All About Stamps – Collecting

All About Stamps – Collecting

Stamps are used in every country of the world to show that postage has been paid on letters and packages sent through the postal services. It is a small rectangle shaped sticker that you attach to the top right had corner of an envelope. There is usually a picture or symbol on the stamp to denote a particular event for which it was issued and it contains the name of the country in which it was issued as well as the year. Since there are variations denominations, the price is also evident on the stamp. You may need to have several of these on a piece of mail to make up the correct amount of postage required for mailing the letter or package.


The first postage stamp was issued in 1840 on May 6, in England. There were two of them – a one penny black and a two pence blue. The one penny black displayed the head of Queen Victoria. After that date, many royal persons were depicted on these stickers. Brazil was the second country to institute the use of these stickers on pieces of mail in 1843. They were called Ox Eyes. In the same year Zurich introduced the Swiss Cantones Zurich and Geneve. It was not until 1845 that the practice of placing a stamp on mail was introduced in the US and the first official one was issued in 1847. The stamp that is now famous all over the world, the Mauritian stamp, came into existence in 1847. These were the one-penny orange and the one-penny blue. The first stamp to be issued in Germany was in 1849 and was called the black Bavarian Kreuzer. The system became uniform in just about all countries of the world by 1860.


The original stamp was not on a perforated sheet as we see them today or affixed in a roll. They were printed on sheets of paper and had to be cut apart. The sender had to glue the stamp onto the letter and it was not until 1857 that the first perforated versions were invented. Sir Rowland Hill invented the adhesive stamp and was knighted for this achievement.


Stamp collecting began very soon after the first ones were issued and was regarded by some as a very foolish hobby. Because there were not very many of them, stamp collectors looked for stamps from all over the world. At the time they were not stored in albums as they are today, but were often affixed to wallpaper or attached by a string. This led to the invention of the first stamp collecting books.


Dr. John Edward Gray is considered to be the first stamp collector in the world. Today, it is a hobby for both the young and old. There are many different kinds to collect, such as commemorative, definitive and special. The definitive type is the most common and is printed in large numbers. The commemorative and special types are only for special occasions, such as to denote a particular event that is taking place or for a special season of the year and are not available or used all the time.

For more information on postage stamps,the most valuable stamps and other stamps related topics visit

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