Worldwide Stamp Collections and Mixtures
Worldwide stamp collecting is a rewarding hobby for many, but as you begin to put a collection together, you must be sure to thoroughly document each stamp that you purchase. This allows you to easily see which stamps you still need to complete your collection. As with many hobbies, collecting stamps can be expensive, so start your compilation with easy-to-locate, inexpensive stamps, or simply collect based on the stamps that most pique your interest. While you can purchase stamps individually, it is also possible to buy them in mixtures (or sets).
When starting your worldwide stamp collection, factoring in condition can help you to maximise your return on investment. It is also important to account for stamp condition if you plan to pass the stamps down to future generations, since even a small difference in the condition of a stamp can heavily affect its value. To that end, avoid stamps that feature creasing, fading or discolouration, as any of these can greatly reduce their value.
It is important to understand how rarity affects the price of a stamp. Rare stamps that were produced in limited numbers, or those that have imperfections (such as a misprint or off-centre image), often sell for a higher value than those that are more readily available. Similarly, those in high demand tend to sell for an increased sum. Mint stamps generally cost more money, as do cancelled stamps, and are often preferred by collectors.
The best way to preserve your stamp collection and keep it well organised is through proper storage, so make sure to place the stamps in stamp albums that include acid-free paper and thick pages. You can use hinges to affix the stamps to the album, as well as mounts. Tongs are also useful and prevent finger oils from coming in direct contact with the stamp, potentially causing damage in the process.
Due to the overwhelming number of worldwide stamps, it is a wise idea to narrow your selection down, and you can do so in several ways. Some collectors opt to collect mint stamps that have not made their way through the postal service, while others prefer cancelled stamps for their rich history. You can also collect stamps by country, period, type, topic or trait. If money is not a concern, you might also choose to collect rare or valuable stamps.