Philately - Stamp Collecting

Contributed by Gerald

Philately - Stamp Collecting

The first stamp was issued in 1840, the penny black. The penny red replaced it in 1841. In 1864 Georges Herpin coined the the term "philately" which replaced previous terms for a collector of stamps.

School children collected stamps for over a century but, by number, the hobby is in decline. We were told that the stamps would one day become valuable and everyone was on the look out for errors in printing that might make a stamp rare. The returns on any stamp collection are usually small as stamps need to be in perfect condition and not just steamed off envelopes and stuck down with hinges in albums. Even First Day covers and mint presentation packs do not return the original cost of the stamps.

My father began collecting stamps in 1932. I began my interest at an early age and when we stuck the stamps in the album "Stamps of the World" my father would tell me about the countries. I would read the encyclopaedias to learn more. I learned a lot of geography and history from collecting stamps.

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