by all these countries must be over a million and many of these will not even be available now. So, don’t aim for the unattainable and be disappointed.

At the same time a one-country collection of the country where you are living. All these countries became independent during late 1960s and early 1970s. They started issuing stamps of their own only after becoming independent; and they do not issue many stamps as many other countries do. It is still possible to get all their stamps and form a complete collection.

NATIONAL HEROSE:- As for the current stamps, you can always go to the philatelic bureau and buy them. There are philatelic bureaus in the GPO’s I am suggesting this because you may be able to from a complete or a near complete collection and that will give you great satisfaction, a sense of achievement and will prove to be a source of inspiration.

Those of you who already have a fairly large collection of world stamps might like to divert your attention to a comparatively recent field. It is topical or thematic collection. These are stamps issued by different countries but having the same or subject. It may be animals, birds, flowers, aeroplanes, trains, motor & motorcars. The subjects are nearly endless.

You may collect great men of the world or even of a particular country, as depicted on stamps, India has issued a large number of stamps on national heroes, poets, artists, writers and other eminent people. They again many great people, such as Gandhi and Churchill, have been portrayed on stamps of many countries. It would be fun to collect all stamps showing Gandhi or Churchill.

Or you could simply opt for collecting a particular animal or bird or means of transport or flower. Such also are available in packets. There are established thematic or topical clubs in many countries. You could find their addresses in any magazine dealing with stamps. Thematic collection has one advantage over a general collection, apart from a country collection, in that you can aim at building up a complete collection.