ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Stamps Collecting and Philately

Updated on April 2, 2016
A George Washington stamp of United States, issued in 1908
A George Washington stamp of United States, issued in 1908 | Source
World's oldest postage stamp
World's oldest postage stamp

What is Philately?

Philately is the study of postal stamps and postal history. Although it is generally related to collecting postage stamps, it is not necessary that all of stamp collectors study the history of stamps.On the other hand, it is not necessary that a philatelist possesses the stamps which he studies. The person who studies this subject, is known as a philatelist.

The study is not limited to stamps, but also includes study of other postal stationery, like Post Cards, Inland Letters, Postal Envelops, First Day Covers, Special Labels etc. It also includes study of cancellation marks, including special cancellation marks.

Branches of Philately

There are many branches of philately, which are related to specialization of the field of study. The most known branches are:

Thematic philately: Study of stamps on a specific theme. Some of the most popular themes are: Science, Sports, History, Personalities, Events etc.

Postal Stationary: The study of post cards, envelopes with stamps, inland letters, aerograms etc.

Postal History: Study of history of postal stamps and postal communication

Aerophilately: Philately related to airmail

Some Philatelic Terms

Aerogramme: A piece of paper issued by postal department for public for International communication

Air Mail: Mail sent by air, i.e. by airplanes

Cancellation Mark: The mark which cancels the value of the stamp for reuse

Commemorative Stamp: A special stamp issued for remembrance of a person or occasion

Definitive Stamp: Stamps for regular use

First Day Cover: A postal cover with newly issued stamp and a special cancellation mark. This cover is available at major post offices only on the first day of issue of the stamp

Inland Letter: A piece of paper issued by postal department for public for inland communication

International Reply Coupon: A coupon which can be exchanged with postal stamps for reply communication. This is used as reply postage for international communication

Mint Stamp: A postage stamps in its original state of issue, never used and was not pasted anywhere

Perforation: Holes between two stamps made for easy separation of them

Philatelic Bureau: A department in Post Offices where newly issued postal stamps and related material is sold

Philatelist: The person who study philately

Philately: Study of postal stamps and postal history

Postage Stamp: A piece of paper with the name of the country, price and an image or artwork, which is used as a proof of payment of postage

Post Card: A card issued by Postal Department for public for communication

Sea Mail: Mail sent by seat routes

Stamp Catalog: A catalog containing market prices of rare stamps.

Stamp Collector: The person who collects postal stamps

Surface Mail: Mail sent by surface routes

Thematic Philately: Study of postal stamps on specific themes

Topical Philately: Study of postal stamps on specific topics

First Day Cover

First Day Cover issued by Nederland Post on the occasion of 1956 Olympics.
First Day Cover issued by Nederland Post on the occasion of 1956 Olympics. | Source

Some Early Philatelists

Oscar Berger-Levrault was a stamp collector from Strasbourg, France. (1826-1903) He is known as one of the early philatelists. He is credited for his contribution in systematic and scientific collection of stamps and postal stationary. He was one of the inventors of stamp catalog.

Sir Daniel Cooper (1821-1902) was Founder President of Philatelic Society of London, now known as Royal Philatelic Society London.

Ernest de Silva (1887-1957) was a Sri Lankan businessman, and one of the world's most known philatelists.

Emilio Diena (1860-1941) was a researcher and authority on Italian stamps.

Reverend Robert Brisco Earée (1846-1928) was an Eanglish philatelist, expert in studies of philatelic forgeries.

Edward Benjamin Evans (1846-1922) was a distinguished philatelist and philatelic journalist, known for his specialization in stamps of Mauritius, Confederate States of America and the Indian feudatory states.

Adelaide Lucy Fenton (1824-1897) was the first female philatelist and philatelic journalist.

King George V (1865-1936) was a king of United Kingdom, known for his Royal collection of stamps.

Edward Stanley Gibbons (1840-1913) was founder of Stanley Gibbons Ltd., a publishing house especially established for publishing stamp catalogues, stamp-related books and magazines.

Rare Postage Stamps Video


Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Nice hub about philately, I used to collect stamps in my teenage years and I still have them. I have a few stamps that are more than 120 years old.

  • srsddn profile image


    7 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

    Thanks for putting Philately in historic perspective. I used to collect stamps from childhood but now I have passed it on to my son. It is a great hobby. Thumbed up.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 

    8 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    Thank you for all the useful details about philately, jainismus. I used to collect stamps when I was a child, but I didn't realize that there was so much more to philately! Thanks for the information.

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 

    8 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Interesting and you have informed me well of the study on stamps, thanks for enlightening me.

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    8 years ago from England

    Hi, my partner used to collect stamps, its so fascinating, especially the old victorian penny blacks and reds, really interesting, thanks!

  • jainismus profile imageAUTHOR

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    8 years ago from Pune, India

    Thank you Angela for reading and finding this Hub useful.

  • jainismus profile imageAUTHOR

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    8 years ago from Pune, India

    Thank you Catherine for expressing your views on this topic. It was nice to know you have the same hobby.

  • jainismus profile imageAUTHOR

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    8 years ago from Pune, India

    teaches12345, you are absolutely right. In near future, postage stamps are going antique things and they will become more valuable, as probably there will be no new issues of stamps.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    8 years ago

    My son collected stamps when he was young. He had such a great collection of them and they were so interesting to look at. I wonder if they will become obsolete as more and more people use the internet for mail services. Then they will really become valuable!

  • Angela Blair profile image

    Angela Blair 

    8 years ago from Central Texas

    This is actually very timely information for me -- I happen to have a very old stamp scrapbook, full of stamps and some loose (inherited) and I've been trying to research a bit to see if I should keep it or just try and sell the whole lot on eBay. Thank you so much for the timely (at least to me) information -- excellent writing! Best/Sis

  • cat on a soapbox profile image

    Catherine Tally 

    8 years ago from Los Angeles

    Hello janisimus, What a nice overview of stamp collecting. Stamps, in additional to their history, are beautiful little pieces of art to me. I especially love to look at the older engraved ones through my loupe. I've lost interest in the new stamps because they lack the special qualities they once had. I still have my collection that I work on every now and then as a rainy day hobby. :)

  • jainismus profile imageAUTHOR

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    8 years ago from Pune, India

    Thank you Sir, for reading and expressing your views. Philately is really great hobby, which tells us about a lot of things........

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    8 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Good summary of a hobby/passion that I always thought would be fascinating. There are such wonderful stamps out there, depicting so much history....I think it would be a great hobby!

    Nice job my friend!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)