What can I collect?
Mint - stamps (unused stamps) and used stamps can be collected. These can be collected year-wise , nation-wise or theme-wise. To make this easier and more attractive to beginners, philatelist advise you to collect stamps according to a selection of your choice called a Thematic Collection. Themes may be flowers, birds, animals, architecture, railways, monuments, Red Cross etc… Definitive stamps and stationery can also be collected as a theme. The bottom line is that the collection unfolds various aspects of a theme like a story.
Stamp collection can be broadly classified as: -
1. General Collection: – Refers to the practice of collecting stamps from all countries on several subjects. There are no rigid rules in this. The main aim of this kind of collection is general knowledge.
2. Country collection: – Every general collector can grow into a country collector. One can choose one or more countries.
3. Thematic collections: – This refers to the collection of stamps on a theme, subject or topic.
While large number of people collects only postage stamps there are quite a few who collect various other types of Philatelic items connected with postage stamps. They are:
1. First Day covers/Special Covers
2. Miniature sheets
3. Souvenir sheets
4. Souvenir cards
5. Maxim Cards
6. Stamp Booklets, coil stamps
7. Postage due labels
8. Collectors pack, thematic packs, souvenir packs
9. Presentation packs
10. Information sheets/ cards
11. Cancellations on cards and on other items.
Types of Stamps
There are commemorative and definitive stamps. Commemorative stamps are issued, as the name suggests, to commemorate important events, prominent personalities in various fields, aspects of nature, beautiful or rare flora and fauna, environmental issues, agricultural activities, games national/international issues, etc. These stamps are only available at Philatelic Bureaux and counters or under the Philatelic Deposit Account Scheme. They are printed in limited quantities.
Definitive stamps on the other hand, are used for day – to - day postal mailing purposes and are available in various ascending denominations from 20 paisa onwards at all postal counters.
How do I collect used stamps?
Do not throw away letters that you receive. You can collect used up stamps through them. These can be detached delicately from the postal articles. Rinse in a shallow dish of water, using your hands or a soft brush. Carefully dry them in a dark place as the ultra violet rays of sunlight can damage the colors. It is also valuable to retain stamps along with the envelopes on which they are pasted as this authenticates their use.
Where can I get stamps?
Mint stamps are available at Philatelic Bureaux and Counters in the designated post offices, details of which will be available at your nearest Head Post Office. You may like to get in touch with local philatelists who can perhaps guide your interest. Make pen – friends both in the country and abroad -you will be surprised at the number of people who share your interest.
How can I get and use albums?
Albums are available at leading Book and Stationery stores and with philatelists. Pasting stamps ruins them. Use paper hinges or “havids” to place them in an album. Plastic strip albums are now available and are ideal to use for beginners. Handle stamps with pincers to avoid smudging or damaging them in any way with your fingers.
What is the Philatelic material available at Philatelic Bureaux?
Philatelic material includes -
–>Mint stamps (used stamps)
–>First Day Covers (FDCs, which are issued with every commemorative stamp)
–>Brochure (Information sheet accompanying each commemorative stamp)
–>Collectors’ Packs, year-wise
–>Miniature/Souvenir sheets which are sometime issued with Commemorative stamps.
–>Catalogue of Postage Stamps of India since 1947
How to Develop the Hobby?
–>Once stamp collection is started the hobby can be developed.
1. by joining local Philatelic Club: -
–Get clarified the doubts through seniors.
–can exchange, buy, or sell stamps with other members.
–can use the philatelic library of the philatelic club.
–can participate in the workshops/ seminars to be conducted by the club.
–The potential is limitless & it is entirely up to the collector to make use of the membership of the philatelic club.
2. by having contact with the department: -
In every Head Post office a Philately Counselor is looking after the entire philately work. The Philately Counselor will give all sort of cooperation & help to develop the Philately hobby.
3. by joining the workshops/ Seminars conducted by the Dept. with the help of eminent philatelist at regular intervals.
4. by participation in the exhibition: -
Participation in the exhibition will help to develop the hobby.