insightsDead countries spawned or killed by the Russian Civil War
December 29, 2009 02:19 PMThe 20th century saw the coming and going of many countries. Some were born and also died in the 20th century. Those spun off or extinguished in the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics can be particularly confusing, if you aren't familiar with the geopolitics of the region.
insightsFinding out where the stamps in your collection came from
December 08, 2008 02:41 PMThere are thousands of languages in the world and scores of alphabets or other writing systems in which they are written. It can be tricky to identify stamps when the country of origin is written in an unfamiliar language or alphabet.
insightsImposing order on chaos: processing large lots and collections
November 24, 2008 03:47 PMThere is nothing more delightful for a stamp collector than acquiring a whole lot of stamps all at once. The feeling must be akin to that of a pirate opening up a treasure chest full of gold doubloons.
insightsSouvenir sheets add history and fun to any stamp collection
September 08, 2008 02:26 PMThe Linn's glossary of philatelic terms found online at www.linns.com defines a souvenir sheet as: "A small sheet of stamps, including one value or a set of stamps. A souvenir sheet usually has a wide margin and an inscription describing an event being commemorated. Stamps on a souvenir sheet may be perforated or imperforate."
insightsFree stamp albums spark interest in new collecting areas
August 11, 2008 02:49 PMAll of us are busy these days. Finding time to enjoy our wonderful hobby of stamp collecting is difficult and you might have trouble finding a big block of time in which you can pull your albums off the shelves and work on your collection.
insightsI love a parade: forming an Independence Day stamp collection
July 14, 2008 03:10 PMIn the United States, we celebrate the Fourth of July as a national holiday that marks the time, in 1776, when a few British colonies declared their independence from the mother country. The 1869 24¢ Declaration of Independence stamp (Scott 120) shown in Figure 1 commemorates the event.
insightsCollecting stamps issued for use by international organizations
June 30, 2008 03:21 PMMost stamp collectors collect by country or region, or topically. There is another option. Beginning in the 20th century, many stamps have been issued for use by international organizations. The League of Nations was one of the first to have stamps issued for its use.
insights'Summertime and the livin' is easy' — and so is the stamp hobby
June 23, 2008 04:02 PMFor ancient peoples, keeping track of the passage of the seasons had both religious and practical significance. The ancient stone circle Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain in England is a huge stone calendar that marks the solstices and equinoxes.
insightsExpositions and fairs make an interesting collecting topic
May 12, 2008 01:38 PMThose of us who collect what I call "everything that appeals to me" have at least one distinct advantage over specialists. It is pretty easy to find something that qualifies for the collection, and that makes attending a stamp show especially fun. Almost everything in the dealers' stocks has a potential place in the collection.
insightsSet limits to collect what you like and stay within budget
April 28, 2008 01:45 PMStamp collecting is a hobby with nearly infinite possibilities. You can collect by country, topic, time period or issue. You can try to get as many worldwide stamps as possible, or concentrate on only a continent or grouping of countries. You can expand from collecting postage stamps to collecting revenue stamps, telegraph stamps, cinderellas, first-day covers or postal history.
insightsCreate your own reference collection to find quick answers
March 24, 2008 02:17 PMIt could be almost anything, such as the definition of a seldom-used term, or how to tell the difference between two look-alike stamps. Perhaps you have a mental block about how to tell if a coil is horizontal or vertical.
insightsOverprints and surcharges: provisionals have many functions
February 25, 2008 02:33 PMRecently I found myself staring at a Turkish stamp I had seen thousands of times in mixtures and in my albums. The basic 20-kurush deep blue President Ismet Inonu stamp (Scott 972) is certainly no beauty.
insightsOff on a tangent: fun collections aside from your main interest
January 14, 2008 03:32 PMStamp collecting is like that. You can go merrily along collecting one thing exclusively and then suddenly you will read something or find something that catches your eye. You must have it, and so off you go on a tangent.