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Collecting Stamps: A Lucrative Hobby

Updated on March 23, 2013
A collection of stamps (from
A collection of stamps (from

A High School Project

My teacher in Social Studies, one of our subjects in high school required us to collect stamps for our individual project. It was my first time to get curious how important these stamps were in delivering mails or letters or package the came from different countries or provincies or cities in the country.

I talked to my aunties about my stamp collection project. They gave me the stamps from the letters who were walking in the Middle East countries during the 80s. Well, I've got plenty of stamps coming from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, two major cities in United Arab Emirates, also from Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

My teacher didn't want any duplication in our stamp collection,so we decided to swap local and other international stamps from our classmates. It also opened another opportunity because the school also advocated or promoted writing letters to other interested high school students from other countries who participated in the program. More and more stamps came as we received many letters coming from high school students in other countries.

Then came the Philatelist Week, a special week for people young and old who collected stamps since their childhood days. It is usually celebrated in September in our school. The three sections of first year students participated during the weeklong activities. There were quizzes, games and awarding of the best display in the exhibit booth. We've won one of the major prizes, especially in the display category. We were so ecstatic about the outcome of our project. Even our teachers have their own collection of stamps, too!

The difference between a stamp collector and a philatelist

My interest didn't end there about stamps. I still have the collection these days. I kept it inside a stamp organizer for future display at home. Even, text messages from the cellular phones and internet chat are replacing snail mails or letters from the post office. The only package or letter advisory I usually receive are from the bank financial statement and the wages account report from the manning company where I was presently connected. But, they usually use metered stamps for these letters.

Philatelists are not the usual stamp collectors, like me. They used to analyze or study the issuance of the stamps and its relevance to the period it was issued. Unlike collectors who just continue to accumulate various stamps not minding the tiniest detail a single stamp contains.

Various Stamps

Postage stamps, commemorative stamps, definitive stamps, pictorial stamps and revenue stamps are some of the stamps I encountered when sending letters to my family and my girlfriend before.

Postage stamps are those stamps used in a particular country. Commemorative stamps are stamps showing national holidays or special events in the history of the nation. Definitive are most common type of stamps. Pictorials are stamps projecting country's imagery or lifestyle. Revenue stamps are issued to pay some small amount when sending a letter.

These are just few of the stamps used in the post office. Many innovations are being promoted in the post office as in airmails, electronic posting, sheetlets and others. But due to immergence of e-mails, few are using and going to the postal service center to send letters.

First and Famous

The first and famous stamp was the face of young Queen Victoria issued in Britain in 1840. It was known as the Black Penny and was issued without perforation or those tiny dot holes separating its stamp. They have to cut it before pasting on the postage are (usually at the upper right side) of the letter envelope. The unused version of the stamp can be bought today by a collector from $20 to $200 deppending on the condition of the stamps.

Money from Old Stamps

Before stamp collection was just a hobby suited for the children, but more and more adults are becoming hooked to it these days. It is because finding old stamps, authentic and undestroyed by time are like gold mine because it can provide a soource of income to them.

I don't know the value of the original stamps I collected. Maybe I should hire the help of a philatelist in order to arrange my stamps in various categories.

However, those stamp collection that were surrendered to the national museum and archive of a particular country can be appraised or valued also. Among famous collectors are Queen frontman Freddie Mercury and Beatle member John Lennon. They started collecting stamps during their childhood years.

Dark Side of Stamp Collection

Counterfeiters are everywhere. Even stamps are not safe from these people who also counterfeit money and coins. If you purchase an old stamp, you should ask for the certificate of authenticity of the stamp signed by the Philatelic Society of your country.

Paging Hubbers

I'm sure you have relics of stamps hidden at the attic of your house. If you don't want them, you can give it to me. Seriously, I'm not kidding. Or we can start exchanging stamps. How about it? I'll give you my postal address.


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @georgescifo:Wow! It will cost huge values if your friend will auction it.

      Thanks for dropping by. :)

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @srsddn: Thanks for sharing your hobby, too. :)

    • georgescifo profile image

      georgescifo 4 years ago from India

      One of my past time hobbies...really made a huge friends network through stamp collecting..but left this hobby almost 10 years back and has not thrown away the collected stamps..still they are safe with me.. :)

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      travelman1971, I love stamp collecting. I started when I was in primary school. It slowed down but now my son is also enjoying this.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @torrilyn: Thanks for dropping by. Believe me, we are a productive group. We never throw postage stamps in the trash can (lol!).

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @jainismus: Thank you for sharing your brand of experience regarding stamp collection.

      I continue to collect stamps, whenever I can, up to these days.

      With the advent of metered stamp and delivery services or even electronic mails, postal service is now becoming a relic.

      But for me, it's still worthy to continue supporting the service of the post office.

      Snail mails will be scarce these days, but the stamp collection will never diminish.

      There are still people who like to collect such items.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 5 years ago


      I 've always heard of someone collecting stamps before

      as a hobby, I've just never actually seen it in person before

      thanks for the read

      Voted up

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 5 years ago from Pune, India

      I enjoyed reading this Hub, as I was a collector of postage stamps in my school days.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Daniel: Me neither. The value will always depend on the year it was published or commercially viable.

      100 or 150 years old? Hmmm, I have to consult a philatelist regarding stamp valuing.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Denise Handlon: Thanks for always leaving nuggets of thoughts in many of my hubs.

      I will always be collecting stamps as long as I receive letters for the years to come.

    • profile image

      Daniel 5 years ago

      I dont understand the value of the stamps, but the collections of stamps in series look cool and elegant. Lol. I started about 10 years ago. I guess, a stamp starts to have money value after 100 or 150 years old?

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow! I'm so glad I came across this hub. I loved it, mainly because I am very interested in stamps-as a collector, not a philatelist. I have always been fascinated with stamps-the colors, the designs and most of all the significance of what it means to be able to receive something that has a postal stamp. It grieves me that our U.S. postal service is in such financial problems that they are closing some offices and talking of doing away with it all together.

      I love receiving letters and am always curious of the stamp. I'll be happy to swap stamps with you anythime if you are still serious about this.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I'm sorry to hear that, Daniela. Stamps are link to my past. Good thing my deaf-mute elder sister didn't burn it. She gave it to me when a storm destroyed half of our home here in the Philippines.

    • Daniela Daljac profile image

      Daniela Daljac 7 years ago from AUSTRALIA

      OMG this hub bring back my memories I use too collected stamps!! And I was so good, I had very valuable stamps from Hitler and Musolini time and older!!! But when war started 1990 in my country all is gone!!!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Having a hobby makes your spare time valuable. Good for you, bacville.

    • bacville profile image

      bacville 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Collecting trading cards is my hobby.