reward as well, as collections experience a steady increase over

the years.

It is possible to start your own business if you are experienced,

and already have a good size collection. For information about

becoming a dealer, write to the

American Stamp Dealer's Association

147 W 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036.


Some people very early in life collect stamps, it often begins as

a gift of a small package of stamps given to a child, and the

child becomes a collector for life. As the collection grows, some

tools become essential:

* Stamp album

* Hinges

* Magnifying glass and tongs

They can be obtained from a stationary store or your local stamp


You can find albums at any price, starting from about $5.00 to

the most expensive one at about $200.00.

Stamps Should always be handled carefully, because the condition

is a very important factor to determine the price of resale


The various grades of stamps are: mint, very fine, fine, good and


Specimen in outstanding condition often sell at many times their

catalog value, which is the reason not to mishandle any stamp,

which could drastically reduce their value.

If you want to know if you have valuable stamps in your

collection and are really serious about persuing this hobby, you

can buy the Scot's Standard Postage Stamp catalog which lists

every stamp in the world. This is a three volume encyclopedia and

is the complete reference. You can also consult it at your local

library if you don't want to go into the expense for the time


To start your collection, ask everybody you know to save you

stamps they get from different countries, also go through old

letters and small boxes hidden in your attic, chances are that

you will be surprised to see how much you can find. Other cheap

sources of supply are flea markets and garage sales. Start

swapping when you have doubles. There are many philatelic clubs

all over the country and it would be very advisable for a serious

collector to belong to one. This way you will become educated in

this field and learn everything you can before you spend money on

your collection. Stamp clubs also provide their members with

possibilities to exchange and sell your stamps.

You should also read as much as you can about stamps by

subscribing to a philatelic magazine.


Stamps are like any other commodity, you can always go to a

dealer who will offer you the current wholesale value of your

stamps, but you can do much better by selling to other stamp

collectors by advertising in magazines and newspapers specialized

in stamp collecting.

Check several current issues of those magazines, it will enable

you to compare the ads with what you have to offer.

If you want to buy stamps as an investment, try to buy few

moderately expensive stamps a year. Always buy quality instead of

quantity, and diversify, do not invest heavily in a single area.

It is our opinion that stamp collecting is one of the best

ways--and safest--to keep up with inflation.

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