February 7, 2014

POSTAGE STAMPS

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How many stamps come through your letterbox these days?  Not many I think.  Most of today’s post is franked and parcels usually have printed stickers on them. 

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We both collected stamps as children, encouraged to do so by parents and attending stamp clubs at school.  I wonder how many children collect stamps these days.  Not many, I would guess.

About twenty years ago we were clearing out the loft and found our old stamp albums.  There was at the time a stamp shop in town so we went to have a word with the owner and find out if the stamps might be worth anything.  Instead we came out with a set of brand new albums and started to build a proper grown-up collection.

We haven’t collected seriously for a while now, largely because we have acquired all the easy ones and the gaps in our albums are too expensive to fill.

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One of the things that makes a stamp worth collecting is the postmark.  The most sought after stamps often have something called a “circular date stamp” or CDS.  A stamp with wavy lines on it is still collectable, but much less desirable.

So how many stamps plop through your letterbox with a CDS on them?  Very, very few I think.  So it’s worthwhile saving them and, if you’re not interesting in stamp collecting yourself, pass them on to someone that is or give them to charity.  Charities love them. 

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A nice stamp, now worthless because of the creases.

It is however, very important how you save them, preferably leaving them on a nice margin of paper so they can be removed carefully.  Above all, don’t just rip them off the envelope.  A damaged stamp, even if quite rare, is uncollectable and therefore worthless.

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When I buy a stamp to post something, I try to be careful how I stick it on the envelope, and like to think that one day, this stamp might end up being a prized item in somebody’s stamp collection!

I was reminded of our long forgotten pastime the other day, when we moved our stamp albums and all the paraphernalia that goes with them ~ in the process of trying to make our house look like a show home. 

stamps4 About an evening’s worth of sorters.

I had almost forgotten my large box of “sorters”, something to settle down with on a cold winter’s evening when there’s nothing on the telly.  All of them have been given to me by people who have saved them from their letters and parcels.  I will sort them, keep some and pass the good ones on to charity ~ most charities accept them very gratefully and will have an address on their website showing where to send them.

So the next time you get a nice stamp through your letterbox, save it, don’t bin it ~ someone somewhere might just be very pleased to own it !!

20 comments:

  1. We will save em for you... Do you want French ones as well! C

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    1. Colin, we have GB, French and Canadian collections with a lot of gaps, mostly issues from the last few decades.
      But I will take and sort anything and everything, so yes please!

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  2. Sorry, we've thrown out the Christmas 2013 ones! La Poste do personalised stamps, so you can post childrens' party invitations with pictures of the little darlings on the stamps. The possibilities for the collector are infinite! P.

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  3. I'll start saving, too! That's if you are that someone, somewhere who might be pleased to own it!!

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    1. Gaynor, yes please!
      Although the post was meant to be a plea on behalf of the postage stamp in general, which is becoming an endangered species!
      But I would never refuse any "sorters"!

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  4. I used to collect too, and thankfully my daughter has my collection ... but am I correct in thinking that stamps and the stamped stamps are becoming a rarity? .... I am very sad when there is an electronic stamp stuck onto my envelope when I am trying to re-vitalise the art of letter writing instead of the exquisite but wretched emails, depending of course on the mood for the moment!!!!!

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    1. Ah, the art of letter writing........
      It's very much a forgotten art nowadays, which is very sad.
      An email doesn't have the romance of lovely handwriting on nice paper that someone has gone to the trouble of folding into an envelope, sticking on a stamp, walking to the post box and putting it in the box.
      How can an email ever come close to that? It's far too instant.

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  5. I collected stamps as a child and even now save them for charities. We still get some with circular postmarks, so I'll be particularly careful with these from now on. :-)

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  6. My husband is an avid collector of British Commonwealth stamps -- especially before independence. He spends hour trolling through e-bay auctions and everyday -- usually -- something plops through the mailbox! There is nothing that makes his day more than discovering he has just acquired a stamp for a pound or two that is worth some phenomenal amount -- according to Stanley Gibbons! He gets a lot of 'franked' stamps from the people he buys from -- otherwise we rarely see them.

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  7. I remember collecting stamps when I was a kid. I think my son has them now. But an interesting process, nonetheless!

    I hope you have fun with your stamps.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

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    1. Bear, nobody would ever believe how much fun stamps can be!
      Each one has a little story to tell.
      I hope your son is cherishing your collection and looking after it properly.

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  8. We have several albums that have worldwide stamps in them. Took them up to London when we moved and no one as interested!! Have a great weekend Diane

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    1. Diane, some stamps are valuable, others not, but they're still beautiful things to have.
      Each one has its story to tell. You have to think about who bought the stamp, what was it used for ~ a love letter perhaps, a letter from a soldier to his family, or just the gas bill!

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  9. You're so right about stamps being a rarity lately. My father had an album that he began in the 1940s. (I went through them all and, of course, there was nothing of enough value to retire on... or even buy myself a drink).I gave the album to my friend's 8-year-old son in Denmark (who had just started a collection) and he was elated. It was a joy to pass something on from my father.

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  10. What a lovely post! I sorely miss letters. Inspecting the stamp was the first step in opening a letter - which stamp was used? On the rare occasion I get a letter they all now have the monotonous 'forever stamp'. They seem to be the final nail in the coffin of letter writing.

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  11. Coincidently last week I found some old stamp albums when sorting though boxes from my parents estate. The find had me seeking out my own childhood stamp collection. Unfortunately I was quite cavalier with the way in which I handled most of my stamps. However, my parents were more careful with theirs, which are about to go to a philatelic expert. I feel that I’m partaking in a lucky dip! Warm regards

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  12. I used to collect stamps as a boy and had quiet a nice collection. When my younger brother was eight it was suggested by my parents that if I didn't want them anymore I give them to him. He had been hankering after then and so in a mad moment I left them in his care. Somehow he managed to tip a pot of watercolour paint on the whole album and the collection was ruined except one page - stamps about painting from the Ukraine. I would have happily sent him to the Ukraine!

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    1. Phil, that's such a shame.
      I would have been seeking revenge for such wanton carelessness, such as accidentally setting fire to his bicycle !!

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  13. Just enjoying catching up with you. Loved your trip to London xxxx

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  14. Charities can make great use of collected postage stamps from all over the world, common and rare, to fundraise, by selling them on to philatelists and collectors.

    Please, visit our website today to find a charity that you would like to support. The website is updated monthly, and new charities are welcome to be added to the list as well. http://usedstampsforcharity.weebly.com/
    Each charity is listed with the address to send donations to, and the date that they last confirmed their details, so that you know how up to date the listing is.

    We are a free, volunteer run directory.
    To add your charity, please send us the name of the charity, a postal address for donations to be sent to, and a few words about what your charity does. Don't forget to re-confirm with us monthly so that your charity appears near the top of the list. englishgirl2009-sunshine@yahoo.co.uk

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